Louise Scott, Associate Director of Clinical Operations

“If you relish a challenge, then Aptus Clinical is definitely the company for you” says Louise Scott, recently promoted to Associate Director of Clinical Operations at Aptus Clinical.

Louise joined the company a year ago and was first attracted to it by the opportunity to help shape a newly formed Clinical Operations department. Founded in 2016, Aptus Clinical has experienced rapid growth and has expanded into the delivery of technically and scientifically challenging studies in oncology, rare diseases and cell and gene therapies. “The clinical trials that we run are very complex and despite a long career in clinical operations, I am routinely faced with “interesting” new challenges. The regulatory requirements alone are often difficult to navigate through, but thanks to the considerable experience here, we are able to deliver what, quite frankly, most other companies wouldn’t be able to take on”.

Louise’s working week is very varied and only loosely planned. “I assign resource and support the clinical operations team with strategic direction, day-to-day problem-solving and personal development, through training and mentoring. I have several direct line reports and oversight of another ten associates who work for us remotely. To support our continuing growth, part of my week is usually spent reviewing CVs and interviewing candidates for clinical research roles. I also work with the wider team to ensure our processes and systems are fully developed, aligned, compliant and as robustly efficient as possible”.

Louise spends about half of her time on project work. As partners in iMATCH, a Manchester-based Advanced Therapy Centre Hub which is funded by Innovate UK, Aptus Clinical promotes the scale up of cell and gene therapy trials so that more patients can gain benefit from these life changing therapies. “Advanced therapy trials are notoriously complex to set up and so much of my time is spent trying to find logistical solutions to the problems of working with “live” medicines. In addition to advanced therapies, we also work in solid tumours and rare diseases, which are often more straightforward, yet nevertheless can be complex. For example, my team are currently working on a trial in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, the highly aggressive and difficult to treat tumour that is found at the base of the brain. This trial is logistically very challenging, owing to the paediatric indication, private clinic setting and the device delivery of the drug.”

Another part of Louise’s job is supporting new business development. “We rarely know when an RFP (Request For a Proposal) is going to arrive in our inbox, but when one does, it becomes a top priority as usually there is a short turn around time. I complete the RFP from a clinical operations perspective, inputting into how we will deliver the study, resource needs and the budget. It then gets passed to our Business Development team.”

Louise believes that 2019 is going to be a transformative one for Aptus Clinical. As the trials that have been set up start to move into enrolling patients and eventually reading out, it will provide the perfect opportunity to showcase to potential new clients what Aptus Clinical is capable of delivering and how it differentiates us from other contract clinical research organisations.