Kristy G. Nichols, Co-Founder, President & CEO
When Kristy Nichols and Sharon Hilton were employees of UCB Pharma—a large biopharmaceutical company—they experienced first-hand the challenges of working with contract/ clinical research organizations (CROs) the world over. The spark for Peachtree arose out of need to fill a perceived void in clinical development services for biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies.
“We recognized that while the clinical research industry had great business potential, in our experience, CROs weren’t providing team members with enough experience to proactively solve issues arising in complex indications and programs. We saw an opportunity to build a business model in which most of the investment went into hiring associates with extensive experience in all phases of clinical trials, as well as complex, novel, operational and scientific designs, instead of putting millions of dollars into building an onboarding program to train talent new to the industry on the basics of clinical trials,” explains Kristy, the co-founder, president, and CEO of Peachtree BioResearch Solutions. “We put ‘Solutions’ in our name for a reason—leveraging deep experience to solve complex issues for our clients.”
After forming Peachtree, Kristy and her team made a concerted effort to focus on emerging to mid-sized companies— an underserved segment of the industry and those most in need of a CRO that could provide customized solutions that allow them to complete their projects within a sometimes confined budget and limited sponsor understanding of the clinical trial process. “The huge boom in the biotech industry and focus on niche patient populations has given birth to a lot of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). However, most of them don’t possess adequate clinical infrastructure and require guidance on how best to advance their products to the market,” adds Kristy.
Peachtree is a full-service CRO with services including project management, clinical monitoring, biometrics (data management and statistical analysis), technical report writing, quality assurance, and clinical staff resourcing.
Since most SMBs operate with limited budgets and within strict timeframes, Peachtree strives to deliver efficient and cost-effective solutions that allow clients to focus on planning and strategic direction of their overall clinical program. “Given the type of clients we work with, their viability depends on the efficient execution of their pivotal clinical trials. In some cases, it may be their only shot to succeed. That’s why we do everything within our power to efficiently manage their trial without sacrificing quality,” says Kristy. On that front, Peachtree BioResearch Solutions ensures their project managers possess significant, relevant experience and empowers them with the authority to provide solutions without layers of management approvals.
Unlike most CROs, Peachtree views the industry differently due to its core team’s experience on the other side of the business—the sponsor side. Peachtree puts a significant amount of effort into the proposal process beyond the typical RFP parameters. “From the moment we receive an RFP, our clinical operations personnel are critically evaluating the protocol for potential scientific and operational improvements and developing proactive strategies for rapid start-up and subject acquisition,” says Charles Romano, Vice President of Medical & Scientific Affairs. “This is typically our one shot to differentiate ourselves and make it to the next step of proposal review and project award,” adds John Durkee, Vice President of Business Development.
Another industry trend that the CRO recognizes is the increased focus on personalized medicine, especially specific patient groups with genetic defects that use biomarkers as qualification. Establishing partnerships with specialty genetic testing laboratories and disease specific advocacy groups allows Peachtree to better target potential clinical sites with the subject population and develop specific recruitment programs to augment enrollment.
Capitalizing on 10 years of steady growth, Peachtree BioResearch Solutions continues to leverage their internal expertise to focus on clinical research in complex central nervous system diseases (CNS), neurological disorders, and rare disease types. Peachtree expects to sustain their rapid growth in new client acquisitions, organic growth with existing clients, and continued investment in efficient processes and infrastructure making them one of the Top 10 Clinical Trials Services Companies in 2019.