Contract Research Organizations are very important to the healthcare sector, they help bring new medicines to niche markets. One of the best CROs in the industry is Sydney-based GreenLight Clinical. We asked Dr Sasi Suda, CEO of GreenLight Clinical how GreenLight is making a difference in today’s world.
Tell us about the company’s journey.
GreenLight Clinical (GLC) was established in 2006 in Sydney, Australia. We were a group of clinicians, scientists and researchers, operating as a Site Management Organisation (SMO). We delivered hundreds of clinical trials with Roche, Novartis, Alcon & Bayer amongst others. This substantial amount of experience in conducting clinical trials has allowed us to establish a highly effective working relationship with an extensive network of health professionals across a broad range of indications, from ophthalmology to dermatology, cardiovascular diseases, oncology and gene therapy.
GreenLight Clinical made an important transition in 2013. Could you tell us about that?
In 2013, at the request of our clients, we began the transition from an SMO to a full-service Contract Research Organisation (CRO), and continued our rapid expansion into APAC, Europe and USA. As an SMO we could only work on part of the clinical trial process – our clients wanted us to be able to deliver the full suite of services that they needed to complete a successful trial – from bench to bedside!
How does your company contribute towards improving the clinical research industry?
We enable companies to access affordable clinical research and help companies achieve positive outcomes for their products. We network with Key Opinion Leaders and ensure that new thinking is built into our processes as far as medical research and medicine itself is involved. We create better practices, for example with Artificial Intelligence where we can significantly truncate each phase of the trial, therefore, saving our sponsors millions of dollars, helping bring potentially life-saving drugs to market many months or years earlier than previously achievable.
Tell us about the services you offer.
GreenLight Clinical is a global, full-service CRO. We provide customized clinical research solutions to expedite pharmaceutical and biotech product development. We offer a range of services from study start-up and Regulatory Affairs – all the way through to Clinical Operations, Data Management, Biostats, Quality Assurance and ongoing Pharmacovigilance/Medical Safety. Our services help optimize clinical trials in all major therapeutic areas, from Phase I-IV. As part of our full-service CRO package, we have our own central lab for clinical trials in Bangkok, Thailand. The trials support our growing Asia-Pacific operations, along with the needs of other CROs and specialist clinical trial service providers.
How do you handle customers’ ever-changing requirements?
Clinical research requires multi-disciplinary skill sets in order to deliver high-quality research output to our clients. A trial can sometimes take years or even decades to complete. Over time, our clients’ expectations or circumstances may change. The regulatory environment is also subject to many changes. We often need to find novel solutions to ensure our Client’s needs are met. One such solution to manage change is identifying the potential for a bridging study that could enable the on-time progression of our client’s clinical program.
GLC also has a professional team with substantial medical networks. We focus on maintaining in-house expertise to minimise our reliance on external vendors, which allows fast and responsive actions to be made in response to a client’s change of plan.
How does GreenLight distinguish itself from its competitors?
Over the last few years, the pharma industry has been restructuring its research and development activities, facing constant pressure from patent expiry, generic competition and declining revenues. Many CROs, including GLC, are responding to the changing pharma landscape by constantly improving their service offerings. However, many CROS are more focused on quantity rather than quality as the demand heightens for productivity and cost-effectiveness. At GreenLight, we focus on delivering high-quality work while helping clients minimize their expenses. Because GreenLight Clinical is owned by a group of medical doctors, we have a great network to which we can reach out, and our clients have the flexibility to pick and choose the services that they require to meet their needs and goals.
Could you tell us about the phenomenal growth GLC has experienced in recent times?
GreenLight has seen a tremendous increase in staff over the last few years; this has been possible due to the culture that has been created by GreenLight and its growing reputation in the CRO industry. People can see what we’re achieving and want to be part of the success story – saving lives.
GreenLight has fully-functioning, GLP facilities in Thailand and Sydney to meet the increased demand from our clients, which will eliminate the need for outsourcing while reducing costs and timelines for clients.
Should a firm focus on growth or work on being efficient?
The two things are intertwined and at the heart of our growth strategy. We are in a hyper growth phase at the moment, but we choose the specialties we recruit for with care – ensuring that we are “right-sizing” the company as we grow – the right people, in the right places, doing the right things.
Meet the Chief!
Dr. Suda is the driving force behind GreenLight Clinical’s rapid expansion and international success. She is a qualified medical practitioner - paediatric surgeon and has a PhD in Nuclear Medicine from The University of Sydney. She has over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and clinical research - as both a researcher and clinical trial professional.
Dr. Suda started GreenLight, because she wanted to make a change in the industry. She knew what worked, what didn’t - and from that, founded GreenLight to help get new treatments to the patients that needed them most.
Her mission is to get the best quality products to market, in the fastest possible time, with the highest commitment to patient safety.
"We pride ourselves in delivering top-quality work to ensure our clients’ needs can be delivered in the shortest timeframe."