Clinical Trials in Minnesota

New Clinical Trial Educational Effort Underway in Minnesota

12.13.13 | By

I walked away from Friday morning’s “Research in Your Backyard:  Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Minnesota” breakfast meeting in Minneapolis mightily impressed with two things: Frank Jaskulke’s very maroon and gold running shoes –a great contrast with the conservative suit the Minnesota life sciences thought leader was wearing – and what I learned about the work of the Minnesota Clinical Research Alliance (MCRA).  

Frank is the very talented membership relations director of LifeScience Alley (LSA), a life sciences trade association whose members employ about 350,000 Minnesotans.  The new report was rolled out at an LSA breakfast meeting.

MCRA is a coalition of research companies trying to respond to the need to find participants for the clinical trials of new medicines, which they and other institutions in the state conduct.  That is an important challenge in Minnesota, where the number of new medicine clinical trials conducted since 1999 by biopharmaceutical companies in collaboration with local research institutions increased by about 300 over the last year to nearly 3,000 trials.  More than 400 of those trials are still active today and seeking patient recruits.  And those are just the trials conducted by biopharmaceutical research companies and do not include clinical research involving collaboration with the National Cancer Institute or academia.

MCRA was formed three years ago in the wake of findings by CenterWatch, a company that publishes information on clinical trials, that patient enrollment problems delay more than 70 percent of trials from one to six months, meaning patients have to wait longer for the new medicines they need.  It has also been calculated that fewer than five percent of cancer patients participate in clinical research.

To review the findings of “Research in Your Backyard:  Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Minnesota,” visit http://www.phrma.org/innovation/research-in-your-backyard

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