Collaboration with a Commercial Healthcare CRO service provider has many advantages. It is critical, however, to find a good fit. To find a good fit, emerging device entities need to evaluate partners based on accepted best practices to ensure a productive and mutually beneficial outcome of proposed projects. Some of these best practices are listed below.
Excellent track record
A company with a successful track record in collaboration is a better choice than a company that does not. A careful analysis of case studies of previous engagements is one way to evaluate a CRO, specifically emphasizing project similar to those you wish to pursue. Companies with good track records will also have a good reputation in the industry, and will be actively engaged in their markets (attending tradeshows or conferences, routinely giving talks, and teaching on their know-how, for example).
Commercial Healthcare capability
Commercial Healthcare capability and a senior CRO team, supplemented by a proven budget controlling system, are all important factors when choosing a CRO. The objective of hiring a CRO with commercial healthcare capability is faster time to market—from idea through regulatory approval to revenue. It is also important to note that you should not see each other´s commercial capability or regulatory/quality/clinical team as competition, but as a resource to make the best choices to the development at hand.
Many emerging device entities, when seeking a CRO, are narrowly focused. They identify service needs, and seek a CRO that can provide them just these specific service needs. However, it has been confirmed that studying a challenge from many perspectives and through a multidisciplinary team yields the best results.
Ability to adapt
For a constructive collaboration, projects should have clear, precise, and measurable outcomes. This can be done phase-by-phase with specific milestones clearly known at finite periods of time. However, this does not mean the relationship has to be inflexible. Flexibility is important when unexpected outcomes arise. A CRO should be able to adapt to new directions as process is achieved, and should be open to revisit and rewrite objectives if the need arises.
The human aspect of collaboration is often neglected but should be an important factor when making a decision about potential CRO. Communication between individuals is key, as people need to talk to each other and not past each other. An open, honest engagement occurs when both companies are seeking the same goal and recognizing that neither company is going to succeed alone. It needs to be a true collaborative effort by all individuals in the team. Finding a CRO who has experience working with different client cultures is a plus.