The Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS), the trade group launched last year in the US to represent research sites worldwide, has formed a “strategic alliance” with Dr Luis Augusto Russo, president of the Brazilian Society of Investigators.

The aim of the collaboration is to “work toward fulfilling SCRS’s mission of providing a voice to clinical-trial sites across the globe while ensuring the Latin American sites have all the benefits SCRS has to offer”, the US-based group says.  

Russo has accepted a position on SCRS’s global committee representing Latin America. He will also be at the Society’s annual meeting, the Site Solutions Summit, where Russo will take part in a session discussing the differences faced by sites when conducting clinical research in a global environment.  

The Society for Clinical Research Sites, which was unveiled at the 7th Annual Site Solutions Summit in Florida, US, was the brainchild of its president Christine Pierre. She is also founder of the Summit as well as founder, president and chief executive officer of RxTrials, a Maryland-based investigative site network.

300 members

All 300 members of the Brazilian Society of Investigators will now get the benefits of SCRS membership, bringing the total number of sites represented by SCRS to 1,300 in 12 countries.

In addition, the SCRS plans to host a Latin American Site Solutions Summit in 2014 along with the Brazilian Society of Investigators.

The Brazilian Society started up in 2007. Its members are largely principal investigators and owners of private research sites across Latin America.

Challenging environment

As Russo explains, there are substantial opportunities for clinical trials in Latin America.

The region encompasses 21 countries and a combined population of 590 million, many of whom are treatment-naïve. Moreover, there are only two primary languages to negotiate: Spanish and Portuguese.  

Nevertheless, the regulatory environment for sites is challenging and their concerns need airing more widely, Russo said.   

“SCRS stands out as a good platform for us to discuss these issues as sponsors, CROs [contract research organisations] and other stakeholders, as well as sites, are all members,” he commented.