AstraZeneca recognised for clinical research excellence

Pharmaceutical firm is one of the winners in the US Clinical Researcher of the Year competition

AstraZeneca was named top clinical research team in the US Clinical Researcher of the Year competition, hosted by fellow pharmaceutical company Shire. The competition focuses on a range of competencies including innovation, collaboration, leadership, compliance and oversight to determine the industry's finest researchers.

Increasing pressures on clinical research and a recent spate of US FDA 483s focused the finals on compliance and oversight and the finalists were presented with a scenario where they had to navigate an FDA 483 and take appropriate action.

The competition was judged by 26 senior clinical heads from companies including Pfizer, Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, sanofi-aventis and GSK, with additional judges drawn from leading contract research organisations.

PRA International’s Jo West, based in North Carolina, won the Clinical Research Assistant (CRA) category, competing with more than 250 other contestants in a rigorous three-stage process that included an interview/presentation conducted at the finals event.

Benchmark Research took the honours in the Study Site category, while i3 won the Trial Manager category for the second year in succession.

Fifty-three finalists were identified from a pool of more than 100,000 researchers in the US based on a series of filters, including knowledge of IHC/GCP and a 1,000-word response to a case study. Up to 10 finalists in each of the competition streams were invited to compete at the finals day.

Sean Morgan-Jones, a director of UK-based publisher, PharmaTimes and the organiser of the competition, said: ‘Clinical research is facing numerous challenges in an ever more competitive and regulated environment. Organisations are striving to achieve efficiencies by delivering more for less while maintaining quality standards. The US Researcher of the Year competition is a superb exemplar of what can be achieved through collaboration and working together towards a common goal.’

Morgan-Jones worked closely with the finalists and said: ‘They are an inspiration in that they have demonstrated great leadership in having the courage to come forward and participate – they are to be congratulated because these are the qualities that will take clinical research forwards in the future.’

The US Clinical Researcher of the Year 2012 competition is now open for entry.