Choosing the right CRO can help you bring to market a lifechanging product in less time and within budget. Here are the top 5 things that should be on your checklist when you are searching for a CRO partner.
1. Good track record of Service and Experience
Whether you are comparing many different CROs or doing your research on just one, make sure you look at their client history. Do they have experience working with a range of complex therapies? Have they consistently helped their clients meet goals and milestones? When CROs are promising you a list of the same things, a background check is a key way to help you decide. See if the organization is delivering on-time results with quality data to back it up.
Next, evaluate the organization’s team. Find out how they will be working on your project and what specifically they can provide for you. A good CRO should be able to act as an extension of your team to ensure a successful collaboration. Does this team have the insight to help meet your companies goals? Do they have the expertise to create the best plan of action? Do your due diligence, and find out if they have adequate staff and capabilities to support your unique requirements.
2. Financial Stability and Ability to Work with Limited Resources
Ensure that your CRO has the financial stability to support you. If they have experience partnering with companies who have limited funding and resources, odds are they’re equipped to handle whatever is thrown their way. Again, part of your research will be to see what kinds of companies they have partnered with in the past, and how they jumped over past hurdles. Look for a history of understanding the problem of limited resources and utilizing its own assets to supplement concerns.
This also touches upon a CRO’s ability to manage costs. Pick a CRO that understands what steps are crucial for saving time and money. What are ways that they have improved efficiencies and productivity to help benefit their partners?
3. Develop a Collaborative Partnership with Shared Values
To find out if a CRO is a good match for you, asses their ability to develop a partnership. Can you work with them to set SMART goals for your project? Ask what goals were set for other companies based on their desired outcomes and see if this is a goal that you would have set for yourself.
If so, it’s likely that your company and the CRO have shared values, which is where a strong partnership starts.
4. Knowledge of Sites and Patient Populations
Patient recruitment is one of the most complex and difficult aspects if clinical trial management. Most issues in this realm stem from a lack of knowledge of ongoing trials and patient populations. Working with a CRO that can help you develop strategies to reduce patient recruitment timelines is one major competitive advantage.
There is more to evaluating a CRO than the technical side of things. Communication is a huge factor in creating a successful partnership. A CRO needs to be responsive both in contact and in decision-making to get ahead of potential problems and to meet all targets. Responsive decision-making ensures that goals are met on time and without delay.
This includes communication with your company, but also communication within the CRO’s own team, including top management. A CRO should hold regular meetings with its personnel and partners, providing reports and relative documentation to all parties, so that everyone is on the same page. A main component of this is to integrate experienced project managers who are dedicated and committed to your product.
So, what’s next? Print out this check-list and keep it in your pocket to help you in your meetings with potential CRO partners, we promise we won’t tell.
Good luck, and if you’re still deciding on the right CRO for your company’s needs, contact us!