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Changing the Shape of Clinical Trials – Interview for FOKUS R&D

Cerba Research is the Belgian division of the French Group Cerba Healthcare. The company facilitates clinical studies and lab tests, and supports the entire logistics chain. What are the developments in this market and what does the future bring? CIO Peter Vermeylen and Lab Manager Joachim Vandroemme explain in this interview for De Standaard FOKUS R&D.

Note: this article has been translated into English. The original Dutch version can be read here.

The Immense Potential of Africa’s Advantageous Landscape

Whilst not ordinarily making the shortlist for trials in the past, Africa is an emerging as a continent based on its size, demographics, level of economic growth, and desire to improve healthcare and life expectancy. Today, Africa represents over 1.34 billion people and it is expected to surpass two billion people by 2038 and 2.5 billion by 2050. Accounting for over 17% of the global population, representing a diverse population, and carrying the highest disease burden in the world at around 25%, the African continent offers many of the best conditions for conducting clinical trials. Importantly, several diseases – particularly those defined as neglected and tropical – are endemic to the developing world, which includes Africa. Despite all these advantages, Africa contributes to less than 2% of the number of clinical trials.

Africa’s virtual absence from the clinical trials map poses a big problem. The continent displays an incredible amount of genetic diversity. If this diversity is not well represented in clinical trials, the trial findings cannot be generalised to large populations. Genetic analyses have clearly demonstrated that ethnic groups show variable results to various treatments, hence it is imperative to conduct clinical trials in Africa, as Africa suffers more than any other continent from diseases linked to poverty, and the interventions mainly used to cure or treat these diseases from which Africans suffer are designed elsewhere.

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Trial by Ordeal of Unprecedented Global Pandemic

Our CEO, Mario Papillon, was interviewed by Clinical Trials Insight on how Cerba Research helps clients receive novel treatments faster, and how our key differentiators have helped us in the fight against COVID-19.

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Covid-19 and its Ripple Effect on Clinical Trials

Our team came together to write an article on Covid-19 and its ripple effect on clinical trials for the Journal for Clinical Studies. Sofie Vandevyver, Daniel Tanner and Mario Papillon discussed the challenges Covid-19 revealed in clinical trials, the overwhelming amount of different assays for the detection of Covid-19 and which ones to use in clinical studies, and what the future of clinical trials might look like.

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