Breaking down clinical barriers

Pharsight, CRI Worldwide team up to improve clinical trial efficiency

Amy Swinderman
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—With the goal of providing clinical researchers with a "better, smarter, cleaner" trial solution, Pharsight Corp., which provides software, strategic consulting and regulatory services, and CRI Worldwide, which specializes in Phase I-IV clinical development testing and research services for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced last month an alliance to combine services and create an end-to-end trial solution.

Describing the alliance as a "co-marketing, operational integration agreement," CRI will work with clients to design their trials, and Pharsight will ensure seamless data transfers and rapid turnaround of regulatory analysis and reporting. The alliance addresses the growing need for drug development companies to improve the efficiency in their performance and analysis of clinical trials.

"What we're trying to so is allow both organizations to solve a very well-known problem among sponsors," says Lawrence Brownstein, CRI's chief administrative officer. "Sponsors frequently go from a Pharsight to a CRI or other CRO and do a lot of the hiring of vendors themselves. However, in no case are the various vendors bound to collaborate with each other. We're going to break that down and provide one point of contact, which will allow the sponsor to interface with vendors much more smoothly. We believe that breaking down that barrier between vendors results in better, smarter, cleaner clinical trial execution."

Combining the two companies' expertise will create a seamless environment where data can be collected, assembled, analyzed and put into the proper regulatory approval format, adds Dr. John Murphy, senior vice president of consulting services at Pharsight.

"I think what makes this alliance different is that most of the CROs haven't spent the time to go about finding critical path technology, and by combining what we do with what CRI does, we can provide a much better model for trials," Murphy says. "Most CROs do most of their work manually. But when CRI goes to conduct a Phase I trial, we will have done a lot of the due diligence and taken the data from the trial, put it in a database and analyzed it in a highly automated way. The client can expect faster delivery of results, a more informative trial and a higher likelihood of success."

Headquartered here, Pharsight has satellite offices in Cary, N.C., and Montreal. The company specializes in key drug development disciplines including clinical pharmacology, biostatistics, drug and disease modeling, human genetics, decision science, clinical development and information technology.

With plans to move its corporate headquarters to Mount Laurel, N.J., CRI has inpatient research facilities located within hospitals in Clementon and Willingboro, N.J., and Philadelphia. The company provides Phase I-IV clinical development testing and research services for CNS disorders as well as psychiatric, pain and other drug compounds. DDN

Amy Swinderman

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