Jose Luis Torres
Associate Director of Clinical Operations
Syneos Health
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View from the Top

Mexico a Potential Hub for Clinical Trials

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 08/18/2020 - 11:32

Q: Why is Syneos Health’s model the best in the contract research market?

A: Globally, we are one of the largest Contract Research Organizations (CROs) serving the clinical trial market and largest Contract Commercial Organization (CCO) in the world.  By bringing together these end-to-end services, we are able to help clients deliver desired results “from lab, to life,” as our motto says. This end-to-end expertise allows us to build efficient and effective solutions the reduce time for clinical trials and optimize a product’s launch and commercial success.

Q: How has Syneos Health’s model worked in the Mexican market?

A: As part of ACROM, we have worked to raise awareness about clinical trials, mostly among patients. We work on multinational trials, which allows us to consider Mexican patients for those innovative treatments. Most of these trials are focused on oncology but we also cover other diseases such as immunology or rheumatoid arthritis. Syneos Health has focused on showing authorities the benefits of participating in these initiatives to access treatments that for many patients are unreachable. Besides, participants can potentially benefit from the trial. We have seen people improve and even cured of their disease. Socially, this is a very fulfilling process. Economically speaking, clinical trials incentivize foreign investment. They also generate employment for doctors, nurses, radiologists, laboratories and pharmacies, among others.

However, Mexico still faces the challenge of limited patient participation because clinical trials are wrongly stigmatized. I think that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people will have a true understanding of clinical trials and their reach: these trials can lead to the discovery of cures. People in Mexico and Latin America are also close to their family doctor and would trust them if the doctor encouraged participation in these trials.

Q: What role does Mexico play in the company’s global strategy?

A: We have a strong number of trials in the country already. Our goal right now is to diversify into different therapeutic areas. Commercially, it is important to balance our participation in more profitable projects. However, we are in a good position to encourage our headquarters to invest in trials that could target Mexico’s needs. This is key to our services and will help the country to better position as an attractive destination for clinical trials.

Q: How has Mexico received your biosimilar solutions?

A: The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly betting on biosimilars. These products have strong benefits that can reach many more patients. Market and patient interests play a crucial role in the adoption of biosimilars but I think that many multinational companies are now understanding the importance of supporting biosimilars as they mean greater access to competitive options. Patent development is still the strongest bet but the opportunities related to biosimilars can no longer be denied.

Q: What have been the particular needs of your clients in Mexico?

A: Mexico and Brazil have the largest number of running clinical trials. Mexico, given the type and size of its population, is very attractive to multinational companies, especially for Phase II and Phase III of clinical research. Mexico’s strong epidemiological profile makes the country an attractive hub for research, although that also speaks very negatively about the country’s healthcare habits.

Q: How does Syneos Health take advantage of technological tools to enhance its practices?

A: Syneos Health has used Big Data tools for years now. Our case report forms have been digital for at least 15 years and this has enabled the company to monitor capabilities with increased reliability, allowing us to take quick action regarding any red flags that can lead to mistakes in our processes.

Moreover, Syneos Health has developed an alternative risk-based monitoring system. This is a more integral tool that can help determine trends from captured data. Monitoring has shifted to a remote practice. Presential visits to the hospital are decreasing and will be necessary just in particular cases. Our model also allows quicker information updating, which is more practical for clients and useful for the medical staff that has do to it. It also enables them to control and ensure availability of information.

Q: How has Syneos Health adapted its services during the COVID-19 outbreak in Mexico?

A: First, the company ensured the safety of our staff, our customers, patients and communities.   We remained intensely focus on ensuring clinical trials proceed, when possible, and that site staff are patients are safe and in compliance with governmental policies.  This includes providing guidance for risk-based and remote monitoring in high-impact/restricted regions.  Teams across the business quickly pivoted to provide virtual engagement, for example, we would also make presential visits to the patients to ensure continuity of the trial. We continue to collaborate with our customers as they look ahead to reactivation to develop approaches that put safety first

Q: What are the short-term goals for Syneos Health in Mexico?

A: Our aim is to continue to grow our footprint in Mexico, through our quality, work and commitment to patients at a global level. Syneos Health Mexico has a local outsourcing division to offer clients highly qualified staff to work with them during the trials. This provides them a better understanding of the process. This service has been growing smoothly in Mexico and we hope that continues.  At the heart of it all, aim to reach more patients with therapies – whether it be through our work with ACROM or the work we do with customers each day, it’s all about impacting patient lives.

 

Syneos Health is an integrated end-to-end biopharmaceutical solutions organization, providing comprehensive clinical and commercial solutions to customers of all sizes. The company is purpose-built to create better, smarter and faster ways to help clients navigate an increasingly complex marketplace

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst