IRW Consulting is a full service clinical-stage clinical research organisation with five offices across the Nordic region. Founded in 1999, IRW has regional offices in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and works with small start ups all the way through to multinationals.
Clinical trials are a critical part of the route to market, and companies need to get them just right to ensure that their drug candidate has the best possible chance of success.
“Our focus is on clinical trials, from early stage to post-approval. Staying in clinical development rather than extending into preclinical studies is a strategic decision; clinical and preclinical studies need different people with different skillsets, and we want to stay where our strength is,” said Ola Jeppsson, vice president, Nordic region and acting CEO at IRW Consulting.
Global coverage from the Nordic region
IRW is based in the Nordic region and has five offices, with locations in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
“Our aim is to be the preferred Nordic CRO. We believe that we can combine having a global reach alongside being the local CRO with the best coverage over this region,” said Jeppsson. “We can run studies across Europe, the US and the rest of the world because we have a long history of both local and global experience along with a well-established partner network.”
To ensure that its partners reach the same quality criteria as it uses in-house, IRW’s partners are carefully qualified and selected.
“We have good quality systems in place regarding our partners. Our partners in turn must have robust quality systems themselves, with well-documented standard operating procedures and processes in place, for example in IT, services, and training. They also must have a strong financial bottom line and a long history of good performance. This is important not only because of our reputation, but also because of the regulatory environment,” said Jeppsson.
Bringing specialist knowledge on board
While IRW does have extensive experience in oncology, ophthalmology and women’s health, the company has chosen not to specialise in specific therapeutic areas, as Jeppsson explained: “Our specialism is in clinical trial design, conduct and management, and our key know-how is our understanding of the Nordic hospital system and regulatory authorities. We believe that our customers are the true experts in their products and therapeutic areas.”
Growing and adapting
IRW has around 35 employees, making it one of the biggest CROs in the Nordic region, and is currently recruiting in each of the four countries.
“We are growing, but we remain flexible, and quick to adapt to new environments, and our solid quality system allows us to build on what we have,” said Jeppsson.
The company is still owned by its founder, Ingela Wiking, who set the company up 18 years ago. She has experience in both the pharm and CRO industry, and has worked in a majority of therapeutic areas.
“Ingela says that our focus should always be on our customer need,” says Jeppsson. “We aim to collaborate closely with our customers, because it is their own product we are working on, and they have the best knowledge of both the product and the therapeutic area,” concluded Jeppsson.