New Report Shows Illinois Clinical Trials Benefit State’s Health and Economy

Clinical trials of new medicines target the most debilitating chronic diseases

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Working in collaboration with Illinois’ university medical schools, hospitals and clinical research centers, the nation’s biopharmaceutical research companies are conducting or have conducted since 1999 nearly 4,400 clinical trials of new medicines in the state, a new report shows.

More than half of Illinois clinical tests target or have targeted the nation’s six most debilitating chronic diseases – asthma, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and mental illnesses, according to “Research in Your Backyard: Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Illinois.”

The report – compiled by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) – also shows that 474 of the new medicine trials are still active and recruiting patients. The appendix of the document provides information on each of those tests because for some disease sufferers, the trials could be viable new therapeutic options to discuss with their doctors.

The new PhRMA clinical trial report, which can be found at, was released at a recent hearing of the Illinois House Biotech Committee.

The report stresses that many of the medicines being tested in Illinois are new-generation biotechnology drugs, including monoclonal antibody therapies for cancer and lupus. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made versions of a naturally-occurring immune system protein that binds to and neutralizes foreign toxic substances.

“Through biotechnology, our companies are developing new ways to not only more effectively treat disease, but also to predict, preempt and prevent it,” said Jeff Trewhitt, a PhRMA spokesman and one of the authors of the new report. “The clinical trials of these cutting-edge new medicines are helping to advance science, patient health care and the state’s economy.”

David Miller, president and CEO of the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), added that “at a time when the state is focused on creating jobs and rebuilding the economy, clinical research and the biopharmaceutical industry have been real bright spots. These companies provide thousands of good-paying jobs, and to the extent they succeed in finding innovative medicines, they make the entire workforce stronger and more productive.”

Reports in recent years have shown biopharmaceutical companies to be a source of jobs, tax revenue and research spending. An Archstone Consulting report found that in 2008 the industry supported more than 167,000 jobs throughout Illinois. Employees working directly for the companies were paid $2.8 billion, leading to more than $75 million in state taxes and more than $710 million in federal taxation.

Biopharmaceutical research firms that year also invested $2.3 billion in research and development in the state.

The thousands of clinical trials that have been conducted or are still underway are critical to the development of new medicines, accounting for seven of the 10 to 15 years required to develop a new drug and 45 to 75 percent of the average $1.2 billion cost of creating one new biotechnology medication.

“Testing new treatments involves thousands of patients and the generation of huge amounts of technical and scientific data,” said Dr. Salvatore Alesci, PhRMA’s vice president of scientific affairs. “A typical new drug application may run 100,000 pages or more. That information helps to determine the safety and effectiveness of new medicines and allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve treatments.”

Dr. Alesci stressed that biopharmaceutical companies “take great care” to protect patients involved in the trials of new medications. “All clinical trials,” he said, “involve a carefully controlled protocol plan to identify appropriate participants. And all trials are regulated by the FDA and must be approved by an Institutional Review Board, which is an independent committee of physicians, community advocates and others, to help make sure a trial is conducted ethically.”

Clinical trial status reports must be submitted at least annually to IRB scrutiny after a trial has begun.

The research facilities in Illinois that have conducted or are conducting clinical trials of new medications include:

  • Carle Cancer Center, Urbana.
  • Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, Elmhurst.
  • Swedish-American Regional Cancer Center, Rockford.
  • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield.
  • University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago.
  • OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria.
  • St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center at Prairie Heart Cooperative, Springfield.
  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago.
  • Crossroads Cancer Center, Effingham.
  • Southern Illinois University Hematology/Oncology, Centralia.
  • Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.
  • Decatur Memorial Hospital Cancer Care Institute, Decatur.
  • Midwestern Regional Medical Center, Zion.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.4 billion in 2010 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $67.4 billion in 2010.

Find PhRMA Online:

For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit:

For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit:

For information on ensuring the flow of medicines during public health emergencies, visit


Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Jeff Trewhitt, 202-835-3460

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  District of Columbia  Illinois

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Clinical Trials  Hospitals  Public Policy/Government  Healthcare Reform  Pharmaceutical  Public Policy  Research  Science