Last year’s Partnerships in Clinical Trials Europe, featured a panel discussion centered on TransCelerate BioPharma Inc. TransCelerate is a non-profit organization that focuses on developing innovation in research and development, improving patient wellbeing and pinpointing and solving R&D problems that are common today. The talk was with three leading members of the pharmaceutical industry - Dalvir Gill, CEO of TransCelerate BioPharma Inc., Jonathan Zung, Vice President, Head Global Clinical Sciences & Operations, UCB, and Thor Voigt, Senior Vice President, Global Clinical Operations, Boehringer Ingelheim.
The discussion, which was titled ‘The Collaboration Between Major Stakeholders’, looked at how collaboration is key to driving down costs in the pharmaceutical industry. Drug development costs are increasingly on the rise despite application efficiencies, companies merging and the introduction of new technologies, to name a few. A few years ago some R&D leaders from major pharmaceutical companies came together to look at problem areas in the industry that need improving. Clinical Trial Execution was seen as an area that had very outdated methods that was very costly and needed a revamp.
Gill, the CEO behind the organization, pinpointed the future focus of clinical trials needs to be aimed at big data, connected interfaces and more patient-centric trials. Companies when undertaking projects should look at whether they enhance previous investments; fit in with their roadmap for the future, if they will realistically deliver and it the venture will fit their day to day practice.
Zung, the Head of Operations detailed how TransCelerate had decision making meetings every other week that involved huge players in the pharmaceutical industry. He stressed that consensus decision was crucial for making a difference within the organization, rather than just giving precedent to one company’s agenda over another’s. The focus is on how a difference can be made rather than just letting companies do what they please. On similar lines of more consistency between companies, Voigt, of Boehringer Ingelheim highlighted the need for standardization across the industry. He believes there is a need to standardize definitions of indications and diseases plus in and exclusion criteria.
The more encompassing nature of TransCelerate helps to bring companies together in a transactional network that lets members purchase active comparators and placebos from one and other. The non-profit body also is launching a CRO forum that is open to all CRO’s in order to engage with each other to help push development in clinical trials. The point that stood out to me the most from this discussion was TransCelerate’s move to engage regulators in the pharmaceutical world. This is not just the FDA but globally; for example a week after the talk, the organization was engaging with PMDA, the Japanese regulatory body. The aim is to make sure both parties understand each other so there is no contradictory guidance in the trial processes.
TransCelerate though still a relatively new entity, have really pushed to improve collaboration within the pharmaceutical industry and are developing solutions to drive costs down and improve productivity. To hear the more in-depth discussion and further innovative industry ideas, watch the whole video below:
About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.