home > epc > autumn 2014 > gaining access
European Pharmaceutical Contractor

Gaining Access

: What was your entry point into the pharmaceutical industry?

Hunter Walker: My first job out of college in 2000 was with PRA (now PRA Health Sciences), a large CRO. Specifically, I supported regional clinical research associates for a Phase 3 Avastin trial.

About a year later, I started creating Microsoft Access databases to help manage several studies within the Clinical Operations department – essentially, these were small-sized clinical trial management systems (CTMS).

How has your role changed over the last few years?

As Atlantic Research Group has expanded its service offerings, we have required more systems to manage them. In the beginning, I would be the main point of contact for a given system’s administration. Now I focus on how we can better utilise the data stored in our various systems, in order to run trials more effectively.

Tell us more about your company’s mission.

We strive to provide small biopharma companies with the same technologies that large CROs are offering, along with the clinical expertise needed to fully utilise them.

What are the major recent developments in your field?

The huge jump in cloud-based service offerings, combined with the ability to provide valuable insights via analytics and collaborate on the findings. We have utilised cloud-based systems since 2004, but back then we had to explain the concept to virtually every new client. Today, the fact that a sponsor’s data is not stored at our physical location is no longer an issue.

How should pharma companies go about improving their data management systems?

By handling changes more rapidly and gracefully. Implementing a change for a study build within some systems takes a huge amount of time and effort. Our studies are built with electronic data capture systems that do not require a developer to code new fields, case report forms or edit checks. This type of drag-and-drop configuration greatly streamlines the change control process so we can promptly deploy changes, planned or otherwise.

What are the unique opportunities that cloudbased platforms offer?

Added security and easy deployment. I am not an expert on network or system security, nor do I have the resources to continuously monitor our system for vulnerabilities as software updates are installed. With no hardware on site, distributing access to users only requires an invitation to be sent to their email address.

You recently partnered with Comprehend – why did the collaboration come about?

An increasing number of our sponsor customers are struggling to access and integrate siloed data – data that is locked away in disparate systems and databases, and not easily accessible to all key stakeholders. Comprehend takes what is typically a very cumbersome and expensive process of providing valuable insights, and makes it fast and easy for sponsors to examine their data.

In your opinion, what is the secret to success in this industry?

Today, better data management and analytics is key. We need to move beyond warehouses that keep data locked away and departmentalised. By finding an effective way to make data accessible and usable, drug and device developers will have a significant advantage. To be competitive in this market, sponsors need to be able to leverage their biggest asset – data.

What is the one area for investment that holds the most potential in the next year?

Providing valuable analytics so that sponsors can gain insights into their clinical, operational and safety data via a cloud-based management solution will continue to be an area of interest. I think we have made real progress in this area over the last few years, but there are tremendous possibilities beyond what we have in place. As a CRO, providing a value-added analytics service is no longer a bonus, but a business imperative.

Read full article from PDF >>

Rate this article You must be a member of the site to make a vote.  
Average rating:

There are no comments in regards to this article.

Hunter Walker is Atlantic Research Group’s Chief Technology Officer, responsible for all clinical data management, safety, and data integration and analytics systems. He is the primary architect of TrialVista®, a proprietary CTMS that tracks, measures and reports on all clinical trial aspects.
Hunter Walker
Print this page
Send to a friend
Privacy statement
News and Press Releases

Signant Health finds growing eConsent adoption forecasts and the importance of eClinical integration in latest “State of eConsent” survey

PHILADELPHIA, PA – January 16, 2020: Signant Health, released the findings from its latest “State of eConsent” report today, highlighting the sentiments, successes, and challenges of eConsent practitioners around the world. Join Signant Health’s webinar on February 12, 2020 at 11am ET or 3pm ET to learn more about the findings.
More info >>

White Papers

Mauritius Island – An Emerging Centre for R&D in Biotechnology and the Life Sciences

CIDP (Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique)

Mauritius, the tropical island situated in the Indian Ocean and known worldwide for its beautiful beaches, is also internationally recognised for its rule of law, and political and social stability. Over the past few years, the economy has been successfully transitioned from a monocrop to a diversified innovation-driven and knowledge-based economy, resting on agribusiness, export-oriented manufacturing, tourism, financial services, property development and real estate, ICT-BPO, the seafood industry, a free port, logistics and a nascent ocean economy. Emerging sectors such as healthcare and life sciences are presenting some niche areas for the taking, and the enabling environment is being put in place to make it happen - especially in the light of sustained growth within pharmaceutical, medical device, and clinical research. Important international players are already in operation locally as the country has established the appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks based on international norms, for the development of a strong biomedical research sector.
More info >>

Industry Events

2020 Avoca Quality and Innovation Summit

3-4 June 2020, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The 2020 Avoca Quality and Innovation Summit will take place 3-4 June 2020, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
More info >>



©2000-2011 Samedan Ltd.
Add to favourites

Print this page

Send to a friend
Privacy statement