12 December 2017 | Features
WITH HER 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, BINDHYA CARIAPPA IS WORKING ON PUTTING INDIA ON THE GLOBAL CLINICAL TRIAL MAP.
Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President Turkey, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, Clintec International
With 22 years of experience in the Clinical Research industry and an expert in vaccine development, Bindhya Cariappa has seen her share of struggles and challenges in her career.
After completing a Master’s degree in Pharmacy, she took up her first job as a clinical research associate (CRA) at Smith Kline Beecham.
“Twenty years ago, this was a role that was very new to India but the description promised an interesting career in research. I was selected as the first CRA for SmithKline Beecham’s operations in India. Working with global clinical development and regulatory teams in UK & Europe helped rapidly assimilate knowledge of challenges and best practices across global clinical research programs (before the ICH GCP guidelines were rolled out) and initiate GCP compliant trials in India. It has been a very interesting journey ever since”, shared Bindhya.
Today, Bindhya brings extensive clinical drug development experience having managed over 100 clinical programs in more than 30 countries, from North America to Australia.
Her extensive experience includes management of clinical operations, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, medical writing, and training across these geographies. She has also been involved in training and development, working with 2 academic institutions in India and the UK to develop and deliver the curriculum for Masters programmes.
Bindhya joined Clintec in 2002 and gradually developed and implemented the company’s clinical services in India. Bindhya has supported the development and expansion of Clintec’s operations in Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
“The change in clinical trial regulations significantly impacted the clinical research industry as the majority of the workforce within these organisations was supporting onsite clinical operations activities. Observing the growing trend, it was imminent to implement plans to de- risk the business and we cross-trained resources to work on other functional verticals, upskilled resources to take on project lead and project management roles that were agnostic to location of operation. This helped us successfully maintain the team, double our turnover and we were one of the only organisations in India that avoided redundancies”, Bindhya pointed out.
With an estimated annual revenue of $100 million, Clintec is at the top of its growth metrics when compared to competitors. During 2015-2020, while the CRO market in North America is expected to grow at 10.4 per cent CAGR, the Asia Pacific CRO market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 19.9 per cent. “The current challenges are to put India on the global clinical trial map, as well as manage the recruitment challenges of oncology and rare disease programs globally, that constitute a majority of the programs we manage. Expansion of clinical programs to India, is at the heart of all our client, industry and regulatory interactions. I also interact with various groups including under students to raise awareness and educate participants on the need for clinical trials and the importance to understand patient’s rights”, said Bindhya.