Drug Today Medical Times
The clinical trials services industry is under pressure of twin dimension– cost control and accelerating demand for faster drug development. Ajay Sathe, CEO of Cytel India sees this major challenge to the industry as an opportunity for competent professionals.
Global bioinformatics market is expected to reach $6.8 billion by the year 2017 and a considerable amount of allocation will go into making drug development more efficient and cost-effective. Advances in Genomics, Personalized Medicine, and Risk-based Monitoring will spur increased investment in technology and innovation in services. Mr. Sathe anticipates that India (and more generally Asia) with its large pool of young, talented human resource, will spearhead the growth of this segment.
The pioneering courses offered by the organisation are Clinical SAS® programming and Clinical SAS® internship. The former aims at providing extensive training in SAS® with an orientation to the Clinical Trials Domain. The result is a better appreciation of the concepts in context of the domain and thus higher level of efficiency while applying the concepts in programming. The latter is a course that offers practical experience which closely resembles the assignments entry level SAS® professionals are required to undertake. This course has been immensely popular among students as well as recruiters with some of the recruiters categorically asking for candidates who have completed internship.
The next course on offer is a strategic response of Cytel to address its growing demand for skilled SAS® professionals. As the company is poised for a steep growth, it is facing the need for a pool of talented, project-ready professionals to spur its growth. The industry expects that the professionals carry a certain work experience before they are put on real projects.
The candidates get trained for first six months on various topics which form the building blocks of Clinical Trial Services. The list of topics is quite exhaustive – ranging from domain overview and data standards to therapeutic areas and statistics in clinical trials, providing an unmatched exposure to the value chain of the industry.
During the next twelve months they undergo rigorous on-the-job training which exposes them to assignments that go closest to the real-time work they are expected to perform as full-time professionals. The candidates emerging from this schedule are well-equipped with the theoretical training, practical experience and sound domain knowledge.
The entire journey is very thoughtfully designed and meticulously executed, thanks to the efforts put in by the motivated team of experienced professionals at Cytel. The eligibility criterion is quite flexible with aptitude and attitude being the most vital pre-requisites. The programme is open to graduates and post-graduates from a variety of career streams– Life Sciences, Pharmacy, Biotechnology, Statistics, Engineering and Computer Science. Cytel is so confident about the success of C-CAP candidates that it has decided to hire minimum 40 candidates each year starting 2015 from the C-CAP batches being run at various locations. No wonder, this programme is being looked up to as one of the most viable options for candidates aspiring to build a career in Clinical programming.
The latest offering is C-STAR (Clinical SAS® Training and project-Readiness). This programme bundles the fundamental building blocks of professional training (SAS® training and internship) and augments them by adding what are termed as differentiators among the aspirants – Domain knowledge and Soft-skills. This seven-month programme is ideal for candidates who wish to join as junior SAS® programmers in the Clinical Trial Services Industry.
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