UPS Expands Clinical Trial Logistics to Support Drug, Vaccine Research

Key investments in technology, temperature-control capabilities and customer service provide biological specimen transportation.

UPS announced a significant global expansion of its healthcare-specific capabilities to support clinical trials. UPS’s investments in a range of specialized solutions will help pharmaceutical companies and clinical investigators move sensitive materials and specimens globally, particularly in and out of complex geographies.

Building on its expansive, integrated network, UPS has made advancements targeted to meet strict clinical trial logistics requirements. Enhancements include: the healthcare-compliant development of an easy-to-use shipping system for clinical investigator sites; an expansion of the healthcare control tower network, package intercept and re-icing capabilities; and upgraded operations to move temperature-sensitive biological specimens in and out of more than 60 countries more efficiently.

Making these investments, together with utilizing an established network of local specialty couriers, helps UPS serve the clinical trial research community by providing efficiency in the transport of specimens without sacrificing service.

Given the global reach of clinical studies, streamlined logistics are an increasingly important component of successful trials. UPS serves this expanding market, covering many geographies, from Mexico City to Minneapolis, or Bangkok to Berlin.

“As innovation in the biopharma industry evolves—and with the emergence of personalized therapies and growing direct-to-patient trends—research and development activity will only increase around the world. Our cost-effective portfolio streamlines logistics for clinical trials into one global network across sometimes remote, hard-to-reach locations,” says Habib N’Konou, UPS Senior Operations Director for Clinical Trials. “With drug research taking years at a cost in the billions, a product loss or damage, including falling out of temperature range, could mean a costly setback. Our recent improvements to our network can help reduce product loss or damage.”

UPS mitigates risks by employing world-class air freight and small package capabilities for Investigational Medicinal Products, specimen kits, ancillary supplies, and medical devices to and from investigator sites, contract research organizations, and diagnostic centers. Its customs brokerage team, one of the world’s largest, helps shippers navigate international regulations and avoid costly delays.

“Improved health outcomes through sophisticated drugs and vaccines starts with successful clinical trials,” says Geoff Light, UPS Vice President of Global Healthcare Strategy. “Optimized logistics is an integral component of medical research and development, and our goal is to help clinical investigators reach any part of the world with maximum efficiency. We will continue to invest in the right global solutions with the aim of becoming the preeminent leader in biological specimen transportation.”

UPS delivers value through specialized services for healthcare and life science companies. UPS’s network includes temperature-sensitive storage and transportation (from ambient and controlled-room temperature to frozen and cryogenics), around-the-clock monitoring and security, and a single global IT order management platform. The company has more than 50 healthcare-dedicated facilities strategically positioned within global markets. Shippers have the ability to customize solutions from the UPS Temperature TrueTM , UPS Proactive Response TM, UPS WorldShip TM, UPS Quantum View TM and other portfolios that leverage expertise in packaging, labeling, monitoring, and storage capabilities.

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