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Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus and IQVIA, the largest Contract Research Organization (CRO) worldwide, have signed a preferential collaboration agreement (Prime Site Agreement), which commits both institutions to work together in conducting clinical trials in a framework of excellence for the benefit of the patient and all related stakeholders. Through this agreement, the first with a hospital in southern Europe and one of the only 16 that have been signed in Europe, IQVIA will offer Vall d'Hebron, as a priority or preferred option, any clinical trial managed by the American company.
During 2017, Vall d'Hebron participated in 1,015 clinical trials. Of these, 115 (about of 11%) were managed by IQVIA, making it the main sponsor of commercial clinical research on the Campus. Among the trials, managed by the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), 61 belonged to the area of Adult Oncology, and the remaining 54 belonged to areas such as Neurology (23), Internal Medicine (14) or Paediatrics (9), among others.
A win-win alliance
Vall d'Hebron has thus consolidated its position as a leading centre for clinical trials, both in terms of the volume and complexity of its design. And the main beneficiaries are patients who will have more opportunities to access therapies and treatments not available until now. But also professionals who acquire knowledge and professional projection. In addition, the Vall d'Hebron Campus increases its visibility, its positioning and, most importantly, its ability to attract talent.
For Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, manager of the Vall d'Hebron Hospital, the agreement means "reinforcing the leadership of the Campus in clinical trials, as well as our alliance with a global giant such as IQVIA".
IQVIA is a Contract Research Organization, a mediating/managing company between pharmaceutical companies and hospitals for the conduct of clinical trials. It works with the major pharmaceutical companies that promote the most advanced, innovative and complex trials. As a result of the merger between IMS Health and Quintiles, IQVIA enables companies to approach clinical development and commercialization from an innovative perspective, as well as accelerate the achievement of significant healthcare results.
According to Laura Sánchez, Senior Director Site Management at IQVIA, "this is an agreement to work together more closely, to collaborate on more studies, to get good data and to get the drugs to patients as soon as possible. This agreement involves the assignment of an IQVIA (Prime Site Manager) manager, dedicated to the hospital one hundred percent".
IQVIA is forming several therapeutic networks to attract more studies to Spain, in which Vall d'Hebron already participates or will participate. These are networks such as the Early Phase Oncology Network, a network in Paediatrics and Rare Diseases, in Alzheimer's Disease, NASH and Ophthalmology and a network in Early Phases in Psychiatry.
"A month ago, we signed the first contract for an academic study with VHIO and, from this promising start, our intention is to create a unit within IQVIA that will allow us to offer the possibility of doing these studies, so important in the development of new drugs, in other therapeutic areas", says Laura Sánchez.
With this agreement, IQVIA can guarantee pharmaceutical companies that clinical trials are carried out in a prestigious centre of reference, with recognised professionals and a consolidated structure for the development of biomedical research.
For Dr. Josep Tabernero, Director of the VHIO, "this strategic alliance between IQVIA and the Campus Vall d'Hebron represents a further advance in the lines of research in Precision Medicine in all areas of Medicine as a continuation of the development we already had in the areas of cancer, especially in the early development of new drugs".
For his part, Dr. Joan Comella, Director of VHIR, states that "bringing the medicine of the future (the use of gene therapy or stem cells, among others), requires alliances between the best".
The will of the Vall d'Hebron Campus goes beyond the signing of this Prime Site Agreement and raises the possibility of exploring other areas of joint work with IQVIA, such as the development of training actions or patronage projects.
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