Gaps in Clinical Trials Portfolio Management

January 28, 2010

Company News Release

Chicago, IL – January 21, 2010 – ClearTrial, a provider of Clinical Trial Operations (CTO) software, announced the results of a research study which assesses shifts in the demands on the portfolio management function at biopharmaceutical companies. The first phase of the two-part study that surveyed senior managers in portfolio management, corporate strategy, and clinical operations is available through the ClearTrial website.

The study, conducted by Insight Pharma Reports on behalf of ClearTrial, revealed the existence of a significant "operational gap" between long-range planning and project-level metrics – a gap that hampers informed decision-making. Fully 76% of survey respondents said they are under increasing pressure to improve portfolio management efficiency, yet 87% of those surveyed complained that they lack visibility to key project-level operational metrics for use in long-range planning and for proactively shifting portfolio direction.

Further defining the challenge the industry faces in long-range planning, two years ago only 7% of respondents had to manage to a 5% acceptable variance on their portfolio budget. Today that number has climbed to 33% of respondents, with 67% now needing to stay within 10% of target.

" You can’t fix what you can’t see," observed ClearTrial CEO Mike Soenen in assessing these findings. "How do companies expect to bring portfolio budgets within 5% or 10% variance if they don't have visibility to the activities that drive that variance? This inability to roll up study-level operational forecasts into the portfolio forecast means that companies are not working with current information -- and will only increase the margin of error in long-range planning."

Key findings from the research study support this contention:

• 64% of respondents lacked confidence in their one-year horizon of project timelines. Yet, meeting timelines was listed as the #1 measurement of portfolio management performance.

• 60% of respondents lacked confidence in their one-year portfolio budgets – yet budget accuracy was listed as the #2 measuring stick for portfolio management performance.

• 57% of respondents lacked confidence in their one-year portfolio capacity forecasts – a critical issue impacting timelines as it becomes ever more challenging to have the right personnel available at the right times during the course of a study.

"Not surprisingly, the majority of those surveyed said that the pressure to improve portfolio efficiencies was increasing, and 90% of them expected that pressure to increase further next year ," added Soenen. "Without the proper processes and systems in place to close this operational gap in portfolio planning, however, the industry will continue to struggle with long-range planning efficiency."

The first part of the research study gathered metrics on the state of current portfolio management practice and challenges. The second phase of the research – scheduled for release in March 2010 – will explore portfolio management best practices that address these challenges.