“The Weekly Check-Up with Dr. Bruce Feinberg” recently featured the Atlanta Center for Medical Research (ACMR) on WSB-AM 750 and 95.5 FM. Director of Operations, Eric Riesenberg, and Intake Supervisor, Dmitri Iskhakov, sat down with host Dr. Feinberg on the May 7 show.
ACMR is one of the largest independent clinical research centers in the country and draws participants from all over the Southeast. The 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, open-source research facility hosts trials for both pharmaceutical medicines and new medical devices.
Dr. Feinberg opens the show by giving background on medical research and how ACMR has pioneered their success in the greater Atlanta area. He also discusses the news coverage of the American Health Care Act and how it’s interesting to see such a huge number of the population expressing interest and concern in health care laws, which wasn’t the case in the past. Then, Dr. Feinberg asks Eric to explain why and how ACMR outgrew its original facility located in midtown Atlanta. Eric explains that they’ve been at their new location for about two and a half years now, and having 150,000 square feet gives them the capability to run trials with more people and sponsors than before. Dmitri, the primary contact for anyone interested in participating in a trial, estimates that they see about 30-40 people a day, yet only about 10-20% of people get chosen to participate.
Next, Eric elaborates on ACMR’s viewpoint that all volunteers for trial are treated as top priority. ACMR ensures that all volunteers are as comfortable as possible throughout the entire experience. From offering transportation, compensation, and even meals – which Dr. Feinberg comments is usually not required – the research facility wants to make sure participants know how appreciated they are. Eric explains that the money needed to run trials and accommodate participants either comes from the National Institute of Health or other sponsors such as pharmaceutical companies.
Dmitri then goes into explaining the 20 ongoing trials happening during the time of the recording of the show, including ones for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. A study for osteoarthritis was noted to be a crucial one not in the neuropsych field. Dmitri explains that most studies focus on being drug-based, meaning that in a given trial only about 20% of participants will be given a placebo while the other 80% receive medication. Trials average about 10-30 participants, but Dr. Feinberg was quick to bring up a larger one ACMR recently completed.
In ACMR’s last appearance on “The Weekly Check-Up,” the facility was in the process of recruiting volunteers to test a urine sampling device. Eric explained that they needed to enlist 250 participants within two weeks, which Dr. Feinberg doubted ACMR would pull off. However, ACMR was able to bring in a total of 280, thus operating at a faster pace than the sponsor expected.
This success goes to show how ACMR can hold successful clinical trials for a broad range of disease types, vaccines, medicines, and medical devices. As the show continues, Dmitri took the time to explain a few trials in greater detail. He emphasized the need for participants in current trials including five different ones for depression. There are also two Parkinson’s disease trials open: one targeting those with early-on Parkinson’s diagnosed within the last six months yet to start any treatment while the other study targets people with Parkinson’s who already tried other forms of drugs/treatment. Dmitri continues to describe trials for other conditions such as tremors, osteoarthritis, migraines, cluster headaches, and several adolescent mental health disorders.
While on the topic of trials and the screening process for clearing participants, Dr. Feinberg states that ACMR can be regarded as a resource for those who do not have health care. Regardless of health care laws, medical research is always an option for those who are seeking help with specific conditions and diseases.
The show closes with Eric encouraging any practicing physicians who were considering being a principal investigator (PI) for a clinical trial to achieve their goals. Eric explains that many physicians expressed to him the great rewards they experience by participating and running clinical research. Since ACMR is always looking to recruit doctors, he encouraged listeners to visit ACMR.org for more information and to reach out.
You can listen to the full show at: http://www.weeklycheckup.com/blog/2017/5717-eric-riesenberg-of-acmr/