Life Science Leader Magazine Supplements

CRO Guide 2016

The vision of Life Science Leader is to help facilitate connections and foster collaborations in pharma and med device development to get more life-saving and life-improving therapies to market in an efficient manner. Connect, Collaborate, Contribute

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LIFESCIENCELEADER.COM 23 THE CRO LEADERSHIP AWARDS 2016 multifaceted, and reliant on intellectual property as clinical research, some barri- ers are needed. The challenge for sponsors and CROs is to know which business struc- tures are essential and which are burdens. Lessons learnt from experiments now under way at sponsors and CROs will shape the path forward, as will analyses of what is working in other industries. Yet the slow progress seen in survey data collaboration that characterize clinical research, it may be impossible to copy the Facebook approach directly, but our industry can try — and, in some cases, is trying — to implement methods that share its intentions. At Avoca, we have seen some of the companies we work with apply inno- vative approaches to breaking down bar- riers and facilitating better collaboration. Clear discussions centered on partnering for risk mitigation appear to open up new lines of dialogue and innovative approaches. The endeavor to facilitate collaboration by altering the mindsets of workers has parallels in other parts of the health- care system. In a hospital, doctors are typically segregated as they were in medical school, putting physicians and surgeons on opposite sides. Yet when a patient goes to a hospital, they just want the most appropriate, skilled group of people to work collectively to treat their condition. Recognizing this, the Cleveland Clinic reorganized its teams around how patients interact with the hospital, and their organization rose to the top of patient satisfaction tables. In clinical research, the need for inter- company collaboration adds an extra layer of complexity, but sponsors and CROs, like the Cleveland Clinic, are still trying to instill mindsets that facilitate the operationalization of collaboration. The aforementioned joint team is one way to try to achieve this goal. Another is being pursued by a large CRO. The firm has set up a team dedicated to running big trials for small biotechs, a group that can get overlooked by CROs. While Big Pharma companies account for most of the CRO's sales, the biotech-focused team's success is tied to different metrics. The team's overarching task is to under- stand and meet the needs of biotechs. By learning to think like a biotech, the team may be able to resolve some of the disconnected perceptions evident in the survey data. Ironically, the CRO is driving toward this goal by siloing off the team from the rest of the company, which only serves to reiterate the complexity of operationalizing collaboration. RUNNING EXPERIMENTS TO OPERATIONALIZE COLLABORATION The experience of the large CRO illus- trates the naïveté of the gung-ho calls for silo-busting. In a field as complex, from the past few years shows we must continue to propose and test hypotheses. If we are to create highly functional and integrated clinical operations that are based on sharing of information between functions and partners, we will need to try and test new ideas. Applying technological Band-Aids to a system that needs surgery will deprive us of true collaboration and insight. L

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