You might know Optimal Clinical Trials for the various clinical trials we run, but have you ever wondered who the companies we work with are, or how the trials work out in the end?
Many of the organisations we work with are globally-renowned pharmaceutical companies - such as Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and GSK. These global organisations run trials around the world as part of the regulatory research and development process to get new medicines approved. Pharmaceutical companies look for partners (like us) to run the trials needed to make new medicines available to all. These trials provide both incremental and life-saving treatments which benefit us all.
While we participate in many international trials, we also assist with New Zealand-led trials too - and the results we have gained have changed people’s lives. As just one example, an asthma study led by one of our research colleagues changed the accepted guidelines for the treatment of asthma around the world leading to better outcomes for asthma patients globally.
We also work with a number of biotech companies. These tend to be smaller companies who specialise in the development of new high-tech medicines. The key difference between biotech and pharmaceutical companies is that biotech companies use live organisms for their products, such as bacteria or enzymes, whereas pharmaceutical companies generally have a chemical basis.
And of course over the last year, with the spotlight on the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine, more biotech companies are hitting the news. Novavax is one such company. An exciting trial we were involved in with Novavax was a maternal vaccination for a respiratory virus, which helped reduce the number of hospitalisations for severe respiratory illness in newborns as a result.
We have also been involved in successful trials for a number of natural therapies, including some of New Zealand’s leading honey producers.
As you may know, at Optimal our aim is to discover better, more efficient, more accessible treatments for people the world over. Our ability to work with a range of highly respected companies (from the largest to the smallest) allows us to play a role in helping find treatments that could benefit each one of us, our children and many generations to come.
And for a fascinating fact, did you know on average it takes ten years for a new medicine to get approved? The clinical trial segment alone takes an average of six to seven years!