ICON Clinical Research named a "top CRO" in 2005 CenterWatch Site Survey

Applied Clinical Trials

Publication cites ICON’s "meteoric rise" and "impressive showing"

Philadelphia, PA, June 13, 2005 -- ICON Clinical Research has registered an impressive showing in the annual survey of US investigative sites conducted by pharmaceutical media company Thomson CenterWatch. The results of the survey, which appeared on the front page of the June 2005 issue of The CenterWatch Monthly, show ICON rated as a "top CRO" on 20 out of 25 site relationship attributes.

This strong performance follows upon the recent results of a 2004 industry survey by investment banking firm William Blair & Company and research firm PharmaMediation, Inc., in which ICON scored among the top three CROs.

CenterWatch labeled ICON's performance "remarkable," citing "spectacular improvement" over the company's rating just two years ago, in a similar survey.

ICON executives attribute the company's strong 2005 performance to management decisions that have led to improved working relationships with sites.

"When it comes to our site relationships, we've worked hard to be a more responsive and professional company," said John Hubbard, Ph.D., president and chief operating officer. "The CenterWatch Survey is proof that our focused effort is paying off. Sites definitely have noticed the improvement, and they're clearly pleased with what we're doing."

The Thomson CenterWatch Survey of investigative sites was conducted in the United States between January and March of 2005. A total of 612 sites responded to the 11-page survey. Fifteen CROs were evaluated, including Covance, Quintiles, Parexel, MDS Pharma, ICON, PPD, PharmaNet/SFBC, Charles River/Inversk, Kendle, Omnicare, Ingenix/I3 and PRA.

Investigators were asked to rate CROs that they have worked with during the past two years on a wide range of attributes and areas of responsibility. They were also asked to provide detailed ratings for the three CROs they work with most frequently. Ratings were compiled on more than 25 relationship attributes including project management, personnel, workstyle, study initiation and ongoing study conduct activities.

"Workstyle" was one area in which ICON scored highest among all CROs. Attributes rated in this category included flexibility on budget and protocol matters, maintaining a supportive culture, and creating a team atmosphere.

Dr. Hubbard shed some light on why the company registered a strong showing in this category.

"We're committed to a continuous improvement process at ICON," he explained. "We regularly survey our sites, pharma and biotech clients to see how we handle issues at the site -- and we act promptly on the feedback."

ICON also scored well in other survey categories, receiving an "excellent" rating in general project management, professionalism, study initiation, ongoing study conduct, and grant payment process.

Summarizing the results of the survey in The CenterWatch Monthly, reporters Paul Dewberry and Sara Gambrill concluded that "ICON's huge gains serve to illustrate that a CRO can improve its relationships with sites dramatically if the task is undertaken seriously and carefully."

ICON is a full-service contract research organization with an unparalleled track record managing Phase I-IV clinical research studies for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device industries. With more than 37 offices in 23 countries and over 2,600 employees worldwide, ICON has the infrastructure necessary to support the many global mega trials it is currently conducting, but remains flexible enough to provide an individual, highly personalized service for locally managed projects. To learn more about ICON, visit www.iconclinical.com.