Contract research organisations (CRO) are playing an increasingly pivotal role in drug development but recognition of this is limited, John Lewis, vice president of public affairs at the Association of Clinical Research Organisations (ACRO) told Outsourcing-Pharma.
To remedy this situation ACRO is aiming to build a body of academic research looking at the role CROs play in drug development. A key component of this effort was implemented this month when ACRO began funding the Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center (GHIMC).
Lewis explained that the GHIMC, a part of Fordham University, New York, US, is researching a number of topics in the field of healthcare innovation, one of which is the role of outsourcing in drug development.
Improving drug development
ACRO hopes the project will promote understanding of the role of CROs and the value they bring, as well as offering broader insight into how to improve drug development. The broad scope of the research project means this could cover topics beyond outsourcing, added Lewis.
“Research around how to best manage these evolving development models is critically important to the future of the biopharmaceutical industry and ACRO is pleased to be among the founding members of this valuable research centre”, said Doug Peddicord, executive director of ACRO.
Peddicord has taken a seat on the advisory board of the research programme. Preliminary work is expected to be shown in the summer, according to Lewis. In addition, ACRO is looking for academics in Europe and the US who operate in the research field.
The scope of the research project extends beyond drug development, into areas such as biotech clusters and healthcare delivery systems. Lewis added that additional funding sources are being sought within the pharma and insurance sectors.