Over the past 18 months, pharmaceutical research and development professionals (thanks to COVID-19) have faced unprecedented challenges, to the point where most are more than tired of hearing the phrase. They have spent the past year and a half overcoming those challenges—in their laboratories, at their clinical trial sites, and at virtual industry events like the DIA 2021 Annual Meeting.
Scheduled June 27 to July 1, the Drug Industry Association’s annual event is slated to occur online—exactly as it did last year. What might look different from the 2020 program, however, is evidence that companies and organizations managed to innovate and adapt in the face of the pandemic’s myriad challenges, enabling them not only to continue much of their important work but to improve upon it.
The editorial team of BioPharma-Reporter discussed with global chief executive of DIA Barbara Lopez Kunz the programming focused on decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) and lessons learned about remote research during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, read about the sessions, exhibits, whitepapers and other information companies will be showcasing during DIA 2021; for more information, on programming, visit wwdiaglobal.org.
ERT and Bioclinica
Coming on the heels of their merger (announced in April), the two clinical trial solutions firms plan to offer attendees a number of ways to improve and innovate in their studies. In addition to meeting with visitors in the virtual exhibit hall, the companies plan to present information at sessions.
During “Check Your Blind Spots: A Holistic Approach to Patient-Centric Decentralized Clinical Trials” (Tuesday, June 29, 1:15 PM EDT), representatives from ERT and mobile health firm Illingworth Research Group will talk about what considerations might get overlooked when sites and sponsors put together decentralized trials. Potential topics include obstacles patients might face, overcoming blind spots and bias, and the case for focusing on data quality and compliance.
The global institutional review board (IRB) is prepared to speak with attendees on a diverse array of topics and challenges related to clinical research. In addition to exhibiting in the virtual hall, the company will lead sessions throughout the schedule.
As part of the DIA Spotlight Symposium program, WCG senior program director Em Rickets will lead “Patient Diversity Strategies: Building a Sustainable Program.” Slated June 30, 9-10 am EDT, the presentation will discuss the vitality of inclusion and diversity in research, and how to tackle persistent barriers.
The healthcare solutions firm will be welcoming visitors to its ‘booth’ in the virtual exhibit hall. Topics on the discussion table include:
- New product capabilities
- Enhancements to the firm’s partner program
- Technology demonstrations
Mednet specializes in providing eClinical solutions for life-sciences professionals. The company to date has handled more than 2,000 across a range of therapeutic areas.
In February, the contract research organization (CRO) made industry headlines with a $12b USD buy of PRA Health Sciences. Both ICON and its recently purchased company plan to meet with attendees in the virtual exhibit hall to discuss a range of trial technologies.
In 2019, the decentralized/hybrid trial specialist surveyed patients and potential participants about DCTs, learning that patients desired different options regarding assessment location, the technology used, and interactions with site staff. A follow-up survey conducted in 2021 aimed to compare those numbers to patient views gauged in the thick of COVID-19; it turns out, according to the findings, their feelings remained much the same.
The DIA 2021 Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place online June 27-July 1. For more information about the event or to register, visit the association website at www.diaglobal.org.