Close this search box.

MRN: A Benchmark of Healthcare Excellence

Dr Graham Wylie | the Chief Executive Officer | MRN
Dr Graham Wylie | the Chief Executive Officer | MRN

Innovation in healthcare has always been vital considering the role it plays in advancing humankind’s chances of survival. The need for innovating comprehensive treatments and solutions for a diverse array of pressing concerns within the industry is what is driving healthcare companies across the world.

When it comes to delivering optimal healthcare solutions, one company that has carved its stronghold in the industry is MRN. Founded in 2006, MRN is the international market leading DCT Support Organization.

Since inception, the company has delivered innovative and novel solutions, using its specialized expertise supporting drug developers to accelerate the clinical research process, by allowing as much as possible to take place in patients’ own homes.

In the following interview with Insights Care, Dr Graham Wylie, the Chief Executive Officer at MRN, shares valuable details into how the company has managed to garner its commendable reputation and success, and his opinions on the current and future state of the industry.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Please brief our audience about MRN, its values, and the key aspects of its international stronghold in the Decentralized Clinical Trials market.

Our focus is to actively support patients’ participation in trials while allowing them to remain in their homes, wherever they live. We work to reduce the inconvenience and disruption of visits to investigator sites, by reducing their number. When visits are required, we work to make the process as efficient and convenient as possible. We enhance patient enrolment, recruitment, and retention.

As the largest provider of specialist DCT support, and one of the founders of this movement, our services set the benchmark for high-quality and innovative delivery. MRN is at the core of this sector and everything we do is focused on the patient.

To put it into perspective, we have successfully delivered well over 50,000 home-based clinical trial visits. Currently, we are seeing over 300 patients, in their homes, every week; and the numbers are growing dramatically as more developers see the benefits.

This allows patients who have been unable to participate in clinical trials, for socio-economic or logistical reasons, to be able to do so; democratizing clinical development and access to medicines is what patient centricity means – it is changing clinical research. This is a core part of MRN’s DNA.

Tell us more about your Home Trial Support and Site Professional Support solutions, that make your company stand out from the competition?

Home Trial Support takes the clinical trial to the patient, conducting research visits in the community (home, office, school etc.), globally supported by clinical research experts and healthcare professional teams. This lessens the burden on the trial sites and the patients. We can undertake everything from complex IMP administration to simple blood draws in the comfort and security of the patient’s own home.

We manage the whole process around the patients ‘home visit’, IMP to patient, drug administration, sample collection, PI liaison, telemedicine links, couriers, sample delivery to laboratories and all points in between. We do this around the world. Our project teams think globally, manage centrally, and deliver locally with an emphasis on efficiency.

Site Professional Support consists of experienced study site coordinators and trained research professionals deployed to work with investigators on site, easing their burdens and helping to keep sites to timescales and budgets. We can place research professionals at a single site, or specialty project teams can be created.

The length and depth of relationships with our partners and our centralized control methods drive quality and consistency.

What is your opinion on the impact of the current pandemic on the global healthcare sector, and how has MRN fared during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns?

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the clinical trials environment. It’s highlighted some of the weaknesses of the traditional site centric clinical trial designs.

Trials slowed down in the first peak – circa 85% of trial sites shut their doors. The second peak has been managed more effectively, and trials are less at risk; however, there will be delays to trials, as they continue to struggle until the vaccine impact can be felt. The need to catch up will be strong in 2021.

At the height of COVID-19 last year, over half of all clinical trials had ground to a halt and the logistics of operating in hospitals were too challenging. MRN did a huge amount of rescuing crucial medical research and our operational teams worked incredibly hard, stepping in and delivering seamless continuation of trials – transitioning them to a more decentralized mode.

The pandemic has validated the use of DCT for many indications. MRN, were able to ‘step-up to the plate’, because of the dedication of our teams. The pressures were extreme, and they delivered beyond all reasonable expectations. In 2020, we recruited and trained more staff than we employed 3 years previously. At the same time, we had to keep delivering under very difficult circumstances. I will forever be proud and grateful to our personnel. They really rose to the occasion.

In your opinion, what could be the future of the healthcare services sector post the pandemic? And how are you strategizing your company’s operations for that future?

We will see further growth, technology will have been pushed along the adoption curve, but it still has a long way to go. Home Trial Support is way ahead in adoption, better tested and more reliable, and will become a routine part of all trials in the next few years.

DCT is being promoted heavily, with organizations such as DTRA, actively promoting its integration as a norm rather than an exception. It is gratifying to see Large Pharma companies joining the likes of MRN as Founder Members.

MRN are structuring for further growth and ramping up investment to drive quality and efficiency. We work with technology, not against it, and expect to see development of multiple service lines into trials to maximise the ability to keep patients in the community.

Critically, our sector is small. Capacity constraint will be a major feature of the next few years as the whole sector scales up. Quality is going to be paramount.

As an established leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the healthcare services sector?

It is complex and conservative of course – but it is hard to find a more rewarding environment. There are many areas of opportunity to improve the way we deliver health and study new medicines, and after a period of such change the conservatism will soften and the willingness to adopt new ideas will be at an all-time high. Go for it – the world needs you!

How do you envision on scaling your company’s operations in 2021?

MRN is focused on innovation, operational excellence, and customer centricity. We are working on all three areas in our business. We will scale thoughtfully and methodically. But we are used to growth – we built an organization that was able to quadruple its output over the last year specifically because we are built on good management practices and built to last. Growth will slow compared to 2020 of course, but we fully expect it to remain high.

About the Leader

Dr Graham Wylie, CEO of MRN, is a pharmaceutical industry veteran of over 30 years and has been an agent of change throughout. He formed MRN in 2006, now the leader of the DCT sector and one of the fastest growing healthcare companies in the UK.

“I joined Pfizer as a PM running trials – this was fantastic management training ground in R&D. I became interested in the development of PM software and Continuous Improvement methods and moved to NY to globalize CI and IT programs in core systems such as patient data management, SAE and CTMs. This is where I became interested in the application of QMS to clinical research,” says Dr Wylie.

“To become more commercially educated, after 10 years in big pharma, I moved to a global CRO, going back to my roots as Medical Director for Northern Europe, and then latterly as VP of Account Management, Europe. By then, I had decided I wanted to do something more radical to address the chronic problems in trial processes, and so joined Healthcare at Home (HaH) to create a clinical trial division called Medical Research Network. After less than a year, I lead an MBO of the division to create a separate company, and became CEO of MRN Ltd, a role I have enjoyed ever since,” he adds.

“My personal growth since then has been about building an ethical, patient focused but commercial business, learning how to manage high levels of growth and building a growing group of passionate people who want to see change in the way clinical research is delivered. It’s been a blast,” Dr Wylie concludes.



Related Posts

Copyright 2023 © Insightscare Magazine ( a Digital Ink brand ) All rights reserved.