Curebase Welcomes Adam Samson as Director of Clinical Operations
June 18, 2020


At Curebase we are rapidly expanding and preparing for the wave of decentralization in clinical trials that we intend to lead. To that end we have recently hired a Director of Clinical Operations, Adam Samson, who comes to us from Chiesi, an Italian pharmaceutical company where he led many late stage drug studies. He also has prior experience working at CROs (Biorasi), and as a clinical researcher at Duke. Adam brings strong vision and passion for enacting real change in the way clinical trials are conducted to reach more patients. We sat down with Adam to discuss a bit about his experience and his vision for the future of Curebase.


Give us a bit about your background and experience in running clinical trials


I’ve been fortunate that my career trajectory has allowed me to touch many different areas and perspectives of clinical research. I started off my career as a registered dietician and became a clinical researcher. Clinical research came to me and I immediately knew I found my niche.


I was a clinical research coordinator (CRC) for a few years that gave me great perspective and appreciation for the patient experience that I would carry through the rest of my career. During the end of my stint I was responsible for  the general oversight of the site and study, but I always referred back to the user experience I had gathered as a CRC to better understand the customer and focus our studies on serving everyone involved.


The clinic I worked at was part of a larger CRO, and I ultimately moved to Biorasi to lead site management and monitoring activities . I led a team of regional CRAs that would go out and do site visits. During my time in the CRO world I took a much more prominent role in organizing and executing an overall study from a strategic standpoint by assembling study plans, IRB information, and broad project management of trials. 


My career had started by seeing patients, to overseeing patients, to overseeing sites, to overseeing people seeing sites, to overseeing the study itself.


I then moved to the Raleigh-Durham area, NC, a place with a large clinical research presence, as I wanted to be in the thick of where most of the prominent work in the country was taking place. I began working on my masters in clinical research administration at George Washington University and landed at the Duke Clinical Research Institute for my next role. Prior to this, I mostly worked on industry projects, and was excited to explore academic research. I was involved in a lot of government funded research, and a pediatric trial network, which was new and exciting for me. It was the kind of situation where I went in thinking I had seen it all, only to realize there was so much more to clinical research. Here I was first exposed to real world evidence studies, registries, and observational trials. I learned there are many ways that these types of research can complement clinical trial data. I also found that operationally there was a lot we in the research community could do better. A lot of my work was focused on finding efficiencies and optimizing clinical trial conduct by engaging with patients and sites to better understand their pain points. Based on my grounding passion for better serving patients from earlier in my career, I championed initiatives to transform clinical operations processes to give patients more choice in the way studies were conducted. 


Lastly, I got an interesting opportunity to complete the circle of all roles involved in clinical research, the Sponsor. I started working for Chiesi, an Italian pharmaceutical company leading late stage clinical trials where I was primarily responsible for overall study operations, including  CRO and vendor oversight. Being on the sponsor side allowed me to better understand the motivations and challenges on that side of the fence, firsthand. 


Throughout all of my experiences,it was interesting to see that there were a lot of shared problems everyone was resigned to between the patient, site, CRO, and sponsor in each study I was a part of. However, it seemed like change could never come quick enough to meet the challenges despite the tools being right in front of us. I felt like the kind of change that I knew was needed could only come from an external force.


What drew you to Curebase?


Having been through each stakeholder’s perspective in clinical trials, I found there were just so many areas for improvement, and I had decided to start championing some change efforts. Those outside clinical research wouldn’t believe it, but there is still so much manual paperwork, a ton of different systems and none of them talk to each other, and so many more pain points. I found it so hard for entrenched individual companies and large institutions to really move the needle on making improvements to an archaic system despite the clear delta in the status quo and an optimal clinical operations model. Timing-wise, once the COVID pandemic hit, it really exposed all the flaws in clinical operations that we have known for years. At that point I made the decision that I needed to find an outlet to help enact the change we needed in a much faster fashion. That led me to find Curebase.

I was impressed by the fact that Curebase really started from scratch to build an optimal clinical operations platform whereby the software was built as an all-in-one system with all the different components talking to each other, something no one else has done. The vision for streamlining clinical operations to not only find efficiencies, but enable patient choice in home, local clinic, and specialty centers really appealed to my core beliefs carried through my time as a CRC. Over and over again patients say they want flexibility to participate from home, work, or with their own practitioner. Almost everybody knows that this is where we need to go. What is holding the industry back is the fear of the unknown. Although regulators and industry experts support the use of novel and decentralized methods, there is not yet a well worn regulatory pathway to drug approval utilizing these strategies l. COVID has been a catalyst that is finally shifting some of the consensus perspectives, and I believe Curebase will be a huge part of enabling a now necessary, and more efficient way of running clinical trials. I am finally starting to see more studies incorporate virtual visits and remote monitoring, but there is so much more beyond that possible by leveraging Curebase’s capabilities. 

Hesitance towards the use of new technology,up front costs, and limited regulatory precedence  are still holding some back, but I believe once a few major studies cross the finish line doing things in this fashion, people will see the value in a decentralized clinical operations model coupled with a all-in-one software solution that provides democratization to participation. Bottom line is it's much better for the patients, and that’s what we need to strive for. 


What do you think are some of the biggest challenges in clinical operations right now?


A big issue right now is the lack of real-time access to clinical trial data generated at the sites. Inconsistency in the use of EMRs and the slow adoption of eSource are at the core of this challenge. The ability to monitor data remotely as much as possible is key to conducting a quality study in modern times. Fortunately, Curebase provides a solution for meeting this end. From the site perspective, there needs to be more wide use of eSource and pulling data directly from the EMR to EDC. There is a huge lack of integration in the field right now, so there is a lot of redundancy in information entry that impacts data quality and proves extremely inefficient. Data visualisation is also important so the data can be used to inform decisions. i.e. Site specific AEs. Ultimately sponsor’s and CRO’s need to change the way monitoring is done to be sustainable. The site should not need to perform a lot of work. We need to think about where there is value in going on site and value in putting in personnel time. There is no need to waste the site's time with lots of manual data entry and onsite visits for certain tasks that could be done remotely or automated. It’s all about making valuable use of everyone’s time. I was happy to see that Curebase has been built to address just that. They have built a full software solution that includes an EMR integration, real-time monitoring, study visualization dashboards, eSource, EDC, and a workflow to optimize each participant’s role in the study.


What are you most excited about getting started on at Curebase?


Diving into the use of decentralized tools with a lot of liberty to put them to work. I worked on many studies with traditional structures that included too much onsite activities with minimal remote monitoring. At Curebase I’m really looking forward to having the freedom to choose the most optimal design for each study of the balance between the onsite and virtual tools. As I mentioned before, it’s hard to move the needle at large companies, but at Curebase we are building this culture from the ground up and can leverage the technology to realize optimal models for running studies. I’m looking forward to getting creative with our software team and sponsors to build trials involving the right balance of in-person, virtual, and automated activities well suited to each study we are running.


What do you see in the future for Curebase?


I see Curebase as well positioned to become a thought leader in trial optimization and decentralization that sponsors can look to for guidance. There is a lot of potential, based on Curebase’s patient-centric focus, to engage patient advocacy groups and use them as a sounding board to understand what they want to see in clinical trial experiences. From what I’ve seen of Curebase, I’m impressed by their ability to adapt quickly to address user needs and enable patient choice. By getting involved in these larger engagements with patient advocacy groups, I can see Curebase building the quintessential clinical trial experience guided by understanding patient needs and addressing their feedback. I think Curebase will one day be a force for sponsors to immediately gather and address patient feedback in their studies while they are ongoing. With the patient, provider, and sponsor interface there is ample opportunity to find areas of optimization for each user and iterate quickly to build the optimal clinical trial experience for everyone involved.


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The Curebase Blog

Curebase Welcomes Adam Samson as Director of Clinical Operations

June 18, 2020

At Curebase we are rapidly expanding and preparing for the wave of decentralization in clinical trials that we intend to lead. To that end we have recently hired a Director of Clinical Operations, Adam Samson...


At Curebase we are rapidly expanding and preparing for the wave of decentralization in clinical trials that we intend to lead. To that end we have recently hired a Director of Clinical Operations, Adam Samson, who comes to us from Chiesi, an Italian pharmaceutical company where he led many late stage drug studies. He also has prior experience working at CROs (Biorasi), and as a clinical researcher at Duke. Adam brings strong vision and passion for enacting real change in the way clinical trials are conducted to reach more patients. We sat down with Adam to discuss a bit about his experience and his vision for the future of Curebase.


Give us a bit about your background and experience in running clinical trials


I’ve been fortunate that my career trajectory has allowed me to touch many different areas and perspectives of clinical research. I started off my career as a registered dietician and became a clinical researcher. Clinical research came to me and I immediately knew I found my niche.


I was a clinical research coordinator (CRC) for a few years that gave me great perspective and appreciation for the patient experience that I would carry through the rest of my career. During the end of my stint I was responsible for  the general oversight of the site and study, but I always referred back to the user experience I had gathered as a CRC to better understand the customer and focus our studies on serving everyone involved.


The clinic I worked at was part of a larger CRO, and I ultimately moved to Biorasi to lead site management and monitoring activities . I led a team of regional CRAs that would go out and do site visits. During my time in the CRO world I took a much more prominent role in organizing and executing an overall study from a strategic standpoint by assembling study plans, IRB information, and broad project management of trials. 


My career had started by seeing patients, to overseeing patients, to overseeing sites, to overseeing people seeing sites, to overseeing the study itself.


I then moved to the Raleigh-Durham area, NC, a place with a large clinical research presence, as I wanted to be in the thick of where most of the prominent work in the country was taking place. I began working on my masters in clinical research administration at George Washington University and landed at the Duke Clinical Research Institute for my next role. Prior to this, I mostly worked on industry projects, and was excited to explore academic research. I was involved in a lot of government funded research, and a pediatric trial network, which was new and exciting for me. It was the kind of situation where I went in thinking I had seen it all, only to realize there was so much more to clinical research. Here I was first exposed to real world evidence studies, registries, and observational trials. I learned there are many ways that these types of research can complement clinical trial data. I also found that operationally there was a lot we in the research community could do better. A lot of my work was focused on finding efficiencies and optimizing clinical trial conduct by engaging with patients and sites to better understand their pain points. Based on my grounding passion for better serving patients from earlier in my career, I championed initiatives to transform clinical operations processes to give patients more choice in the way studies were conducted. 


Lastly, I got an interesting opportunity to complete the circle of all roles involved in clinical research, the Sponsor. I started working for Chiesi, an Italian pharmaceutical company leading late stage clinical trials where I was primarily responsible for overall study operations, including  CRO and vendor oversight. Being on the sponsor side allowed me to better understand the motivations and challenges on that side of the fence, firsthand. 


Throughout all of my experiences,it was interesting to see that there were a lot of shared problems everyone was resigned to between the patient, site, CRO, and sponsor in each study I was a part of. However, it seemed like change could never come quick enough to meet the challenges despite the tools being right in front of us. I felt like the kind of change that I knew was needed could only come from an external force.


What drew you to Curebase?


Having been through each stakeholder’s perspective in clinical trials, I found there were just so many areas for improvement, and I had decided to start championing some change efforts. Those outside clinical research wouldn’t believe it, but there is still so much manual paperwork, a ton of different systems and none of them talk to each other, and so many more pain points. I found it so hard for entrenched individual companies and large institutions to really move the needle on making improvements to an archaic system despite the clear delta in the status quo and an optimal clinical operations model. Timing-wise, once the COVID pandemic hit, it really exposed all the flaws in clinical operations that we have known for years. At that point I made the decision that I needed to find an outlet to help enact the change we needed in a much faster fashion. That led me to find Curebase.

I was impressed by the fact that Curebase really started from scratch to build an optimal clinical operations platform whereby the software was built as an all-in-one system with all the different components talking to each other, something no one else has done. The vision for streamlining clinical operations to not only find efficiencies, but enable patient choice in home, local clinic, and specialty centers really appealed to my core beliefs carried through my time as a CRC. Over and over again patients say they want flexibility to participate from home, work, or with their own practitioner. Almost everybody knows that this is where we need to go. What is holding the industry back is the fear of the unknown. Although regulators and industry experts support the use of novel and decentralized methods, there is not yet a well worn regulatory pathway to drug approval utilizing these strategies l. COVID has been a catalyst that is finally shifting some of the consensus perspectives, and I believe Curebase will be a huge part of enabling a now necessary, and more efficient way of running clinical trials. I am finally starting to see more studies incorporate virtual visits and remote monitoring, but there is so much more beyond that possible by leveraging Curebase’s capabilities. 

Hesitance towards the use of new technology,up front costs, and limited regulatory precedence  are still holding some back, but I believe once a few major studies cross the finish line doing things in this fashion, people will see the value in a decentralized clinical operations model coupled with a all-in-one software solution that provides democratization to participation. Bottom line is it's much better for the patients, and that’s what we need to strive for. 


What do you think are some of the biggest challenges in clinical operations right now?


A big issue right now is the lack of real-time access to clinical trial data generated at the sites. Inconsistency in the use of EMRs and the slow adoption of eSource are at the core of this challenge. The ability to monitor data remotely as much as possible is key to conducting a quality study in modern times. Fortunately, Curebase provides a solution for meeting this end. From the site perspective, there needs to be more wide use of eSource and pulling data directly from the EMR to EDC. There is a huge lack of integration in the field right now, so there is a lot of redundancy in information entry that impacts data quality and proves extremely inefficient. Data visualisation is also important so the data can be used to inform decisions. i.e. Site specific AEs. Ultimately sponsor’s and CRO’s need to change the way monitoring is done to be sustainable. The site should not need to perform a lot of work. We need to think about where there is value in going on site and value in putting in personnel time. There is no need to waste the site's time with lots of manual data entry and onsite visits for certain tasks that could be done remotely or automated. It’s all about making valuable use of everyone’s time. I was happy to see that Curebase has been built to address just that. They have built a full software solution that includes an EMR integration, real-time monitoring, study visualization dashboards, eSource, EDC, and a workflow to optimize each participant’s role in the study.


What are you most excited about getting started on at Curebase?


Diving into the use of decentralized tools with a lot of liberty to put them to work. I worked on many studies with traditional structures that included too much onsite activities with minimal remote monitoring. At Curebase I’m really looking forward to having the freedom to choose the most optimal design for each study of the balance between the onsite and virtual tools. As I mentioned before, it’s hard to move the needle at large companies, but at Curebase we are building this culture from the ground up and can leverage the technology to realize optimal models for running studies. I’m looking forward to getting creative with our software team and sponsors to build trials involving the right balance of in-person, virtual, and automated activities well suited to each study we are running.


What do you see in the future for Curebase?


I see Curebase as well positioned to become a thought leader in trial optimization and decentralization that sponsors can look to for guidance. There is a lot of potential, based on Curebase’s patient-centric focus, to engage patient advocacy groups and use them as a sounding board to understand what they want to see in clinical trial experiences. From what I’ve seen of Curebase, I’m impressed by their ability to adapt quickly to address user needs and enable patient choice. By getting involved in these larger engagements with patient advocacy groups, I can see Curebase building the quintessential clinical trial experience guided by understanding patient needs and addressing their feedback. I think Curebase will one day be a force for sponsors to immediately gather and address patient feedback in their studies while they are ongoing. With the patient, provider, and sponsor interface there is ample opportunity to find areas of optimization for each user and iterate quickly to build the optimal clinical trial experience for everyone involved.


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