When recruiting patients with hard-to-enroll indications, such as rare diseases, it may be necessary to explore more creative resources for finding viable clinical sites. Sometimes this means taking a global approach, or searching for more local opportunities. In either scenario, more experienced clinical sites are generally the most popular and can often be booked long before recruiting begins. The preference for experienced research clinics is obvious – these sites already have the staffing, procedures, and general knowhow for the research process.
However, since these sites make up the minority of all potential clinics seeing your targeted patient population, they are already in high demand. Their research schedule may already be full, which can lead to low prioritization toward smaller companies and smaller trials, and they may lack the available patients for your study if they are already enrolling those same patients in others.
The option of using less experienced, or research-naïve, clinical sites is a practical alternative and can provide the prioritization and attention needed for rare and urgent disease trials as well as being a new source of qualified patients. However, before reaching out to these sites, it important to conduct due diligence and weigh the pros and cons.