Vroom! Start Your Clinical Trial Engines!

by Dan McDonald
DIA Annual Meeting 2014

DIA Annual Meeting 2014: A Review

In the world of drug development, speed is a critical factor. Reducing development timelines can swing tens of millions of dollars from the cost to revenue column – or even more importantly – away from a competitor’s coffers. The Tufts 2013 Outlook Report estimated that only 30% of marketed compounds generated enough revenue to offset the cost of development.

Creating efficiencies in the drug development process remains a crucial area of focus for industry stakeholders, as indicated by the session topics and conversations at this year’s DIA Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.  The Imperial Family of Companies was well-represented at the event.

As a vertically integrated functional service provider (FSP), Imperial is constantly engaged with our clients in strategic planning and tactical support exercises, to assist them in improving efficiencies in clinical development without sacrificing quality. In that spirit, we developed a unique racing theme for our DIA booth this year. “Team Imperial” included representatives from our three businesses: DAC Patient Recruitment Services – our full-service global provider of site identification, patient recruitment and retention services; Imperial Graphics – our flagship business, with more than 40 years of experience supporting clinical development teams with the production, procurement, storage and shipping of clinical and site support materials; and ClinicaLingua – our ISO-certified, full-service translation business, with experience and capabilities supporting more than 100 languages and locales.

A constant flow of attendees visited the Imperial booth, many representing study sponsors or contract research organizations. Visitors were intrigued by Imperial’s ability to integrate three commonly outsourced service portfolios with the simplicity of a single point of contact, contract, invoice, and performance management system. It became clear through our many conversations that vendor identification and selection at biopharmaceutical companies continues to grow in sophistication. Increasingly, it is evolving away from being the responsibility of clinical teams to a more centralized and process-driven approach led by outsourcing and procurement groups. Industry executives expressed appreciation for Imperial’s FSP model and our ability to efficiently deliver a wide range of services through a centralized approach mirroring their own operating model.

Lastly, it became obvious that industry executives aren’t just obsessed with speed while doing their day-to-day jobs, but that they are also a competitive and heavy-footed group of individuals. Over 100 people stopped by the booth to go head-to-head in our two-car racing simulation game. It was clear from their comments and facial expressions that everyone had a lot of fun. It was even clearer that every driver quickly developed their racing strategy and looked for the tiniest advantage to outwit and outperform their competitors on the racetrack. I guess it was just second nature for these drivers on the racetrack of drug development.

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