Metrics Development

March 31, 2011
Tim Denman

Applied Clinical Trials

Benchmarking is an important aspect of any business, and the clinical trial industry is no exception.

On Wednesday morning, the Metrics Champion Consortium hosted a workshop entitled “MCC Clinical Trial Performance Metrics—Improve Timelines, Cost, and Quality to Enhance CRO and Sponsor Performance in Clinical Outsourcing Collaborations.”

The workshop faculty featured:

· Guy Mascaro, President, Metrics Champion Consortium
· Nagaraja Srivatsan, Senior Vice President, Head of Life Sciences North America, Cognizant
· Krishnan Rajagopalan, PhD, Global Head of Life Sciences BPO, Cognizant
· David Zuckerman, President, Customized Improvement Strategies, LLC
· Amanda Sax, Senior Director, Clinical Data Management, Astrazeneca

The focus of the workshop was MCC’s clinical trial performance metrics blinded database initiative. The database is designed as a way for CROs and pharmaceutical, biotech, and device companies to compare themselves and their work to others in the industry through the use of 43 different metrics. The organization has attempted to develop bilateral metrics—metrics that take into consideration both sides of the equation between two partners.

“Our goal was to develop standardized performance metrics that both sets of organizations can agree to, drive towards, and focus on,” Mascaro said during an interview with Applied Clinical Trials. “We want to deliver the kinds of results and information that both organizations need to optimize the way they work together to improve efficiencies, cost effectiveness, and all those wonderful things necessary for a clinical trial or a series of clinical trials.”

The MCC’s goal is to provide a place for its members to consistently update and review benchmarking metrics in real time. The first step towards completing its goal and going live with the project will occur in June when a finished concept, featuring dummy data, is released for review. Following the mid-year test, the organization will develop a pilot program among a handful of large to mid-sized biotech companies and CROs for the first round of the blinded database pilot program, complete with real data. The MCC is hopeful to have a working database with up to 10 members by the end of the year. Over the next few years the database will continue to grow and improvements will be made to its functionality.

Once the database is up and running “companies would probably look at the data on a quarterly basis,” Mascaro said. “Compare that to what they do now, which is historically on an annual basis. Even then they are only reviewing their own database.

“We are attempting to take something that is very complex and provide a framework by which there can be a great understanding and a great effort towards working together as partners.”

During the workshop, Mascaro gave an update on the database’s development; Srivatsan and Rajagopalan discussed the use of data from an analytical standpoint; and Sax presented a case study on how the use of data can improve efficiencies and drive effectiveness.

 

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