Conducting Clinical Trials During COVID-19: Lessons for the Next Pandemic

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The coronavirus is not the first infectious disease that has forced clinical trials to adapt. Zika, Ebola and other diseases called for the world to adjust and collaborate global research efforts. With COVID-19, the rapid spread and impact on global healthcare systems forced us to change our trial management and accelerate our processes like never before. The global research community have already discovered and developed several tests and vaccines in record time through collaboration. Yet we are still working on predictive biomarker testing to identify people who are at the most risk of developing severe symptoms, epidemiological, vaccine and genetic studies.

To facilitate testing, research, and innovation and to ensure trials continued, Cerba Research and Cerba Healthcare adapted our capabilities and facilities to push research continuity.

Register for this webinar to learn the answers to these questions:

  • Did we succeed, how fast did we adapt and are we ready to face a new pandemic crisis in the future?
  • How did we maintain the high security and confidence of testing, and what did our reactivity and proactivity mean in the context of a health crisis?


Benedicte Roquebert, Cerba Research

Benedicte Roquebert, PhD, Biologist, Cerba Research

A microbiologist specialized in the field of Virology, Benedicte, Pharm D Ph.D., is a member of the European Society in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID), the Agence Nationale de Recherche Contre le SIDA et les Hépatites Virales (ANRS), and the French Society of Microbiology (SFM). She is a former Paris Hospitals resident and has been a junior medical virologist at Bichat Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris for four years.

From 2014 to 2019, she was a university hospital virology lecturer, deputy director of the arbovirus infection’s associate reference center, and head of the regional biobank in La Reunion University Hospital. She has taken part in sanitary crisis management such as H1N1 influenza and Mers CoV. She is the author of 33 international publications. She has given more than 400 hours of class to medical, nurse, midwife and biology students. She works in the microbiology department at Cerba Laboratory, Saint-Ouen l’Aumône. She works on emerging diseases, HIV, arbovirus infections and vaccines.

Message Presenter
Souad Mehlal, Cerba Research

Souad Mehlal, PhD, Biologist, Cerba Research

Clinical pathologist joined Cerba in 2017, specialized in immunology and immunopathology, head of the Biochemistry, Immunology and Pharmaco-Toxicology at Cerba. Souad has excellent experience in various fields of Immunology: autoimmunity, allergology, monoclonal gammopathies, monitoring of biotherapies, primary immune deficiencies, and autoinflammatory diseases. She also participates in the development of innovative projects and tests.

Souad has a master’s degree in research in Immunology. She also has a degree in autoinflammatory diseases and NGS. She is a valued member of many societies, including SFI, AFC, EAACI, SFA, CIAB, and ESID. Souad is also involved in a working group on neonatal screening for primary immune deficiencies. She is the author of numerous scientific publications.

Message Presenter
Stéphanie Haim-Boukobza, Cerba Research

Stéphanie Haim-Boukobza, PhD, Biologist, Cerba Research

In addition to obtaining a PhD in the Virology lab of Pitié Salpètriere, and gathering hospital and university experience as a virologist, Stephanie Haim-Boukobza has also worked in French private labs. She has been with Cerba since 2017, and became the Head of Infectology in 2018. Ever since, she has been working on subjects like microbiome, hepatitis, papillomavirus, etc.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

  • Biotechs, Mid Pharmas, Large Pharmas or CROs
  • Purchasing (Director or Above)
  • Clinical Operations (Director or Above)
  • Clinical Trial Director or Manager

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, participants will learn about:

  • Testing development
  • Adaptations for R&D and testing capabilities
  • Predictive biomarker testing
  • Genetics studies to better understand who could develop the most severe symptoms
  • How did we drive clinical trials for vaccines and treatment?
  • How management of clinical trials has changed during this year
  • How agile we need to be to face new viruses
  • Differences between COVID-19 other viruses (Zika, etc.)
  • What do we know about Covid-19

Xtalks Partner


Headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, Cerba Research is a Global Central & Specialist Laboratory.

Our footprint includes 6 harmonised central lab locations in Ghent, New York, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Taipei & Sydney.

Complimentary to these central labs, our network of specialty labs support our core therapy expertise in three distinct areas – Oncology, Liver Indications & Infectious Disease. APH, Flow Cytometry Genomics, Metabolomics, Microbiology + Virology and Molecular Biology permit our clients to discern and select correct instruments, appropriate sensitivities / detection and techniques for true full service delivery.

Also worthy of note is our unique presence in Africa. Complimentary to our Central Lab operation in Johannesburg, Cerba has the largest network of Labs, Staff Pathologists and supporting Logistics in Africa.

From preclinical transition to the clinic, and on to commercialisation, supporting emerging and established biotech’s through to large global pharma clients, we are known and proud of our close partnering, higher frequency of contact and all round availability at your demand.

Our subject matter experts enjoy open collaboration at the pace our clients require to optimise their therapeutic development and draw those pivotal insights earlier. We partner with these clients to speed up their research and development whether it be in the area of discussing, agreeing and then delivery of specialized custom assays and panels, assay transfer, or perhaps overcoming operational peculiarities baked into studies by way of challenges regarding stability of samples for testing. Every synopsis, protocol and study is unique and new challenges arise time after time. We are adept at meeting and overcoming those challenges and enjoying long standing and fruitful relationships with our sponsors.

We are ISO 15189 accredited, CAP CLIA accredited with no deficiencies cited to date, and with significant capabilities for testing under BSL3.

Cerba Research is the pharmaceutical development arm of Cerba Healthcare. Cerba Healthcare is a Headquartered in Paris, France, employs >8,500 staff, including over 130 staff pathologists and conducts 40 million tests annually.

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