Vermont Clinical Trials

Vermont Governor & State Leadership Tout Impact of Clinical Trials

12.12.13 | By Jeff Trewhitt

Between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Burlington area houses one of the economic cores of the region.  Yesterday’s "Research in Your Backyard," event brought together researchers, doctors and patients, and focused on the biopharmaceutical industry’s contributions to the state’s prosperity through medical advances and breakthroughs in research. 

Citing the strength of Vermont's collaboration between academic institutions, the biopharmaceutical industry and local business, Ira Bernstein, M.D., Senior Associate for Research at the UVM College of Medicine touted Vermont's success through clinical trials programs.  "We have a very broad array of clinical trials available to us," Bernstein noted. "The number of clinical trials available to Vermonters ranks fifth by state as a function of population." 

James Boyd, M.D., Associate Professor at the University of Vermont's Department of Neurological Sciences, spoke to the success that Vermont has enjoyed with regard to Parkinson's research.  Although the average for Parkinson's patient participation in clinical trials hovers around 10% nationally, Vermont has one of the highest enrollment rates in the country at 20%.  In our own backyard, Boyd explained, researchers are investigating a new method of intestinal delivery for Parkinson's treatment.  Due to this research, they are arriving at “one of greatest reductions in symptom severity in any advanced stage treatment to date."

However the fruits of labor for researchers aren’t limited to new breakthroughs and discoveries.  Most importantly, biomedical research has a powerful positive effect on the lives of our neighbors.  Michael O'Connor, a past president of the Vermont Chapter American Parkinson's Disease Association, knows this well.  "It is wonderful to know that when you participate in trials, you are participating in finding the cure," O'Connor remarked.  After over a decade of combating Parkinson's, his unequivocal support for clinical trials is easy to understand. "Without PhRMA and the opportunities they provide to patients in our situation, we would be dead."

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