SynteractHCR taps Novella executive Frank Santoro as CMO

Frank Santoro, M.D., previously Novella Clinical's CMO, was named SynteractHCR's CMO.

Less than a month after welcoming PRA Health Sciences alum Steve Powell as its new CEO, SynteractHCR has tapped Frank Santoro, M.D., most recently Novella Clinical’s CMO, as its CMO.

With more than 30 years of experience, Santoro has served as project physician for numerous studies and has directed project team activities for research programs of all phases in different therapeutic areas, mostly in oncology.

Santoro spent the past 9 years on the Novella job, during which time he witnessed its 2013 takeover by Quintiles (now QuintilesIMS). That deal didn’t bring much change to his responsibilities, and Novella is still operating as a standalone CRO focused on small- to mid-sized oncology customers, as well as on medical device and dermatology studies.

Before a short stint as VP of clinical development and medical affairs with fellow oncology-focused company Protherics—until right before it was acquired by BTG in December 2008—Santoro had worked in the CRO industry for about 17 years. He developed medical and clinical research capabilities at such companies as Covance and Kendle, which was acquired by INC Research in 2011.

Because SynteractHCR also offers a wide range of clinical services on oncology study, Santoro’s previous experience with Novella could come in handy. Besides that, Santoro told FierceCRO that he will continue to build out the infrastructure and framework to further expand the CRO’s medical and scientific capabilities.

“The company has been a full-service international CRO for nearly three decades and has notable depth in oncology, immunotherapy, CNS, and infectious disease, among other areas,” Santoro said. “I am looking to further innovate and drive continued improvement in these areas, as well as in new areas of growth such as personalized medicine, gene and cell therapy and others as they evolve in the next decade.”

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When asked about his plan for incorporating novel data and digital technologies in clinical research—an area SynteractHCR’s new CEO Powell has expertise in—Santoro said the medical team will “undoubtedly look at where novel digital technologies can advance our ability to provide enhanced medical/safety capability.”

He said the ability to monitor patients in real time is of special interest, and so is the collection and analysis of data that will allow physicians to provide quicker, more informed input on issues such as patient study eligibility, dose escalation decisions, endpoint determination and adaptive study design considerations.