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home > > spring 2004 > 21st century, in cns, oncology and hiv clinical trials: current trends and future prospects
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21st Century, in CNS, Oncology and HIV Clinical Trials: Current Trends and Future Prospects

Canvas opinion around the medical and scientific communities as to the therapeutic areas presenting the greatest challenges for the pharmaceutical industry in the 21st Century, and the chances are that CNS disease (a term covering a broad spectrum of pathologies), oncology and HIV infection will be at the top of many people's lists. Whilst some significant advances have occurred in these therapeutic areas over the last decade, the continuing morbidity and mortality associated with a diagnosis in these areas confirms the need for new therapies.

Over the last decade the explosion of biotechnology has provided a barrage of new targets and technologies. Completion of the human genome project should only accelerate this in the future. This has placed an increasing burden on the clinical development process, with more complex and costly trials, and the need to validate new endpoints. Companies need to look continually for more efficient and effective methodologies in order to select only the most promising candidates to take into the clinic to maximise their return on investment. In this article we will highlight some of the challenges facing decision-makers as they plan clinical trial programmes in these areas, and the prospects for future therapeutic advances.


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By Phil Collis, VP Scientific Affairs and Professor Gordon McVie, Oncology Advisor at Inveresk

Phil Collis has been Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Global Clinical at Inveresk Research in North Carolina since October 2003. He is principally responsible for international strategic client liaison and consulting on clinical development plans, regulatory strategy and feasibility analysis. Prior to this, he was Director, and then Vice President of International Operations for PharmaResearch Corporation in the UK. He has also worked as a Principal Clinical Research Scientist, Senior Clinical Research Scientist and Clinical Research Scientist for Glaxo Wellcome Research and Development. Phil gained his PhD in Molecular Genetics and also studied for his BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry at the University of London. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Science and a Member of the Institute for Clinical Research (ICR), the International AIDS Society, British HIV Association and the Drug Industry Association (DIA).

Professor Gordon McVie MD, FRCP, FRCPS, FRCSE, FMedSci, DSc(Hon) is widely regarded as a leading international authority in the research and treatment of cancer. He is currently Director of Cancer Intelligence, an advisory body to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, investors, the media and cancer patients. He is a Visiting Professor at Glasgow University, Scotland; honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at the Welsh Cancer Institute, Cardiff; Clinical Research Director at the European Institute of Oncology, Milan; and Oncology Advisor to Inveresk. Previously Professor McVie was Chief Executive of the Cancer Research Campaign (CRC). He has authored almost 300 peer-reviewed articles, contributed to over 35 books and is currently European Editor for the US Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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Phil Collis
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Gordon McVie
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