April 05, 2018


I recently had the opportunity to visit with a few physicians in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and learn about their approach with clinical trials and patient recruitment. For our non-EU clients considering a clinical research in the EU, some differences in patient recruitment may be striking.  Like most of the EU, many CEE countries do not allow healthcare-related advertisements. You will not see commercials for prescription drugs on TV nor read about upcoming clinical trials in the newspaper. Instead, potential patients are informed of clinical trial opportunities from their doctor. The physician-patient relationship is built on trust, and many patients view the additional care and attention they will receive as a clinical trial subject a major benefit. For the physicians, involvement in clinical trials gives them an opportunity to work with ground-breaking technology. Their enthusiasm is shared with their colleagues, and this network of valuable minds becomes a powerful tool to identify patient populations.

Challenges in patient recruitment may range from the complexity of study to the availability of specialized equipment on site. At Neox, we take pride in our ability to recruit patients for a variety of disease indications, including CNS, dermatology, oncology, medical device, and rare diseases. Our strategy is a hands-on approach to utilize our network and established connections to deliver speedy results. For example, one of our clients was conducting a medical device study in patients with arterial fibrillation on the Czech Republic. The project required highly trained site staff and specialized equipment, two factors that initially slowed down site identification and subsequent patient recruitment, as the eligibility criteria for the study was extremely narrow. We devised and implemented a plan to successfully identify sites through Key Opinion Leaders from the Czech Society of Cardiology. In addition to our established connections, we created an educated and trained referral site network to pre-identify potential subjects. As a result, over 350 subjects were enrolled ahead of the projected timeline with an overall patient retention rate exceeding 94%.

Neox provides tailorable solutions for our clients. As a full service CRO, we hold over 15 years of experience working with clients ranging from biotech startups and big pharma. Our valuable network of CROs and investigators allows us to expand our work all across Europe, to include studies in Germany, UK, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Please reach out if you are interested in learning more.



Mary Nguyen, Ph.D.
Business Developer & Project Manager for Business Expansion
[email protected]

4660 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92122, United States




About the Author and BIOCOM CRO Board Member