I recently attended the JIDO II Conference on Research and Development in Oncology in Buenos Aires.  It was a great opportunity for pharmas, CROs, regulatory agencies and vendors in the clinical development cycle to exchange information and discuss ongoing clinical studies in the world (as well as in Latin America).

Shared concerns voiced throughout the show were regulatory timelines, trial costs (fixed, mostly) and the need to educate the public on the importance of clinical research.  Presentations examined priorities in clinical research in Argentina, difficulties in recruiting patients, current regulatory requirements and the impact on approval timelines, new molecules in oncology (triple negative breast cancer) and early phase trials and translational medicine.

The Argentinian Group of Clinical Investigation in Oncology (GAICO) organized the conference.  It is a cooperative group made up of different healthcare professionals from multiple public and private institutions. This group is dedicated to the practice of oncology and to the design and development of their own clinical trials, as well as studies carried out in collaboration with diverse academic institutions.

In Latin America, new cooperative groups like GAICO are launching to solely focus on specific therapeutic areas with high numbers of clinical trials in areas such as oncology and cardiology.  These new cooperatives serve to bridge the gap between public and private institutional stonewalls that so often block progress in clinical development in emerging markets.  Cooperatives such as GAICO bring together the best of academia, regulatory agencies, sponsors, and contract research organizations to help streamline their own trials and provide potential partnership opportunities.

I believe these new cooperative groups are on a different and better path than some of their Latin American predecessors.  Over the next few years, it will be interesting to see the role groups like GAICO play in furthering clinical research.