Tree with Sunset

Clinical Professional’s Industry Analytic Report: Clinical 2019

The Clinical Professionals group aim to be aware of the latest industry events and news whilst also aspiring to be at the forefront of the latest analytics and reporting. This enables our consultants to provide a concise and quality service for both clients and candidates, whilst helping the industry to evolve as a whole.

Consequently, the Clinical Professionals group has collaborated with Vacancysoft to create monthly reports that provide an in-depth analysis of vacancies across various sectors, countries and companies.

The latest CPIA report features analysis and UK and Europe Clinical vacancy data.

Clinical Professionals Group CEO, Yvette Cleland comments

“Europe is a world leader in the development and running of clinical trials. Over 4,800 UK-EU trials were conducted between 2004 and 2016*. When you consider the huge benefit our citizens in the UK and EU gain in their involvement in clinical trials for patients with, for example, rare disease and the growth and access to paediatric trials, it is no wonder so many people have such grave concerns over the current position we find ourselves in.

We are now running dangerously close to our departure from the EU with absolutely no clarity, which seems in fact, quite unbelievable. The future shaped by Brexit has done nothing but introduce uncertainty over the UK’s future ability to collaborate and engage in European trials and the future of the UK trials space.

Whilst we continue to live with this uncertainty, what is clear is the UK is currently the most popular destination for Phase I trials and runs a close 2nd in Phase II alongside Germany.

Last year saw a vacancy increase of 31% for the UK clinical trial base versus 2017. However, sat beneath this quite impressive growth we see a 45% increase over the same period in the EU27. In August 2018 we saw over 800 open roles across the whole of the EU. Contract Research Organisations (CRO’s) seem to be the beneficiary of the majority of growth at around
63% year on year.

In January 2019 the government provided an update on regulation of clinical trials in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, the commitment was that any new requirements would not be “unduly burdensome”. This is all well and good but the already uncertain period leading up to Brexit (still not defined at going to press on this article) will and has led to investment being removed or delayed in respect of the UK. In particular, delays to the implementation of the EU Clinical Trial Regulation (EU CTR) have resulted in its exclusion from the UK’s European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. The EU CTR is now expected to be implemented in the EU in 2019 although there are some concerns that implementation will be further delayed. The EU CTR has been designed to address existing and future barriers in the conduct of clinical trials in Europe.

As expected the UK clinical trial community played a significant role in the development of the CTR, wishing to be part of the intended improvements from the existing Clinical Trial Directive (CTD). Where the UK is not aligned after Brexit, it may not be able to take advantage of the proposed changes. The UK needs to remain firmly at the forefront of international trials, but Brexit uncertainty presents issues around future regulatory divergence and those risks could greatly compromise the UK. Our hope at this point is the UK takes a proportionate approach to regulation that balances alignment with opportunities, this innovation could help the UK to stay internationally competitive.

There are still great concerns in general around impact on trade, access to new medicines, data, funding and the workforce. Together these factors will influence the competitiveness of the UK to conduct trials. Any additional barriers to conducting trials could be perceived as a deterrent to where they are placed.

There is the potential for the UK’s attractiveness as a hosting country and research partner to be at risk, with negative impacts for patients. We should be exceptionally proud as a nation regarding our expertise in clinical trials and the many benefits gained by our population. Let us hope that the unacceptable behaviours at Westminster soon remedy so the UK does not continue to damage itself and its reputation on a world stage.”

*Source: Cancer Research UK 
Yvette Cleland – CEO | Clinical Professionals Ltd

To view previous editions of our reports you can view them here.