Vial adds cancer expert to scientific panel as CRO expands oncology trial offering

San Francisco-based CRO Vial has beefed up its oncology expertise by adding cancer physician Neeraj Agarwal, M.D., to its scientific advisory board.

Vial announced the appointment earlier this month, predicting that Agarwal’s genitourinary cancer expertise and experience conducting multiple clinical trials would be an asset. The firm wrote that it “is thrilled to work with brilliant minds like Dr. Agarwal, who welcome a new approach to clinical trials.”

Agarwal was equally enthusiastic about the appointment, explaining that he will work to make cancer drug trials run by Vial more efficient.

“Over the last two decades, the entire process of conducting clinical trials has exponentially grown cumbersome,” Agarwal said in a statement. “It is critical for this process to become more efficient to improve administrative work for the investigating teams, make it easier for our patients to enroll, improve the accrual timeline, and expedite and decrease the cost of drug development.”

Agarwal is currently senior director of clinical research innovation at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah as well as a consultant to the FDA’s Oncology Drug Advisory Committee. He also leads early therapeutics in the SWOG Cancer Research Network’s genitourinary cancers committee.

His role at Vial will see Agarwal provide advice for the company’s oncology CRO business, which launched in June to run in parallel to the dermatology and ophthalmology units the firm set up earlier in the year.

Agarwal will work with existing advisers Guru Sonpavde, M.D., Arati Rao, M.D., and Antoni Ribas, M.D., who joined Vial’s scientific board in June and July.

The expansion of Vial’s scientific board coincides with launch of the latest version of Vial’s clinical trial management system, VialConnect. The new iteration of the software platform is designed to facilitate faster patient screening and recruitment by allowing clinics to identify prospective trial participants.