Timelines in Ophthalmic Clinical Research

Revised and Updated by Seth Preston on: April 14th, 2020


Timeline achievement is central to a successful clinical trial and pivotal to staying within budget. When taking on a project, a sponsor must address how a CRO approaches timelines. Trial Runners shares the sponsor’s commitment to timeline achievement, not just by meeting established timelines, but by establishing the most aggressive in the industry. Showcasing our dedication to meeting these timelines, Trial Runners now offers STRIDE, our in-house patient recruitment services. We utilize marketing best practices to surpass these timelines. But, enough about STRIDE, for now at least!


Why set such aggressive timelines? As demonstrated in the chart below, Parkinson’s Law dictates that a company’s workforce will take the full amount of time allotted to finish a project. This isn’t uncommon in any industry; timelines often include extra padding – the second half of the curve below – despite the minimum amount of time it could take with all hands on deck. This helps companies maintain impeccable KPI’s but it doesn’t benefit the client.

Image showing Parkinson's law


Trial Runners uses this curve differently to leverage staff effort, set aggressive timelines, and ultimately deliver, sometimes sooner than even seems possible. Rather than extending the timeline to allow ample time for the internal team, Trial Runners puts the sponsor and the patients’ needs first by activating an all-hands-on-deck approach that allows delivery as early as possible. The result?.. Timelines that set a new benchmark in clinical research and consistent achievement of them.

These standard Trial Runners timelines are a great example of what can happen when a CRO thinks like a sponsor:

  • Protocol finalized to first patient in < 60 days

  • Final patient enrolled to database lock </= 28 days

  • Database lock to topline data – within 7 days

  • Database lock to final CSR < 60 days



Trial Runners works as an extension of the sponsor’s team to ensure timeline achievement throughout the project. Strategies that lead to internal dedication to important timelines include:

  • Proactive timeline establishment based on site history, patient population, and experience

  • Dedicated project manager assigned for the duration of the study

  • Early detection and intervention of problems that slow the progress of the study

  • High-level oversight on every project from an experienced clinical director


To learn more about Trial Runners and our extensive ophthalmology experience, contact us via our website or through email at info@trialrunners.com