Irish contract research organisation (CRO) ICON has started its 100th trial using electronic data capture (EDC) technology.

Reaching this milestone is “a further indication that the adoption of eClinical strategies within clinical research is gaining significant momentum,” commented the CRO, which has also announced the appointment of Deborah Holmes as its global EDC champion. The new role will involve “an innovative, cross-functional approach to increase efficiencies in EDC implementation,” said ICON.

The CRO recently signed a multi-year enterprise agreement with US-based EDC specialist Phase Forward, building on a previous partnership that gave ICON and its clients access to Phase Forward’s InForm integrated trial management system. ICON also has a preferred provider relationship with US company Medidata Solutions for the latter’s Rave EDC platform.

Potential for cost reduction

Last year Tom O’Leary, vice-president, data management EU and RoW for ICON Clinical Research, said EDC technology had “the greatest single potential to reduce the cost of clinical development.”

According to Holmes, EDC has been an option in clinical research for more than 15 years but “several initiatives in the industry resulted in little change in attitudes within the research community.” Over the past two years, however, the technology has “finally started to be embraced by sponsors,” she added.

ICON’s strategy, the CRO explained, is to maximise use of the latest technology to help clients boost efficiency, while also maintaining the operational flexibility “to be able to provide Data Management solutions in whichever manner is appropriate to a specific study.”