Dr. Steve Cutler
Chief Executive Officer, ICON plc
ICON has been monitoring the global COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak in China in early 2020. Using guidance from global and national health organisations, we have put a range of measures in place to protect the safety of our employees, to ensure the continuity of clients’ research programmes and to help protect the welfare of patients. These are our top priorities and are at the heart of every decision we are making regarding COVID-19.
- We have advised all ICON employees to work remotely until 5 June, at which time we will review whether to extend remote working for an additional period. All ICON offices will remain open during this time to facilitate employees who have a critical need to access an office.
- ICON has a robust and secure global IT infrastructure, which includes strong collaboration tools to enable employees to work remotely from all global locations.
- Our laboratory colleagues are continuing to work from our laboratories in the US, Europe and Asia. To protect our employees and minimise the risk of future service disruption, we have introduced a split shift rotation for our sample management and testing teams in our laboratories in Dublin, Ireland, Farmingdale, NY and in Singapore.
- We have suspended all non-essential business travel. All business critical travel that supports the delivery of client studies continues, as long as there are no government directives in place that prevent employees from travelling to a particular region.
- ICON study teams are continuing to review studies and are contacting sites and regulatory agencies to determine the impact of COVID-19 on study timelines. Where there are instances of predicted delays, ICON study teams are working with client teams to develop study-specific plans to minimize the risk to study timelines.
- Medical Monitors are assessing the impact of COVID-19 on patient safety and IP dosing compliance and are formulating mitigation strategies with Project Managers and with Sponsor medical and operational teams. All ICON pharmacovigilance and safety reporting operations are fully operational.
- Monitoring visits are continuing to sites where sites are allowing visits – where they are not, we are reviewing and agreeing alternative approaches with Sponsors on a study-by-study basis. Alternative approaches include remote monitoring and ‘at home’ services delivered through our Symphony Clinical Research group.
- The ICON global site network, operated by PMG Clinical Research and MeDiNova are currently open and conducting patient visits.
- ICON’s Clinical Research Unit in San Antonio, Texas, is operating as normal and has strict procedures in place for the recruitment of subjects and for the protection of subjects during study confinement.
ICON is deeply committed to driving research into COVID-19 and we are providing clinical monitoring and safety oversight on several new COVID-19 trials including a prophylactic vaccine study in healthy participants, and a study investigating antiviral treatment for patients with confirmed Coronavirus infection.
To support clients in tracking the vast amount of information and reporting on COVID-19, we have established the Coronavirus Observatory, a free tool which applies AI analysis and data visualisation to COVID-19 news and social media, providing updates on the latest vaccine trials and insights into trending topics driving Coronavirus reporting. You can access the Coronavirus Observatory at www.iconplc.com/coronavirus
We continue to assess the ever-changing impact of COVID-19 on our operations and we are committed to keeping clients regularly updated on the latest developments.