Industry professionals from the pharma, biotech and medical device space all converged on San Mateo, CA last week for Arena International’s Outsourcing Clinical Trials West Coast conference (OCT WC).

Bringing together experts from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, the two-day conference provided a forum for industry to discuss, share and promote best practices within the outsourcing sector. What’s more, it also offered professionals a backdrop to connect and network.

Day one served up a bevy of presentations with topics ranging from the impact of change orders on a trial to strengthening partnerships between sponsors and CROs. Robin Mansukhani of Alzeca Biosciences addressed the issues start-ups face when financing a clinical trial. In his case, the key to success hinges on how well a start-up can fundraise money while convincing stakeholders of the benefits of their clinical study. Meanwhile, Mark Milberg from Ultragenyx discussed the challenges of running trials for rare diseases, wondering whether there’s a gap in the market for specialised rare disease vendors.

One of the highlights from day two was a presentation by Tom Guntly of FibroGen. The director of Clinical Development lead an engaging talk detailing his experiences of running trials in China. The presentation engendered huge debate as Mr. Guntly described the landscape of clinical research in the Far East. One of the key takeaways from that discussion was that sponsors must understand the rules and regulations of country they plan to enter. The roundtables featured lively debates centred on patient engagement, clinical research in emerging markets, and investment strategies for clinical trials. With numerous delegates in attendance, the roundtables drew to a close a highly successful conference.