Prospect woman speaks on benefits of clinical trials

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PROSPECT — Tina Sierra, a Prospect resident and Leukemia survivor, joined Gov. Dannel Malloy, researchers, doctors and patients recently to speak on the economic and health benefits of clinical trials that have taken place in Connecticut since 1999.

These benefits are outlined in a new report titled “Research in Your Backyard: Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Connecticut, Developing Cures, Creating Jobs.”

Sierra participated in a clinical trial for a new and first-ever molecular-target cancer drug, Gleevec that helps patients like her stay in complete remission.

“After being diagnosed with cancer, I was fortunate enough to participate in a clinical trial for a new molecular targeted drug, and I had a great experience,” Sierra said in a news release. “Years later, 92 percent of us in the trial are still in remission. Think of what research like this could mean for a loved one in your life, a son or daughter who got sick. I would encourage everyone to participate in and support clinical trials.”

Since 1999 more than 2,000 clinical trials of new medicines have been conducted in the state. More than half of the Connecticut clinical tests target or have targeted asthma, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and mental illnesses, according to the report.

The report also shows that many of the medicines being tested in Connecticut are new-generation biotechnology drugs, which are developed through biological processes using living cells or organisms, rather than chemical synthesis, the mainstay of pharmaceutical development for decades.