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OnQ Research: Blend of Innovations Assuring Adaptability

Catherine Lund | Founder and Managing Director | OnQ Research
Catherine Lund | Founder and Managing Director | OnQ Research

Clinical trials are carried out by contract research organizations (CROs) for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology businesses as well as for academic institutions, governmental agencies, and foundations. Using a CRO for outsourcing reduces the amount of time needed for clinical trials and product development.

When compared to conducting the trial internally, working with a CRO frequently results in significant time savings. The tools and resources needed are already available to CROs, and they also have a staff of internal experts with experience in all facets of clinical testing, development, and compliance.

With more than 20 years of experience, OnQ Research is a full-service contract research organization (CRO). It is dedicated to offering pharmaceutical, biotech, other CROs, and allied businesses innovative, affordable, and useful clinical research services. OnQ Research was established in 1999 and has since carried out more than 500 clinical trials in southern Europe and more than 10 African nations.

Without the chance to incorporate other African nations, South Africa cannot be viewed in isolation. Mozambique, Botswana, Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania are just a few of the African nations where OnQ Research has conducted extensive research. This entails assessing a new region and assisting in the creation of full-fledged, qualified clinical research sites through site evaluation and resource and capacity building. Success in all clinical trials on the African continent is guaranteed by its distinctive Clinical Monitoring Team concept and clinical study approach. The company is known for producing high-quality research quickly and effectively.

Clients can centralize research across Africa with the help of OnQ. Due to its extensive expertise and experience, it can provide excellent patient care, lower risk, and superior data management. OnQ’s clinical research team is spread across all of the major cities in each nation, allowing it to be flexible and deploy resources as needed.

Under the adept leadership of Catherine Lund, the Founder and Managing Director, OnQ Research offers top-notch clinical trial management and coordination through CRAs with regional bases in all major cities in the nations it operates in. This ensures close site management and reduces costly travel expenses. It is perfect for all of its clinical trial management needs due to its significant experience in carrying out successful trials.

Below are highlights of the interview that emphasize OnQ’s services to assist with the entire continuum of clinical research. 

Catherine, please brief our audience about your company, its USPs, and how it is positioned as a reliable name in the CRO sector?

OnQ Research is a South African-based, organically grown CRO servicing primarily the African continent. OnQ Research prides itself on offering its clients a blend of innovation, adaptability while adding real value with our highly trained staff. We use science as the basic premise for our services without compromising on quality.

OnQ Research does not have a “one size fits all” approach’. This applies to all aspects of the client relationship and interface, from budgets to sizes of teams, systems and processes offered, and levels of engagement.

Shed some light on your offerings and how they impact the CRO industry as well as your clients. How your company provides research services to various organizations?

We offer assistance with protocol inception and design, liaising and obtaining appropriate Health Authority and IRB approvals, selecting high quality sites through our extensive networks, project management, monitoring, data management, and medical writing.

What are the core values upon which your organization is built? What is the vision and mission of your organization?

Our core values are Empowerment: We empower emerging biotech and pharma companies with tools, resources, and expertise for clinical trial execution. Internally, we also apply the same value. We are passionate about career growth and offering potential candidates opportunities to add value to our organization. Collaboration: OnQ collaborates with sponsors and clients to drive cost-effective delivery of clinical trials. Quality-focused. We are committed to the ethical conduct of clinical trials and delivering quality data for drug registration.

Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how modern technologies have impacted the CRO sector. How has your company incorporated such technologies into its daily operations?

We make use of carefully selected, fit-for-purpose systems for day-to-day clinical trial management. We use a CTMS for project management tracking and are in the process of implementing a locally developed learning management system and quality management platform. As our company grows, the implementation of new technologies is crucial to improving efficiencies. Still, it requires careful risk-benefit considerations to ensure that we remain capable of delivering a high-quality product at a competitive price.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the CRO space?

Although I am, of course, biased, this is one of the most exciting industries in which to venture. Networking is key. Attending as many conferences as you can and accessing as much information as you can. Understand what part of the CRO space excites you and where you can see your future path.

How do you envision scaling your organization’s operations and offerings in 2022 and beyond?

Our company is very deliberate in its focus on being the premier CRO in Africa. Our plan to achieve this is to be intentional about investing in our staff and understanding that all our clients require a bespoke and unique service.

Please give us a few testimonials of your clients/customers and a list of awards/recognitions that accurately highlight your organization’s position in the market. (If available/permissible)

Our clients consistently offer similar feedback in that they enjoy working with our organization, which is flexible, adaptable, and up for any challenge. It has been broadly indicated that we have a “can-do” problem-solving approach to conducting clinical research without compromising on quality outcomes.

The Adept Leader

Catherine started her clinical research journey as a study coordinator for an RSV trial. She then joined IQVIA (then Quintiles) as a clinical trial assistant in 1996 and trained to become a CRA. She started consulting in 1999 and gradually evolved the business into a CRO. She describes herself as an accidental entrepreneur and grew the team and processes as the demand grew.

Catherine Lund is the Founder and Managing Director of OnQ Research. She is, by training, a registered neonatal nurse who entered the clinical research arena as a research nurse, followed by her formal clinical research training at Quintiles. She left Quintiles to pursue a career in contracting.

Through collaborations, she then established OnQ Research, initially as a consultancy, which evolved into a full-service, South African-based CRO in 1999. Catherine Lund has served on the SACRA (South African Clinical Research Association) Exco for a period of three years. She was the Vice Chair for the South African Chapter of ACRP (Annual Review of Competency Progression) in 2003.

Catherine Lund is a registered nurse with a diploma in general, midwifery, community health, and psychiatry, a certificate in neonatal intensive care, and a BA in diplomacy and political studies from B.G. Alexander Nursing College and UNISA, respectively.

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