Clinical trials company urges public to continue involvement in research despite Oxford COVID-19 trial being halted
Responding to the news that the Covid-19 vaccine trial being run by Oxford University in conjunction with AstraZeneca has been halted for a second time, Kate Shaw, CEO of Innovative Trials, a clinical trials patient recruitment company, hoped it would not deter people from participating in clinical trials, either now or in the future.
Shaw said: “I wish the clinical trial participant in question a swift recovery, but it’s important to note that a temporary halt on research is not uncommon and does not automatically mean a medicine is unsafe. Many treatments and vaccines can experience a pause during their development, even ones that are ultimately successful and brought to market.
“This news highlights the need for greater public awareness of what clinical research involves in order to avoid any panic or negative perceptions of research in the face of stories like this. As a company that specialises in clinical trial patient recruitment, we know how important it is for potential trial participants to have access to materials that are created and presented in the right way for them to ensure they understand the content and have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about research. We must go further with this approach and disseminate information more widely to increase understanding amongst the general public.
Shaw added: “We must also remember that we cannot pin all of our hopes onto one trial; no one vaccine will be a 'magic bullet' that will protect all of us from Covid-19. We need research to continue focusing on developing a number of treatments and vaccines. I hope today’s news will not deter individuals from signing up to the NHS’ Covid-19 vaccine research registry to participate in upcoming vaccine trials, particularly people from BAME communities. Patient diversity in clinical trials has long been a challenge for the life sciences sector, but with Covid-19 affecting these populations more seriously than others, it is more important than ever to address this imbalance.”
About Innovative Trials
Founded in 2010, Innovative Trials works alongside pharmaceutical and clinical research organisations to ensure that patients enrol onto clinical trials in a timely manner and are fully informed of what the research will involve for themselves and their families. This enables potential new treatments to come to market as early as possible to provide alternative therapeutic options for present and future patients.
Based in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, Innovative Trials employs around 45 members of staff in the UK. The company works internationally with a further 63 people stationed overseas in 58 countries to help clinical trial researchers recruit eligible patients and keep them involved.
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