Why it is essential to develop a strategic partnership with CRO?

1st January, 1970

Why it is essential to develop a strategic partnership with CRO?

In clinical trial outsourcing, finding the right CRO can be challenging and time-consuming as it directly contributes to the success of your trial, hence CRO research requires fair amount of careful planning and resources. As clinical trials are becoming more and more complex, relationship with CRO can no longer be seen as a transactional exchange only.

The aim of this article it to give you a run-through the history of CRO involvement in trials and outline why forming a strategic long-term partnership is so important once the right CRO is chosen.

Even though the ideas behind clinical trials are ancient, first systematic clinical trials were conducted during the 18th century; however there were no committees, government regulatory bodies or even data analytic tools to assist the process. World started seeing first modern trials during the 20th century. In 1920s “Principles of experimental design” by Sir Ronald A. Fisher was published, in 1930s the British Medical Research Council made a statement on the importance of clinical trials and in 1960s, after the thalidomide tragedy in Europe, regulations for trials increased significantly.

By the end of 20th century clinical, regulatory and corporate settings changed so much that collaboration became unavoidable, and in a response to constantly growing need for sponsors, contract research organisations (CRO) were formed. As mentioned above, relationship with CRO used to be transactional and many decisions were made depending on price, but short after it was noticed that you need to form a strategic partnership with CRO to find yourself ahead of competition.

Strategic partnership with CRO is an ongoing topic that is constantly supported as well as criticized, and of course it needs to alter and adapt because of forever changing clinical and regulatory landscapes. Relationship with CRO will be discussed at this year’s OCT Nordics conference in October where you be able to join roundtable debates and engage in panel discussions around this topic.

Despite a range of opinions around having a strategic partnership, there are undeniable advantages of forming a long-term relationship with CRO. At OCT event, Erika Bågeman, Clinical Affairs Director at Dignitana, will be sharing a case study where she suggest how to build strong relationships with CRO to deliver quality. You can preview all speakers here.

To finish this article, we summarised the main advantages of strategic partnerships with CRO below and hopefully answered the question why is a long term relationship with CRO so important.

  • Enhanced cost predictability and better time-management
  • Significant savings in the long term, because of reduced fixed costs
  • Less time spent on start-up stage of the trial
  • Improved strategic management of R&D portfolio
  • Strong relationship between CRO and Sponsor
  • Increased overall quality of the trial because of all the above



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