Tips to Help With Strategic Planning for Clinical Research Sites

By Tami Haas | Market Manager, Channel, Forte Research Systems
December 13th, 2016

Summary: If your site is considering moving into new therapeutic areas, read these key tips to help you with strategic planning for the coming year.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Is your clinical research site considering new therapeutic areas in the new year? Knowing which area is the best fit can be challenging and therapeutic forecasting can help uncover the areas that are best suited for your site. Building a plan for launching into these new areas is just as important to your site’s success and is an essential part of your strategic planning efforts.

Definition
Therapeutic forecasting is the use of data sources to analyze and predict trends in clinical research. It provides insights to help you make strategic decisions for your site. The data can be found in a variety of sources:

  • Clinicaltrials.gov
  • CenterWatch
  • Websites and publications such as CafePharma, BioFlash, Fierce Publications
  • Sponsor pipelines
  • Industry reports

Key factors to consider
When analyzing different therapeutic areas it’s important to have a good understanding of the factors that make you a strong site. You may have strengths in one area that could be applied to a similar area. For example, if you currently are successful with psychiatry studies a complimentary area might be pain/addiction studies. Additionally, your current patient population could overlap into this similar area making your site more attractive to a sponsor.

Maintaining relationships with large sponsors is important, however, it’s become crucial to develop relationships with smaller sponsors, as well. Successful enrollment numbers in early phase trials with these smaller organizations could lead to more opportunities in later phase trials.

Establishing presence in a new area
It’s not an easy feat to break into a new area and there is work that needs to be done in order to succeed.

Take less competitive opportunities
If you determine experience is what will set you apart and help you look more attractive, taking on one or two studies that aren’t money-makers could be in your best interest. Gaining experience in the new area could lead to many fruitful opportunities in the future. Some examples of studies to help you gain experience include:

  • Phase IV
  • Observational
  • Registry studies

Hire additional staff or buy equipment
Breaking into a new therapeutic area may require new equipment, PI’s and additional staff to ensure you can handle studies in the new area. Not only will you be well-prepared for that first study, but sponsors may also view you as more established and capable of taking on a study.

Increase referral network
Developing relationships with local physicians can help increase your potential participant pool. Sharing your referral sources on the feasibility questionnaire submitted to the sponsor will help showcase your potential patient population.

Build your online presence
Your website should be treated as a powerful recruitment tool, for both sponsors and participants. Make sure you clearly showcase your site’s capabilities and your staff’s experience. Social media has grown in popularity and can also be a good tool to use for recruitment efforts. Determine which online tools sponsors use and make sure to establish a presence on those sites.

Therapeutic forecasting is the just first step to uncovering growth opportunities for your site. Developing a tactical plan for launching into new therapeutic areas is a task you should complete as part of your strategic planning efforts. View our on-demand webinar, Therapeutic Forecasting: Areas to Consider in 2016, and learn how you can proactively use strategic planning to your advantage.

About the Author

Tami is the Marketing Manager, Channel at Forte Research Systems, responsible for developing and managing multi-channel communications strategies and marketing activities. Tami is an active contributor to Forte’s content team. Previously, she worked as the Product Marketing Manager at Forte for Overture EDC, a user-friendly electronic data capture system with an elegant design and easy-to-navigate user interface,​ that fully supports compliance with 21 CFR Part 11.

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