TrialSite recently reported on privately-held Aventiv Research Inc. as the only trial site organization in this part of Central Ohio to commence inoculating patients with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine derived from the BNT162 program deemed “Project Lightspeed.” This major Pfizer-sponsored vaccine trial has allowed the trial site organization to call back 90% of its staff who were previously laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence the global clinical trial is not only contributing to a quest for a COVID-19 vaccine but also local economies, such as the one in Ohio’s largest city, Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Samir Arora, Aventiv Research president and medical director whom TrialSite previously profiled, reports to Carrie Ghose with Columbus Business First that “If we successfully complete the enrollment, we’ll be able as a business to recover from some of the time we were closed.” He continued, “We can continue to grow like we had been (before).” The medical doctor and entrepreneur have big plans for this privately held trial site organization.
Recruitment Metrics to Date
Thus far, they report they have been able to recruit and enroll 100 volunteers in two weeks via their East Side location, which they project will enroll up to 300 for this study. Nationwide, the Pfizer and BioNTech partnership must recruit a total of 30,000 for this Phase 2/3 global vaccine trial.
Dr. Arora reports overall significant interest in the study from Columbus-area residents and overall community. The local Columbus trial site organization has a mandate to recruit proportionally more minority participants. TrialSite has reported some sites (and sponsors) struggling in this endeavor.
Dr. Arora has been an investigator in over 200 clinical trials and has since expanded to locations in Dublin, Phoenix, AZ, and Erie, PA. These other locations aren’t part of the COVID-19 vaccine trial.
COVID-19 A Heavy Toll but Signs of Economic Life
COVID-19 has been an economic wrecking ball threatening small businesses, especially across the United States and worldwide. Dr. Arora’s trial site organization hasn’t been immune. The pandemic shut down 60% of their studies due to “shut down during stay-home orders.” At least about half are back online, but the impact is significant, with real consequences. Thankfully, with 45 employees, the major Pfizer-led vaccine study has been a saving grace allowing the organization to call back most of them as well as new hires as some of the laid-off employees were able to land other health care positions.
Janssen (J&J) Study Coming Here
The local business press also reports that the Janssen vaccine trial is coming to Ohio State University. This prestigious midwestern university is already participating in about 100 COVID-19 clinical trials.