Advancing Scientific Knowledge
Accellacare seeks clinical trial volunteers, eyes a healthier future for all
By Monica Kreber
Volunteers make research possible.
They are the first step in helping to find new treatments, therapies and cures that will go on to save lives; anyone who has ever taken prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication has already been impacted by clinical research and its volunteer participants.
That is where Accellacare comes into play—and this clinical research company that recently opened a location in Mt. Pleasant is eager to find willing participants to help in a study focusing on the respiratory syncytial virus (or RSV).
Accellacare, formerly PMG Research, is a global site network that conducts clinical research studies for the most reputable sponsors in pharmaceutical development. Clinical research studies are conducted to help develop diagnostic tools and medical equipment and create prevention or treatment options for medical conditions.
Kelly Costin serves as the manager of site operations of the research location off of Wingo Way and described Charleston’s downtown medical district as one experiencing rapid growth of biotechnology and medical research industries.
“The region offers a vital health and wellness community with a strong commitment to medical research and access to top healthcare professionals,” she said.
Costin is a huge promoter of clinical research.
Ultimately, Costin said, clinical research positively impacts the health of millions. Such research leads to the development of new medications, vaccines and medical devices.
“I fully believe in the work we do at Accellacare,” she said. “Patient care is at the heart of everything we do. I’ve seen firsthand the commitment to ensuring patients are treated with the utmost care and respect whilst maintaining the highest standards in research.”
Accellacare is currently looking for participants to help combat RSV, a virus that reaches up 64 million people around the world every year.
RSV is similar to the flu, the common cold and COVID-19 in that it is an upper respiratory infection. While lesser known than those other ailments, it is actually the leading cause of bronchitis and pneumonia.
Costin said young children, older adults and those with underlying health conditions are most at-risk with this virus—it is also highly contagious, and the leading cause of bronchitis and pneumonia.
“With no preventative vaccine or effective antiviral treatment available, RSV remains a major global public health concern and a cause of serious respiratory illness in all age groups,” Costin said.
Clinical trials for the RSV vaccine that Accellacare is studying began in 2012. Accellacare is searching for up to 25,000 adults 60 years of age or older to participate in an RSV study; the main goal is to see if an investigational study vaccine can prevent RSV disease in older adults.
Costin added that most adults recover quickly from respiratory infections caused by RSV, but if the infection reaches the lungs and becomes a serious infection, it can result in hospitalization.
That’s why Accellacare needs research participants and Costin stands by the impact the company wants to make.
“The fact that I have already benefited from all the people who took part in earlier clinical research is what brought me into this line of work,” she said. “Ultimately, clinical studies make a difference not just for today’s patients, but also potentially to those who’ll be diagnosed tomorrow, next month, or even a decade from now.”
To join a study, a potential volunteer goes through a medical screening process, which looks at the volunteer’s personal medical history – similar to what one might go through at an annual doctor’s visit. Participants are provided with lots of background information about the study – like how long it will last, what is involved and what is expected in terms of participation. A doctor will confirm if a volunteer meets all the eligibility criteria, and participants sign an informed consent document in order to be a part of the study.
Getting involved in the RSV study includes two and a half to three years of participation, including 4-5 scheduled visits, one injection (either the investigational RSV vaccine or placebo, depending on the volunteer’s assigned group), donation of blood samples and the completion of diary cards for 30 days, following the injection.
Participants receive all study-related care and medication at no cost. Health insurance is not required. Financial compensation for time and travel is also provided.
Costin added that taking part in a clinical trial is entirely voluntary; one may leave at any time.
“Nothing obligates you to join a study, but it’s an option worth examining,” she said. “If you participate in a study, you’ll be advancing scientific knowledge to help the next patient like you.”
For more information visit www.accellacare.us or call 843-544-9573.