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Market Insight Series: Clinical Research

Compass Life Sciences are pleased to announce our latest Market Insight Series which focusses on reviewing the Life Sciences markets for job seekers and clients, based on our observations over the past six months.

For our second post in this series, the Clinical Research team have provided valuable insight into the UK, European and US markets based on trends and interactions during this timescale.

An overview of the last six months

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous clinical trials were paused or transitioned, if possible, to virtual or hybrid clinical trials. The last six months, however, has seen an increase back to pre pandemic levels and an ongoing increase in Oncology studies.

Typically, oncology studies take longer than non-oncology studies due to the complex nature of conducting the trials across multiple countries and the vast amount of data involved. However, with the increased use of AI and Big Data, something that saw a bigger push with the covid catalyst, is paving the way for making these studies more viable than before. The use of remote study monitoring and patient databases makes finding eligible candidates for studies more streamline than before which, in turn, is leading to more targeted medicines and new technologies.

The Global oncology informatics market will reach $8,602.3 million by 2030, growing by 6.1% annually over 2020-2030 driven by the surge of cancer incidence, increasing cost of cancer treatment, and growing trend of reducing medical errors and readmission rates.

Emerging sciences is leading to increases in different treatments. One such are of focus is Natural Killer Cells. The results of the recent clinical trials focusing on NK (Natural Killer) cell therapies, has suggested they could eventually become an effective, off-the-shelf treatment for blood cancer. These NK cells are a part of the immune system’s first line of defence against dangerous cells, whether cancer cells or invading bacteria. Recent clinical trials have had success in treating recurrent leukemia with a patient’s own natural killer cells or those from a donor. Therefore, highlighting the importance of the clinical research industry.

A Recruitment Perspective of the Industry

Recent conversations with large CROs has stated that the industry has been hit hard due to the pandemic. From a recruitment perspective, the market is currently very candidate-driven. There are a significant amount of roles available but not as many qualified candidates that are able to fulfil these particular roles. Currently, there is a demand for Project Managers for clinical research projects.

With an attempt to claw back any lost revenue and IR35 changes in the UK, many companies are making a shift to move roles in-house which is currently seeing the contractors market depreciating. From a candidate perspective, many organisations are receiving interest internally, but due to increasing need to fill the contractor gap, there is more of a demand for external candidates to bring in fresh new approaches and skills.

With the Pharma and Biotech shift to move more studies in house and become more self sufficient this is meaning more candidates are flocking to want to be involved in the Pharma Biotech businesses rather than the CRO side. With increased portfolios of studies and the clinical trial landscape bouncing back, the demand and offerings of CROs is likely to level itself out again as the year moves on.

The current candidate and client key trends

Due to the high demand of qualified and experienced candidates, the average candidate will only be available on the market for approximately four weeks maximum. Most roles currently being offered are as remote roles due to candidate demand.

Many of the current clinical trials are being conducted remotely which allows candidates the ability to connect and work from anywhere and will continue to create network effects—expanding access to new talent and new partners, while extending an organisation’s capabilities. Examples of clinical trials being conducted remotely include testing of wearables and apps, etc.

To view more industry news, and case studies based on work completed by the Compass Life Sciences team, please click here.

If you’re considering a new opportunity within the Clinical Research space at present, please contact Ben Brown  or Abigail Humphrey to hear about the exclusive opportunities we have live.