A look at how the clinical research industry is moving beyond COVID-19
By Kathryn E. Vinson, MS, CCRC

When the SARS-COV-2 pandemic hit the world in late 2019 and early 2020, its fair to say that very few of us foresaw or were prepared for the impact that the virus would have on the world. From retail and hospitality to the energy sector, every industry took a hit of some sort. The medical field was no exception, with increased demands in critical care and laboratory services, and temporary closures in many cases.

The clinical research industry, however, found itself in a unique position. While many studies were put on temporary hold or had protocol amendments to account for virtual visits or schedule changes, trials looking into treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 were given priority status.

As our world is adjusting to what is “the new normal,” clinical research professionals have come together to discuss the ongoing lessons of the pandemic, as well as how our industry is changing for the better in the #BeTheComeback challenge. Recently, our CEO here at DZS, Greg Ambra, took to LinkedIn to share his thoughts on the future of our industry. You can see the full video here.

Greg’s vision for the future of “a connected community of patients, advocacy groups, regulatory bodies, researchers, and service providers,” sums up what we here at DZS hope to offer our sponsors and partner research sites. With the possibility of bringing the entire project process online via the Insight platform, our sponsors can be assured of the greatest levels of “transparency, communication, and collaboration,” to quote Greg.

This amazing level of collaboration between scientists, regulatory bodies, sponsors, research sites, and more can be seen in the rapid development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. Never in history have so many groups come together so quickly to address an issue such as we have seen with this disease. A quick search of clinicaltrials.gov provided some amazing information on the number of trials currently in progress to deal with this virus (data as of 4 August 2020).

 United StatesWorldwide
Phase I74218
Phase II222635
Phase III83371

When you take the time to genuinely think about these numbers, it is astonishing that so much has been accomplished in less than 9 months. Indeed, here at DZS our team has consulted with sponsors and the NIH on public-private collaborations for severe and critical COVID cases. In addition, our team is currently working on 2 US based COVID-19 trials for patients with mild to moderate cases, as well as 2 international trials in the MENA region focusing on both prevention and treatment.

Here at DZS, whether we are focusing our efforts on an experimental vaccine for COVID-19, a new cancer treatment, or a new diagnostic system, sponsors can be assured that we are ready to #BeTheComeback. As clinical research gets back to normal (or as normal as possible), we are taking the lessons learned during this pandemic to propel our calling to even greater heights.