Time flies. This year marks the 17th anniversary of my career in the CRO business, and my 11th anniversary at Crown CRO. I started at Crown in March 2007, and in September the same year I was appointed Clinical Research Manager and Head of the Lithuanian office. In addition, I have been involved in developing our operations in Belarus for several years, where we rolled out our first study in 2013. If I were to describe my work history in one sentence I would say I’m privileged: I have had the pleasure of working in diverse and demanding roles in a challenging and exciting business area.
When it comes to describing Lithuania as a country in our industry, one could say that we are in a way pioneers. Lithuania was one of the first countries in Eastern and Central Europe to introduce a system for the ethical evaluation of biomedical research. The system, which is governed by special legislation, was created in 1990. Nowadays, approximately 100 new clinical trials running across 300 sites are approved and initiated yearly in Lithuania. The most popular therapeutic areas covered by the trials are currently rheumatology, gastroenterology, pediatrics, oncology, endocrinology, cardiology and neurology.
In Lithuania, there are three university multi-profile institutions, in which doctors have the best conditions for combining scientific and practical work. These institutions equipped with modern diagnostic and therapeutic equipment attract patients with various diseases from all over Lithuania and many other countries as well. There are about 200 000 patients hospitalized in the university hospitals per year. Every year, about one million patients visit the outpatient departments at the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.
There is also a National Cancer Institute in Lithuania, which recently celebrated its 85th anniversary. The group of experts at the institute (180 medical doctors and over 900 other medical staff) provide high level oncological surgery, radiotherapy and medical treatment services as well as conduct oncology research at an international level. At the National Cancer Institute there are 120 000 visits registered every year, more than 19 000 patients are treated and 6000 operations are performed.
In Lithuania the major treatment institutions have biomedical research coordination centers. In addition to developing the beneficial infrastructure necessary to meet the biomedical research needs they also conduct clinical trials on pharmaceutical products and medical devices of all phases.
Data protection and trust is a topic that is taken very seriously in Lithuania. The State Data Protection Supervisor monitors the activities of data controllers in processing of personal data and controls the integrity of this data processing. This system also ensures the protection of the rights of specific subjects and prevents violations from occurring in data processing.
Now that you’re hopefully convinced that Lithuania is a great place to conduct clinical trials, a few words about Crown CRO in Lithuania and why we could be your CRO of choice. Crown CRO is one of the co-founders of the Clinical Research Association, which represents the interests of CRO companies in Lithuania. Our office is located in Kaunas, which is in the center on Lithuania with quick and cost-efficient access to all the large study centers across the country. Measured in submitted and approved clinical trials by CRO companies, Crown is one of the leading CROs in Lithuania. Starting from the feasibility process, our start-up group performs all the tasks related to biomedical research quickly and efficiently. Experienced monitors ensure safety and data integrity of patient in accordance with local law, SOP and GCP guidelines. With support from the other Crown countries we have all the functions needed in-house in order to be able to provide our customers with full-service trials. To top it off there is no need to worry about the language: we have qualified translators who focus on high quality translations of biomedical research documents in Lithuanian, English and Russian languages.