Sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) might want to find better ways to communicate, because they’re going to be seeing a lot more of each other, according to a new survey by Worldwide Clinical Trials (WCT).
“By 2020 it is estimated almost 75% of all clinical trials will be run by CROs, yet the CRO/sponsor relationship remains a transactional one,” said Peter Benton, WCT’s president and COO. The organization collected more than 350 survey responses from executives in clinical operations, outsourcing, regulatory affairs, and drug safety functions, representing 169 unique organizations.
There’s a growing recognition that sponsors and CROs must explore and ultimately embrace new ways of working together, as evidenced by several sessions presented at the ACRP 2018 conference earlier this year.
Among the WCT survey’s key findings:
- There is a growing urgency for CRO expertise in early-phase clinical research (i.e., first-in-human through proof of concept). The percentage of respondents who were either “likely” or “very likely” to engage a CRO grew most sharply for early-phase investigations, up 8 percentage points—from 55% in 2016 to 63% in 2017.
- There is stable growth in the overall demand for CROs. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were “much more likely” to hire a CRO than they were five years ago, in comparison to 65% in 2016.
- Data quality tops the list of CRO evaluation criteria. In both 2016 and 2017, the most important factor in choosing a CRO was the ability to deliver high-quality data—coming in at 96% in 2016 and 92% in 2017.
- Sponsors are looking for CROs that provide innovative solutions. Thirty-six percent of respondents ranked “overall trial management” as the area that can make the greatest impact.
Author: Michael Causey