To Face Unafraid the Plans That We’ve Made…

Clinical Researcher—December 2021 (Volume 35, Issue 9)


Gary W. Cramer


As one year winds down and people begin to look forward to the challenges and adventures of the new year to come, it is not uncommon for big announcements to be part and parcel of building the anticipation. If this were a lifestyle or entertainment magazine, I’d regale you with snippets of press releases about the most exciting weddings or movies to save the dates for in 2022. However, we are dealing with the somewhat less glamorous world of clinical research in these pages, so for my parting gift to you this year you’ll have to settle for these businesslike, but still-intriguing, alerts about several recent partnerships that have formed to further the development and conduct of trials for the benefit of humankind (no endorsements implied). May your new year be as bold!

Alliance Aims to Deliver on Promise of Fully Integrated Research Networks

U.S.-based IACT Health and Canada-based LMC Manna Research in November announced a strategic alliance to integrate their operations. As two of the clinical research industry’s most extensive site networks, the alliance creates one of the largest consolidated research networks in North America, with more than 40 sites, access to more than 1.5 million patients, and more than 150 active investigators.

IACT Health, the largest network of wholly owned clinical research sites in the southeast U.S., since 2005 has contributed to helping more than 80 medications achieve U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals in areas such as oncology, cardiology, pulmonology, endocrinology, infectious disease, and pain. As Canada’s most extensive clinical research network, LMC Manna Research provides pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations with a single-source approach to performing clinical trials across a full gamut of treatment areas.

The combined IACT LMC Manna further announced in December that it had merged with True North Clinical Research, a two-site network focused on central nervous system studies and based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Partnership to Focus on Open Innovation Solutions to Advance Diversity in Trials

Two veteran-led businesses announced a critical partnership in November designed to use open innovation to advance diversity in clinical trials. Ibility, LLC and IndyGeneUS Health have partnered to amplify a shared mission of working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, and the Veteran community to advance health equity by diversifying clinical trials and maximizing the value of their genetic data for their benefit and for the global population.

The companies look to harness the power of challenge competitions to crowdsource solutions involving communities of people that have been systematically underrepresented in clinical research to address the challenges associated with diversifying clinical trials. Challenge competitions are used to ignite the creative process by building interdisciplinary teams around an end-user in a fun and engaging way.

Expanding Direct-to-Patient Testing and eCare for Decentralized Clinical Trials

Medable Inc. and Vault Health, Inc. in December announced that they are teaming up to integrate Vault’s expertise in diagnostics, logistics, and remote care services with Medable’s end-to-end software platform for decentralized clinical trials. The partnership combines a software-as-a-service platform with tech-enabled operational capabilities to provide a unified experience for patients, sites, and clinical trial sponsors in terms of home healthcare visits and televisits, virtual site capabilities, and related logistics, scheduling, and status tracking.

“The future of clinical research is decentralized—whether that’s in a traditional clinic, a virtual site, a local pharmacy, or someone’s home,” said Dr. Michelle Longmire, CEO and co-founder of Medable. The partnership aims “to make clinical trial participation much more convenient for patients—providing them with easy testing and diagnostic options, as well as expert remote care they can access from anywhere,” she adds.

CRO Merger Looks to Expand Global Reach and Capabilities

Rho, a full-service contract research organization (CRO) based in North Carolina, announced in December that it had acquired Dokumeds, a privately held European CRO. Established in 1995 and headquartered in Riga, Latvia, Dokumeds has 10 offices and is active across multiple continents. Terms were not disclosed.

Saying that the companies “are a great match,” Laura Helms Reece, DrPH, CEO of Rho, added that the teams “are already aligned, ready to drive sponsors’ multinational programs forward to achieve development milestones and bring new and better treatments to patients.”

Gary Cramer headshot

Gary W. Cramer
( is Managing Editor for ACRP.