Last November, Arizona voters resoundingly passed Prop. 303 making it legal in Arizona for companies and physicians to provide terminally ill patients the “right to try” investigational drugs or therapies outside an FDA approved clinical trial. While it sounded good in the short description provided to voters, in reality, it is unlikely to provide the outcomes one might expect since the manufacturers, physicians, pharmacists, and hospitals are required to follow the federal processes that govern these investigational treatments. Proposition 303 did not change that.
What Are Clinical Trials?
The clinical trials process is an important step in the discovery, development and delivery pathway that leads to new life saving and live enhancing innovations. Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for patients. These studies also may show which medical approaches work best for certain illnesses or groups of people. Clinical trials produce the best data available for health care decision making and the studies follow strict scientific standards. These standards protect patients and help produce reliable study results.
Today, in Arizona, there are 1,380 ongoing clinical trials according to ClincialTrials.gov which is the national database provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. These studies cover a wide range of therapies and conditions. Through the dedicated work of innovators, healthcare professionals, and patients, we are learning more about the safety and effectiveness of future treatments.
ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world and currently lists 187,600 studies with locations in all 50 states and in 189 countries.
How can we speed the path to innovation and give more patients access to life changing innovations?
On April 29th, members of Arizona’s life science industry and members of the community at large will gather the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown for the 2015 AZBio Expo which will focus on clinical trials in Arizona. Event details and ticket information for the 2015 AZBio Expo on April 29, 2015 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown are available at AZBioExpo.com.
Thanks to the support of leaders in Arizona’s life science community, practicing physicians, patients, and caregivers are invited to register for the full day conference free of charge with discount code “AZBusiness.”
The program is designed to provide an update on what Arizona’s clinical trial landscape looks like today and what is could grow to be in the future. The program includes:
• An Introduction to The Clinical Trials Process by Mark Slater, PhD, Vice President, Research at HonorHealth Research Institute
• A keynote presentation by Matthew Huentelman, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurogenomics Division and Head of the Neurobehavioral Research Unit at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
• A keynote presentation by Glen Weiss, MD, MBA, Director of Clinical Research & Medical Oncologist, Western Regional Medical Center, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
• A View of Arizona’s Clinical Trials Landscape by Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association and Chairman of the AdvaMed State Medical Technology Alliance in Washington, DC.
• A Discussion on Funding Clinical Trials led by Joan Koerber-Walker with Terry Urbine, PhD of the UA College of Pharmacy, Jeremy Shefner, MD, PhD of the Barrow Neurological Institute, and Teresa Bartels from Gateway for Cancer Research.
• A Discussion on Engaging Patients in the Process led by Greg Vigdor, President & CEO, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association with Brian Browne of Banner Research, Barbara Kavanaugh of the Arizona Myeloma Network, and Marcia K. Horn of the International Cancer Advocacy Network
• A Discussion on Growing Arizona’s Clinical Trials Base led by Nazneen Aziz, PhD, Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President, Phoenix Children’s Hospital with Joan Rankin Shapiro, PhD of the UA College of Medicine Phoenix), and Linda Vocila, BSN, RN of TD2.
• Rapid Fire Presentations featuring Arizona companies with active clinical trials here in Arizona and around the world including: Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Capstone Therapeutics, the Center For Sustainable Health at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, Cord Blood Registry, Insys Therapeutics, Inc., and NuvOx Pharma.
By focusing on clinical trials together, we can help find answers for the people who matter most, the patients.