Veterinary medicine is progressing at rapid speed. Imperative to advancing animal health are clinical investigators, who work tirelessly to contribute to the development of new treatments, therapies, devices, and diagnostic tools. They are often at the forefront of groundbreaking research, and their work can have a profound impact on animal health and wellbeing. Who better to explain how it can enhance a clinic than an actual investigator? We spoke with Dr. Eddie Robinson, DVM.
Incorporating veterinary clinical trials as a service to your clinic can have numerous benefits. Firstly, it can provide patients with access to cutting-edge treatments that they may not have had access to otherwise. This can lead to better outcomes and improved quality of life for patients and their owners. Additionally, offering clinical trials can enhance your clinic's reputation as a leader in veterinary healthcare and attract new clients seeking advanced treatments. It can also provide a source of revenue, as sponsors typically compensate clinics for their participation in clinical trials. Furthermore, conducting clinical trials can provide valuable insights into new treatments and therapies, which can benefit both your clinic and the wider animal health community. Finally, participating in clinical trials can provide your staff with opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge, which can enhance their professional development and job satisfaction.
A clinical investigator of 18 years, Dr. Eddie Robinson, DVM, has a wealth of experience to share. A Columbia, SC, native and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Robinson founded the Midlands Veterinary Practice in South Carolina in 1991. He works alongside two other veterinarians at his companion animal clinic, that has recently been acquired by Destination Pet, LLC. Dr. Robinson received his B.S.in Zoology from Clemson University, and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree four years later at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Additionally, he is a member of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, and the Greater Columbia Association of Veterinarians. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and listening to jazz.
Dr. Robinson has participated in several studies with Argenta with the help of his dedicated team. His initial driver to start with clinical research was to generate additional income for the practice. And while the financial part is still important, these days it is the involvement in the scientific part that really motivates the team.
Dr. Robinson said, "Being on the cutting edge of new therapeutics, as well as helping clients and patients through clinical trials who otherwise may not be able to afford certain therapeutics, is what I love most about it."
Veterinarians are often concerned about the time it takes to be involved in clinical trials. While there are administrative tasks involved, Dr. Robinson shared that it doesn’t consume too much of their time. He has trusted relationships with his clients, the pet parents.
“After the enrolment visit, we highly encourage our clients to drop off their animals at the clinic, so we can work with and take care of them throughout the day. This way we optimise the utilisation of our staff,” Dr. Robinson said.
“I really enjoy doing clinical trials and I always sit down with my team to discuss an outline of each study before we accept it. When the staff likes the study that we are involved in, everything goes smoothly.”
Argenta has dedicated teams who support clinical investigators when they are on a study. This ranges from finding the right study for the practice, to trainings, clinic visits, and providing promotional materials to communicate about a study. Each site gets a designated Clinical Research Associate (CRA) who is the main point of contact.
Dr. Robinson said, “Up to this point I’ve had nothing but positive relationships with my CRAs from Argenta. They have all been very professional and willing to help with any questions or problem that could arise.”
The biggest challenge that Dr. Robinson faces with his clinical trials is patient enrolment. "Even though we do a good job of enrolling cases, I wish we had the time to enrol even more,” he said.
Argenta feels fortunate to have a large network of investigators, like Dr. Robinson, in the US and Europe who are committed to contributing to new treatments and therapies and improve the way we care for pets across the globe.
If you are interested in becoming an investigator, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
About clinical trials
Participation in a clinical study is completely voluntary. Pet owners who choose to enrol their furry family member typically have access to the latest treatments and procedures and the highest level of care.
The products in a study have been evaluated previously in laboratory settings or limited field studies. Promising results require 'real world' input in day-to-day applications within a veterinary clinical setting.
This is where our network of investigators comes in. In every study, the safety of the animal is the number 1 priority. Argenta only runs studies for products that have comprehensive safety research data. Before a clinical study starts, the protocol is extensively reviewed to ensure that it is well designed and that risks to the patient are minimised as much as possible.