Icon dives into adaptive trial monitoring

The FDA is encouraging drugmakers to embrace new methods of monitoring for clinical trials, and Icon ($ICLR) is betting its latest offering can streamline how sponsors deal with study sites and save money in the process.

The Irish CRO is rolling out its Iconik Monitoring service, which pulls together real-time data on trial risks and results to help sponsors best direct their time and resources. The platform falls in line with both FDA and EMA guidances on risk-based monitoring, according to the company, and it meets the standards set by Big Pharma supergroup TransCelerate BioPharma.

"Iconik Monitoring enables us to rapidly identify and resolve site-related issues and achieve a higher level of process and data consistency across sites," Icon Executive Vice President Nuala Murphy said in a statement. "By ensuring more effective use of site visits, Iconik Monitoring can also reduce study costs, and in some large studies these savings can be as high as 15% to 25% of the overall cost of the study."

Icon is hardly the only outfit touting the benefits of risk-based site monitoring, but while drug developers the world over are warming up to the concept, executing it on a large scale requires a fairly hefty up-front cost to acquire the necessary technology. That's where CROs come in, and Icon's launch of a risk-based service puts it among giants like Quintiles ($Q), INC Research and PRA, all of which offer adaptive trial-management platforms.

Last quarter, Icon hauled in $334 million in revenue, contributing to $22.5 million in net profit, nearly three times the $7.9 million the CRO cleared in the same period last year. The company raised its full-year sales projection, now expecting up to 17.9% annual growth for 2013, good for as much as $1.32 billion after 2012's $1.12 billion.

- read the announcement

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