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ARCS Australia builds capacity to support clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic

Health Industry Hub | May 6, 2020 |

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the conduct of clinical trials worldwide, including in Australia.

In an interview with Health Industry Hub, Dr Shanny Dyer, CEO of ARCS Australia discussed the impact of the turbulent COVID-19 environment on new and existing clinical trials in Australia, the important support provided by the ARCS Clinical Trials Volunteer Program and the critical role that Pharma, Biotech and MedTech industries can play in continuing clinical trials to bring life-saving treatments to patients.

Interview with Dr Shanny Dyer, CEO of ARCS Australia

ARCS Clinical Trials Volunteer Program

ARCS Australia is calling for volunteers to assist with the support of current clinical trials and any new COVID-19 related trials. In particular, ARCS is looking for non-clinical professionals who can support the administrative aspects of clinical trials and the associated project management.

ARCS Australia has already received over 100 expressions of interest to volunteer. The majority of volunteers are from universities (30%), followed by hospitals, research institutes and industry.

Professor Jennifer Martin, Chair of Clinical Pharmacology and School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle has seen a reallocation of hospital beds and resources during COVID-19 which has paused patient recruitment or resulted in a delay of existing clinical trials where patients would need to come in to hospital to receive their treatment.

“We didn’t have the clinical trial nurses or expert input to help us write the protocol for a new study. Once we were put in touch with ARCS Australia, within a day they said they had volunteers to help us with our trial. We were ecstatic and just delighted,” said Professor Martin.

At the conclusion of her interview Dr Dyer said “Australia is in a unique position in that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst serious, has been well controlled by Government. We are in a very good position to deliver clinical trials in Australia. The key message is that Australia is open for clinical trials ensuring the safety of patients and the staff, and the integrity of the data is maintained. We know clinical trials save lives and are an important part of healthcare services in Australia. Let’s keep working together and keep clinical trials going. We will come out of this bigger and stronger.”

Dr Shanny Dyer (left) and Professor Jennifer Martin (right)

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