COVID-19 hasn’t been easy on independent clinical research sites, especially small to mid-sized ones with limited capital, but those that have been engaged with SARS-CoV-2-based therapy or vaccine investigations have managed to remain as busy as before. One example is Meridian Clinical Research, LLC, which is conducting investigative trials on behalf of Moderna and that company’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine known as mRNA-1273. The company has been so busy of late that it is now moving its Dakota Dunes South Dakota facility to a larger one in Sioux City, Iowa.
Meridian Clinical Research was engaged by Moderna to initiate three study sites for the mRNA-1273 Phase II clinical trial including facilities in Norfolk, Nebraska; Omaha, Nebraska; and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. Meridian reports that on average each site treats between 50 to 250 volunteers.
Growth is Good
Research sites have been hit hard, like many businesses, by the global pandemic. A large percentage of pharmaceutical sponsor clinical trials were put on hold or even cancelled in some cases. An incredibly difficult burden on many sites, reports of layoffs and downsizing, at least for some independent sites hopefully will be mitigated by a resurgence in research studies.
Now Meridian Clinical Research may benefit from a $154,608, ten-year tax incentive initiative that will lead to 27 new employees and over $2.4 million in investments.
With the move to the Morningside facility (formerly the location of a CNOS clinic), Meridian Clinical Research benefits from a facility four times the size of their current facility, reports the Sioux City Journal. The clinical research site will offer more services while accommodating additional specialized therapeutic areas for study. The center will support a new lab and a participant call center.
Premier Vaccine Site
Omaha-based Meridian, founded in 1999, by Nicole Osborn, has established itself as a premier site supporting COVID-19 vaccine studies. The company works with pharmaceutical and biotechnology sponsors to research vaccines as well as various drugs, diagnostics and devices. With 20 sites, the company now has over 130 full-time employees in seven states. In the case of COVID-19-based studies, the research site was selected by sponsor Moderna.
Call to Action: Pharmaceutical sponsors interested in doing business with Meridian Clinical Research can reach out to Andrew Kimball, vice president of business development.