San Francisco, CA – Arena International’s Outsourcing in Clinical Trials West Coast (OCT West Coast 2017) conference this year brought together numerous industry professionals from the San Francisco Bay Area. Having taken place on Feb. 22-23, OCT West Coast 2017 had close to 600 attendees and over 30 speakers across the two-day event.

A wide array of topics were on the agenda as delegates sought insight on issues ranging from strategic outsourcing models, to case studies exploring how to develop effective contracts with vendors.

The Chair for the conference, Joel Rothman of Cytokinetics, kicked off proceedings by discussing some of the pressing matters concerning industry, shortly before calling on the day’s first speakers.

Gilead’s Brian Nugent and Angie Maurer opened up by sharing thoughts on how to implement effective quality management strategies within organizations. Some of the key talking points from this session were how to align sponsor and vendor SOPs to ensure they are effectively integrated. Nugent and Maurer also stressed the importance of creating a people and technology-focused approach to quality oversight management.

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CTA contributor, Jacquie Mardell (Ascendis Pharma), shone a spotlight on the sponsor/vendor dynamic, exploring how to navigate potential breakdowns in relationships. In an industry where cross collaboration is integral to success, Mardell spoke of the need to ensure all parties involved in a trial have a solid infrastructure in place to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

Ramani Aiyer (TheraBiol), another CTA regular, explored key considerations on conducting trials in emerging markets. As the cost to develop a drug continues to spiral out of control, clinical trials are becoming ever more globalised. As he did in his popular Clinical Trials in Asia series, Aiyer examines the merits of outsourcing trials to the Asian region.

There was also an intriguing interactive debate on how sponsors can effectively manage budgets, and gauge site performance levels through the use of CROs. Led by FibroGen’s Associate Director of Clinical Contracts and Outsourcing, Michael Cox fielded questions on how to manage site contracts while avoiding issues with budget control and site performance.

To close out the conference, there were several roundtable discussions that uncovered a variety of topics. Debbie Dwyer of Nektar Therapeutics led a discussion on ways to improve forecasting methods, while Dr. Maria Ali (George Clinical) took Ramani Aiyer’s lead by heading a debate on the pros and cons of clinical research in Asia. Industry professionals chimed in on Laurin Vincent’s (Genentech) roundtable as they looked at the age-old debate of how to optimize the preferred provider model. And lastly, Mark Millberg’s (Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals) table considered and scrutinized the challenges of enabling an effective CTMS system. So as you can tell, attendees had a wealth of topics from which to choose.

Joel Rothman then closed proceedings offering his outlook on the future of outsourcing practices. With the global demand on studies showing no signs of abating, forming the right alliances with the right partners is critical to a trial’s success.

If you’re interested in attending one of Arena’s next events, click here to find out more. As for the Outsourcing in Clinical Trials series, if you’re based in North America or the Middle East, you’re in luck! The next stops are OCT Southeast and OCT Israel, taking place concurrently on March 21-22 (click the hyperlinks to learn more).