OMAHA, NEBRASKA (October 28, 2013) -- Working in collaboration with Nebraska clinicians and research institutions, America's biopharmaceutical research companies have conducted 1,937 clinical trials of new medicines in Nebraska over the last 14 years, according to a new report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
The report, "Research in Your Backyard: Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Nebraska," was released today at a conference at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), which has conducted extensive clinical research in collaboration with biopharmaceutical research companies.
“Clinical research is a critical part of what we do at UNMC as an academic health center,” said Dr. Christopher J. Kratochvil, associate vice chancellor for clinical research and chief medical officer, UNeHealth, at UNMC. “Through clinical research, we strive to improve the health of individuals throughout Nebraska, the nation and the world.”
The conference was also co-sponsored by the Nebraska Healthcare Access Network, Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association (Bio Nebraska) and PhRMA.
Conference speakers included Kratochvil, Phil Kozera, executive director of Bio Nebraska, Allan Schur, a caregiver and patient advocate, and Jeff Trewhitt from PhRMA, a co-author of the report.
"Most of us understand the health benefits of clinical trials of new medicines, but they also stimulate our state’s economy," said Kozera. "This research employs talented Nebraska clinicians and offers them the opportunity to work with biopharmaceutical companies on cutting-edge research projects that address global health care challenges.
“In 2011, biopharmaceutical research companies supported more than 10,600 jobs in Nebraska and generated about $2.5 billion in goods and services in the state, including the direct economic output of the biopharmaceutical sector itself, the output of the industry’s vendors and suppliers and the output generated by the buying power of its work force,” said Trewhitt.
The state’s clinical research has also helped to meet the health needs of Nebraskans. More than half of the clinical trials conducted by biopharmaceutical research companies and local collaborators have targeted the most debilitating chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma and mental illnesses. Nearly 200 of those trials are still active.
Other highlights of the Nebraska "Research in Your Backyard" report include:
- Over 100 biopharmaceutical company-conducted clinical trials of new cancer treatments are still recruiting patients in the state. (More than 9,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed this year in the state and 3,440 Nebraskans will die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society).
- Clinical trials seeking patients in Nebraska also include 19 for heart disease and seven for stroke at a time when heart disease and stroke are the state’s second- and fourth- leading disease causes of death.
- Biopharmaceutical research companies have 25 trials underway to target diabetes, which afflicts more than 100,000 Nebraska adults.
- Thirteen trials are underway for asthma, which affects more than 112,000 residents.
A wide range of Nebraska universities, hospitals and contract research organizations partner with biopharmaceutical research companies in conducting clinical trials. In addition to UNMC and research facilities at Creighton University, trials of new medicines are underway at:
- Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney.
- Southeast Nebraska Oncology Cancer Center, Lincoln.
- Bellevue Family Practice, Bellevue.
- Heartland Pharma Developments, North Platte.
- Clinical Research Advantage, Elkhorn, Fremont and Omaha.
- Bryan Heart Institute, Lincoln.
- Urology Cancer Center, Omaha.
- Premier Psychiatric Research Institute, Lincoln.
- And several other research facilities throughout Nebraska.