Talking Recruitment with Small/Mid BioPharm CMOs at CMO Summit – West

by Dan McDonald

I had the honor of attending and presenting at the CMO Summit – West earlier this week in Burlingame, CA. Attended by 75-80 industry executives – primarily consisting of Chief Medical Officers, heads of clinical development and leaders from the financial community – the CMO Summit is an intimate and dynamic forum for discussion of the challenges facing today’s medical leaders from small to mid size bio-pharmaceutical companies.

My presentation focused on the current trends in patient recruitment impacting today’s CMOs and specifically, how these individuals are addressing the challenge of on time enrollment in their clinical trials. In fact, there is probably no group that I have worked with over the years who are under more pressure than the CMO from a small/mid-sized sponsor, who is working under a VC backed financing structure.

Yet, despite many of the investments in these firms being heavily time and cost milestone driven, we still see too many of these decision makers being reluctant to implement proactive patient recruitment campaigns. The result often being delayed trials, significant budgetary impact and a boatload of stress.


Certainly, over my 16 years in patient recruitment, I have seen a sea-change in the mindset of sponsors when it comes to recruitment. In fact, when I first started out, about 80% of the programs I worked on were rescue/reactive type situations. Today, more than 60% of the recruitment programs are proactive. This is major progress, but it’s been far too slow.

DAC has analyzed the behavior of CMOs and C-teams from small/mid sponsors who meet their enrollment timelines. We have also compared the cost differences between proactive recruitment programs and reactive ones.

My presentation at the CMO Summit- West covered these issues and more. Please let me know if you are interested in receiving a copy of the slides. For CMOs and C-Suite teams at small/mid sponsors, I would welcome the opportunity to schedule a web-conference and present the same material to you. Just shoot me a message with your availability.

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