CRO Gives Sponsors the Best of Both Worlds By Partnering with Quartesian
The Challenge: Offer Midsize CRO Benefits With Large CRO Resources and Rates
Small to midsize CROs are rapidly becoming the biotech industry’s research arm, providing the focused program attention, high-touch communication, and specialized expertise smaller sponsors need. A midsize, full-service CRO recognized an opportunity to seize on this demand, but needed high quality SAS programming resources to compete with large, global CROs whose offshore resources allow them to drive down rates.
One possible route for an organization of this size is to invest in overseas infrastructure and full-time talent — a multimillion-dollar capital expenditure (CapEx) that delivers poor ROI for smaller CROs whose resource demands ebb and flow for months at a time.
Or, CROs can choose an FSP partner to provide capacity and flexibility without incurring excessive cost. The company had an upcoming project load of five studies — requiring high quality SAS resources, with tight budgets and deadlines — so they turned to Quartesian.
The Solution: Flexible, Customized SAS Staffing and Programming
The CRO identified a partnership with Quartesian as the missing piece that would allow them to compete with much larger CROs, while still offering the focused expertise and dedicated attention that makes them attractive for smaller sponsors. Quartesian’s existing global infrastructure, flexible staffing model, cost efficiency, and quick timelines made them the perfect fit for the organization’s needs. Meanwhile, Quartesian’s experienced team of SAS experts and extensive quality assurance ensured deliverables of the highest quality.
Quartesian quickly and comprehensively assessed the CRO’s needs, as well as potential project challenges, to provide a best-fit solution for their budget and timeline. Understanding that a CRO of the client’s size might only need 3-5 resources, Quartesian leveraged existing resource pools from its full-time staff of SAS programmers to meet project demands.
Rising to the Challenge with Agility
One challenge many offshore organizations face is safely transporting equipment overseas. Quartesian needed to ship laptops, necessitated by project requirements, to SAS programmers based in India. Quartesian’s strong support and network in that country helped mitigate delays, empowering resources to start working for the CRO in a timely manner.
Quartesian also spotted an issue in how the company’s datasets were structured — to understand the data collection process and determine the appropriate conversion algorithms, the team needed to conduct a detailed review that threatened to extend the timeline. Quartesian identified a proven workaround to complete the review and create the SDTM datasets by the agreed upon deadline: working late hours and weekends. This commitment paid off, as the team completed the first study on time, while finding enough efficiencies to complete the remaining four studies even faster.
One of those required some creative ingenuity from the programmers. The client needed the final deliverables to be submitted alongside a legacy, end-of-support version of Define-XML. Quartesian’s programming resources developed a handful of standalone macros that enabled them to meet this request within five days
The Outcome: 5 Studies, 25 Days, And Months Of Project Time Saved
By providing the CRO with high-quality, cost effective data programming resources, Quartesian offered a budget-friendly alternative to a seven-digit CapEx investment in offshore infrastructure — or a recruitment process that would likely take two to three months. Quartesian’s scalable staffing model provided the ramp-up, ramp-down flexibility small to midsize CROs require to meet fluctuating project cycles, with the expertise necessary to deliver high quality clinical data.
By partnering with Quartesian, this organization has greater leverage to outbid large CROs. This opens up new business opportunities, while allowing the CRO to maintain its margins and leverage the personalized attention their smaller size affords.
Partnership By the Numbers
- In 3 days, Quartesian identified and provided the necessary SAS programming resources — replacing a 2-3 month recruiting process
- Quartesian completed a comprehensive data review and completed the first study in 15 days
- The following four studies took 5 days each
While the project presented a unique set of challenges, Quartesian pulled out the stops to deliver on time and on budget — even if it meant pulling a few late nights and Saturday programming sessions. This commitment bolstered a powerful alliance with the CRO, who has since trusted Quartesian with 500 SDTM datasets and 16 Define.XML packages to date, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“Quartesian has been an ideal company to partner with to meet our resourcing needs. Their ability to be flexible with our functional sourcing needs has enabled us to compete with much larger CROs. We have been very pleased with Quartesian’s responsiveness and willingness to work with our changing timelines and priorities.”
— VP of Biometrics