When I first entered the clinical research industry 13 years ago, I quickly learned that those that choose (and believe me, it is very much a choice–clinical research isn’t for everyone!) to spend their careers in research tend to fall into one of two buckets. The first is comprised of those that land a gig at a company and, through a series of mergers and acquisitions, spend the next 30 years of their lives at the same parent organization. The second is comprised of those that move around every 18-24 months. While I was drawn to the former, I always found myself in the latter, making moves to satisfy my curiosity and desire to better contribute to reducing the time it takes to bring promising new therapeutics to the patients that need them most.
My career has taken me across the industry and across the world, all the while knowing that it was just a matter of time before I struck out on my own. When I received my initial vision loss diagnosis back in 2019, I was working as a traveling sales guy for an ophthalmic CRO, building strategic partnerships with innovative organizations working to cure blindness and restore vision loss. When I realized how quickly my vision was deteriorating and how rapidly my visual processing issues were progressing, I committed to making a change, getting back to my roots in patient advocacy.
Right off the bat, I understood that I was exceptionally privileged. Privileged to have the option of making a career move. Privileged to be a crusty, old white guy who knows how the clinical development sausage is made. With (failing) eyes wide open, I decided to harness my powers for good, working to help advocates that don’t have a receptive audience find their platform and assisting budding advocates to more effectively tell their stories.
Along the way, I’ve built an incredible network of fellow advocates that have become my dearest friends, confidantes, and teachers. I’ve worked across all phases of research, therapeutic areas, and stages of the journey towards commercialization. Ultimately, I found that what I’m most passionate about is patient focused drug development (PFDD), a framework created by FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to ensure unmet needs; quality of life impacts; and patient preferences are better understood and thoughtfully incorporated into the clinical development process.
By better aligning clinical development plans with patients wants and needs, we can dramatically reduce clinical development timelines. By creating meaningful, long-term partnerships with patient communities and advocacy organizations built around trust and authenticity, we can work to make sure that, should these new treatments make it to market, access and reimbursement aren’t insurmountable obstacles.
And that, my friends, brings me to today. I’m so pleased to announce the official launch of Canary Advisors, a boutique consultancy founded by me and co-founder Jenn McNary. At Canary, we work hand in glove with organizations set on patient focused clinical development. We recognize that there’s no one size fits all approach to advocacy. As a result, our offerings are tailor-made to match the needs of the patient communities our partners serve. We can’t wait to tell you more.
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