Accelerated Enrollment Solutions (AES), a business of PPD, Inc. (PPD), has launched a program to help biopharmaceutical companies maintain business continuity during the global COVID-19 pandemic by transferring clinical trial patients to AES’ dedicated research sites from other research facilities impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
As academic and hospital-based sites turn their attention to the front-line care of COVID-19 patients, and as independent sites experience diminished operating capacity related to COVID-19 concerns, biopharmaceutical companies face the prospect of delaying or canceling clinical trials of a wide variety of potential new medicines and ending patient participation in those trials. AES’ patient-transfer program is designed to address this issue through its global site organization, which includes dedicated research sites committed exclusively to clinical research.
“The transfer of patients to AES physical and virtual sites supports ongoing patient participation and allows for the continued collection of data for important trials supporting potentially life-changing therapies that aren’t necessarily connected to COVID-19,” said Roger Smith, general manager of AES. “As staff members from other sites are being called to support COVID-19 endeavors, this is a way for us to help their trial patients and support clinical research continuity, in addition to our organization’s ongoing work with our customers’ COVID-19 research. There is precedent for these transfers during normal operating conditions, and we believe the current pandemic will dramatically accelerate the need for solutions to support patients who are currently receiving investigational products and wish to maintain their participation status.”
With more than 180 research locations in 17 countries, AES has a broad global footprint that can support the transfer of patients, which ultimately depends on the sites’ proximity to the patients and their ability to support the trial protocol.
AES sites are operating under governments’ essential-business provisions and following official public health recommendations, including from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, AES is following COVID-19-related guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency to accommodate the transfer of patients between study sites.