Novartis Pharmaceuticals was announced winner of the overall prizefor PharmaTimes Clinical Company of the Year at an awards ceremony incentral London on February 16.

The competition was created in1999 to provide pharma companies, clinical research organisations andNHS research sites with an opportunity to test their professional skillsin a programme of competency-based exercises developed through across-industry collaboration.

A total of 270 clinical researchersand 41 NHS research sites entered the competition in February 2011 andwere filtered through a number of exercises to identify the topindividuals, teams and organisations, with the overarching aim ofproviding development for the individuals who enter combined withorganisational and industry benchmarking for the clinical researchfraternity as a whole.

Representing the organisers of thecompetition, PharmaTimes, Sean Morgan-Jones commented: “Clinicalresearch is under enormous pressure at the moment with escalating costsof doing research, combined with ever tougher regulatory hurdles andincreasing downward pressure from governments on the costs ofhealthcare. The theme for the competition in 2011 was around doing morewith fewer resources while maintaining total focus on patients and thequality of outputs.

"Everyone who progressed through thecompetition and particularly the finalists and winners should feel veryproud of their achievement. These people represent the future ofclinical research and so should be applauded by their colleagues, thecompanies that have nurtured and developed this talent and the widerclinical community,” Mr Morgan-Jones added.

Joining Novartis on the winner’s podium were:

NHS Research Site of the Year- The National Institute for Social Care and Health Research ClinicalResearch Centre (Lynette Lane, Wendy Wade, Leanne Quinn, Hayley Tapping)

Clinical Trial Administrator of the Year – Natasha Lee, Boehringer Ingelheim

Clinical Researcher Associate of the Year – Mandeep Budwal, Novartis

CRO Project Manager of the Year – Marina Kiseleva, Covance

Pharma Project Manager of the Year – Ian Gravenor, Novo Nordisk

Line Manager of the Year – Louise Armitage, Quintiles

Clinical Team of the Year – Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (Sameena Amjid, Neil Watson, Nicola Knox, Stuart Meredith)

Inaddition to the Clinical Researcher of the Year announcements, thewinner of the PharmaTimes Clinical Recruiter of the Year was announcedas Andy Wise from Blue Pelican.

The first stage of thecompetition requires entrants to complete an online multiple choicequestionnaires prepared by the Institute of Clinical Research, whichtested technical competence on ICH/GCP - 85% achieved the requiredstandard with the NHS Research Sites performing particularly strongly onthis stage in comparison with previous years.

The second elementof the competition tests entrants on specially created case studieswhere the overall theme was doing more with the same resources, throughgreater efficiency whilst maintaining total focus on quality and patientcare. The top performers at this stage were invited to attendface-to-face interviews with the judging panel at the finals in November2011 with all the results in each of the eight competition categoriesannounced on February 16 to an audience of 300 European researchers.

Morethan 300 entries from 29 countries including the UK, India, Argentina,Indonesia and Brazil, were received for the 2011 competition.PharmaTimes are welcoming registrations of interest for the 2012competition – if you would like to enter or take a closer look at whatis involved, click here.

Formore information about the PharmaTimes Clinical Researcher of the Yearcontact Sean Morgan-Jones ( tel +44(0)20 8878 8566.