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  1. Veeva Systems
7 July 2021

Global Survey Reveals Urgency to Accelerate Study Start-up

Accelerating study start-up is a top priority for life sciences companies according to the Veeva 2020 Study Start-up Pulse Report & Assessing Post-COVID Readiness, a global study start-up survey of more than 500 clinical operations professionals. Findings from Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV) show an industrywide shift to streamline study activation and speed clinical trials.

While there is an overall move underway in life sciences to modernize trial execution, COVID-19 has prompted an even greater need to keep existing trials on track and get new studies up and running faster. This research reveals that study start-up is an area of significant potential to speed trials, which is especially timely as sponsors and CROs ready for a major wave of post COVID-19 trial starts.

All sponsors and CROs surveyed report the need to improve study start-up. Nearly all (98%) have significant challenges, many stemming from delays in the first steps to launch trials. Top drivers for improving study start-up are accelerated start-up times (75%) and reduced manual processes (53%). The majority say automating activities such as contracting and budgeting, and site essential document collection can positively impact trial quality and speed.

A heavy reliance on applications that are not fit for purpose are slowing trials. The majority (81%) use spreadsheets to manage study start-up and roughly half use other applications that are not purpose-built for this area, like eTMF and CTMS.

Most sponsors and CROs use a combination of spreadsheets and multiple applications—not only slowing study starts, but also creating system and process siloes. The more tools used, the greater number of study start-up challenges companies report. The industry, however, is taking action as a quarter of respondents are adopting study start-up applications to streamline trials.

“Study activation is one of the most time and resource-intensive areas of drug development, so companies are working hard to eliminate start-up delays and minimize downstream risks to study milestones,” said Ashley Davidson, senior director, Veeva Vault Study Startup. “This is especially important as the industry races to get trial timelines back on track that have been disrupted by COVID-19.”

The Veeva 2020 Study Start-up Pulse Report explores the life sciences industry’s progress towards streamlining study start-up by gathering the experiences and opinions of more 500 clinical operations professionals around the globe. The goal of the research is to understand the drivers, barriers, and benefits of modernizing clinical systems and processes to accelerate trials and gives an industrywide view of study start-up technology adoption. Get the full report at veeva.com/eu/StudyStartupReport.

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