The Association of International Clinical Research Organizations (AICROS) is a network of small to mid-size CROs, which provide clinical research services to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industries. Biomapas joined AICROS in 2014 and since then has been an active member of the association. On the 20-22 February, Biomapas’ CEO Audrius Sveikata participated in the AICROS Annual meeting, which took place in Tel Aviv, Israel. Audrius shared his insights about the meeting and the future perspectives of the association.
Audrius Sveikata, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer
What are the main goals and activities of AICROS and why Biomapas decided to become an official member of this association back in 2014?
A.S. The initial goal of the association was to unite the similar size and approach CROs. This provides high quality clinical research services and has a long-lasting experience in the field as well as the local know-how. From first sight it might look strange, that competitive companies decided to create an association and to work together. However, it should be noted that all member CROs are different in terms of geographical coverage and from this perspective there is no overlap. This leaves no space for any competition between members and allows us to manage large scale clinical studies together with other AICROS members. This would be impossible for a local or regional CRO to handle on its own. We believed in this idea from the beginning and therefore, decided to become a member of the association.
How is the association organized and what benefits does such membership bring to Biomapas?
A.S. AICROS at the moment unites 8 member CROs. Each member has some specific functions assigned and belongs to a sub-group within the association. This allows us to organize mutual activities together more efficiently. We organize quarterly teleconferences during which we discuss ongoing matters, upcoming projects and other aspects related to the association. The AICROS Annual meeting is hosted each year by a different member. Member CROs that are involved in clinical trials together communicate on an ongoing basis separately in regards to project related matters.
Talking about the benefits that we as a CRO get from AICROS is for sure broader capabilities. Being a member of association allows us to propose to our clients a much broader geographical coverage for their clinical development projects, knowing that we have a trusted partner in the region or country, in which we do not have our own people or presence. Such alliance also brings new business and new clients to the company, which is one of the key factors for every new member to join AICROS. Moreover, during our quarterly TCs or annual meetings we exchange industry updates and recent company experiences in the field, which allow each member to gain valuable experience and to evolve.
AICROS Annual Meeting in Tel Aviv
Could you share some insights on the recent AICROS Annual Meeting? What were the main key points for discussion between members?
A.S. AICROS is a young, but steadily growing association, so there are always many things to discuss. Every year some new members join AICROS, therefore during the annual meeting we get a chance to meet their delegates face-to-face and to get to know their companies better. This was also the case this year. We also perform an overview of the year in terms of finances, business development and marketing activities, mutually executed projects. Members also analyze success stories as well as the issues that occurred during the year in order to improve both our services and mutual cooperation of members.
An interesting part this year was external meetings with current and potential clients, which are based in Israel. We had one meeting with an Israeli medical device company, which currently runs a clinical study managed by AICROS. It was a very productive meeting for the members involved in the study, during which we were able to get feedback from the sponsor not only about our part of the study, but about AICROS’ performance as a whole. Hearing very positive comments gives huge motivation to each member CRO and proves that the idea of AICROS works in real life.
What are the future outlook for AICROS? What is Biomapas’ vision in this association?
A.S. Personally, I really believe in AICROS’ potential and I think that the association will continue to grow and become a unique niche solution for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industry to run their multinational studies. There are no plans to become an organization similar to a global CRO, but instead to use the local know-how and flexibility of each member, providing high quality clinical research services worldwide. I would like to see Biomapas even more actively involved in the activities of AICROS in order for both organizations to benefit from each other and to evolve together.
Thank you for an interesting conversation.
For more information about AICROS please visit www.aicros.com