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Perfection is My Enemy? 

"Perfection is my enemy". Have you ever heard that phrase, or something to that effect? While perfection can be elusive in our personal or professional lives, pursuing it matters: the quest for perfection fuels innovation and progress. That is how I've come to see my work in clinical research. While it's hard to get too misty-eyed over a multi-billion-dollar industry, I can get kind of emotional over the positive impact that research has made in many people's lives. And I've seen that up-close and personal.

For example, when I first started my career with Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research, I was involved in a clinical trial with a new drug called rosuvastatin. That may not mean much to you, but I'll bet Crestor® rings a bell. Before that, there were pivotal trials with Lipitor® and Zocor®...groundbreaking research right here in River City. And now we are exploring even more exciting and potentially life-changing cholesterol therapies that might just be household names in ten years.

While perfection may be my enemy, persistence is my friend. Intermittent effort rarely brings the desired results. Just think about that New Year's resolve we had 6 months ago...it's through intentional work that we see benefits. Whether it is an exercise routine or a new project at work, we see over and over again that persistence pays.

Clinical research is a "perfect" example of this principle. It often takes more than a decade to bring a new therapy to the market. During this time, multiple trials are completed and millions of hours and dollars are spent to satisfy science and the necessary regulatory agencies. But without this process, new therapies and life-saving innovations would not be available to us and to the people that matter to us.

We at the affiliated sites of Encore Research are persistent in our quest for clinical trial perfection. In the research industry, we are consistently recognized for our excellence in the field of clinical research where our commitment to ethical conduct and quality data is evident. From the Westside Center for Clinical Research to PAMRI, our site in Panama, we bring a new level of research opportunity to the communities that we serve.

I am glad to be a part of this exciting process. You can be a part as well. Join us. Pursue perfection!


Posted by Amy Autry Bush Monday, August 20, 2012 1:36:00 PM Categories: Musings

Dr. K's Corner 

What's PCSK9?

No, it's not a secret government defense project, a new hip hop star, or a dog equipped with a cell phone.

PCSK9 is a newly discovered protein that may hold the key to ending cholesterol problems. Scientists have found that this protein interferes with the way liver cells clear cholesterol from the blood. Folks without a gene for PCSK9 - or pro-protein convertase subtilisin-kexin 9 for you biochemistry majors - live normal lives with very low cholesterol levels and virtually no heart disease. People with high levels of PCSK9 usually have severe heart and vascular disease complications if not treated.
Ever wonder if you or someone you know could have their genes changed? Well that would take a Divine Act, of course. But modern medicine can do the next best thing - get rid of the product of the gene.
For PCSK9, we now have access in research studies to an injectable monoclonal antibody which binds the protein. Using this therapy, we can dramatically reduce free PCSK9 protein molecules in the blood and drop cholesterol levels dramatically with or without a statin drug. As it turns out, statin drugs work well with this new therapy. Together, PCSK9 therapy and statins can drop LDL cholesterol to as low as 20 mg/dl. Guidelines now recommend LDL cholesterol levels below 100 mg/dl for folks with heart disease, but many scientists think that stopping the progression of heart disease requires even lower levels than currently advocated.
Come by our centers and learn whether or not you, a friend, or family member could participate in one of several research studies in this area. In my world, this new science is really hot stuff.


Posted by Amy Autry Bush Monday, August 20, 2012 9:10:00 AM Categories: Insider Corner
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