Meridian Clinical Research, a leading investigative research network, is celebrating its twentieth year in business.
Meridian was founded by Nicole Osborn, the company’s CEO, in 1999. It began as a single research site in Omaha, Neb., where the company is headquartered. Meridian added locations in Norfolk, Neb., and Dakota Dunes, S.D., before establishing a strong presence in Savannah, Ga., where five of its research sites are located. More sites are located in Baton Rouge, La., Rockville, Md., Norfolk, Va., and Mexico.
Meridian recently acquired Regional Clinical Research, which operates four investigative research sites in the southern tier of New York. With the addition, Meridian’s research network comprises more than 60 principal investigators working at over 20 sites across North America.
In 20 years, Meridian has enrolled about 25,000 patients across 1,500 clinical trials. Osborn said those numbers grew substantially as Meridian has become more therapeutically specialized. “We partner with leading physicians and practices. Our investigators are well-respected in their communities and in the research industry. We’re able to ensure leading specialists oversee clinical trials, and that’s exactly what our clients want as protocols become more complex and medicines become more precise.”
Meridian is a leading investigative site network for high-volume vaccines trials, and is currently conducting studies for influenza, pneumococcal, Zika, Lyme disease, anthrax, and other infectious diseases. Its recent acquisition of Regional expanded its therapeutic reach in vaccines, neurology, and women’s health.
To celebrate its anniversary, almost 200 people, including nearly 50 investigators, attended Meridian’s Annual Physician Meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
“Highly engaged physicians lead more meaningful, efficient clinical trials,” said Laura Falcone, APRN, COO of Meridian. “No conference in our industry focuses solely on investigator training and retention. That’s why we created the Annual Physician Meeting. We believe in providing a forum for continuing education and collaboration, while ensuring our investigators are more than satisfied with their involvement in clinical research.”
Falcone said Meridian’s Annual Physician Meeting has substantially mitigated turnover and the number of ‘one-and-done’ investigators. She referenced a recent study which found that the number of clinical investigators may have fallen starkly from 1999 to 2015, while the number of one-and-done investigators grew (data based on Form FDA 1572 submissions to U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Bioresearch Monitoring Information System (BMIS)).
Falcone said Meridian’s annual event began years ago with only a handful of attendees. This year, Meridian welcomed more site networks, investigators, vendors, and representatives from sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) than ever before.
“It’s grown naturally,” said Falcone. “It’s a valuable event for Meridian’s employees, and we’re exploring ways to appeal to more people across the research continuum. It’s all about empowering investigators and encouraging site staff to interact and share ideas.”
“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in 20 years,” said Osborn. “I’m even prouder of the uncommonly good people on Meridian’s team who have made it possible.”