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Personal Story

The Greatness of Clinical Trials

Dr. Kelvin Eckert, Pfizer
The Greatness of Clinical Trials

I was interested in the impact the use of antibiotics and the spread of antibiotic resistance was making. Antimicrobial resistance is a big topic in microbiology. Development of antibiotic resistance by pathogens makes it necessary to develop new treatment options. Otherwise in certain cases we would face fewer or no treatment options.

Dr. Kelvin Eckert has been working for Pfizer in Berlin, Germany since 2017. Kelvin is one of three European Study Managers of COMBACTE-CARE’s REVISIT trial. He has always had an interest in microbiology, and shares his views on working within REVISIT and the private-public partnership. While in Edinburgh, where he studied for a year, Kelvin developed a curiosity in clinical medical microbiology.

 

Joining the clinical trial world

Kelvin completed a PhD about cellulose degradation and ultimately decided to pursue a career in clinical trials. He was trained as a Clinical Research Associate and worked in clinical logistics at a clinical research organization in Berlin. “Clinical trials is a great world to work in. I enjoy working in large teams internationally”.

REVISIT is Kelvin’s first clinical trial related to antibiotics in the field of infectious diseases. He was previously involved in oncology, women’s health and chronic pain studies.

“REVISIT is a complex study. There are 23 countries selected to participate. We are setting up sites with all the logistics and laboratory supplies. I am responsible for ensuring vendors are clear on timelines, the central laboratory supplies arrive in time, and the samples get back to the laboratory. ”

— Kelvin Eckert

Advantages of a public-private partnership

By working in the REVISIT trial Kelvin experienced working within public-private partnerships for the first time. “It is a very interesting setup. A huge advantage is having this great pool of qualified and motivated sites. Usually when there are questions or if there are any issues at the sites we can reach out to our academic leads and get direct feedback. We also organize monthly site forums to bring important points to their attention from our side, and we have the opportunity to get feedback on their questions.”

 

  • “From a recruitment perspective it has great benefits knowing that you can start off with a network of sites which has the patients you need. You can see that we truly need these highly specialized sites. Without this partnership it would have been very difficult to identify these sites”.

Pandemic Mode

The current pandemic made managing work and family tricky. His afternoons are mainly taken up by internal meetings or calls with vendors.

“A lot of my work is oversight. We discuss progress with central labs, ancillary supplies providers and other vendors. We also review operational issues at the sites and data cleaning. The downside of working from home is not being able to chat with colleagues face-to-face”.