Respiratory health has been an enduring topic, lying in one of the loci for medical study through the time. It is people’s relentless quest and endeavor that shed the light on more of the mysteries in the investigation of respiratory disease. Mr. ZHANG Yuren, who is leaning into investigating the clinical features and prognosis of bronchiectasis adult patients: a multi-center, primary data, cohort study (ICON), feels proud being a part to move the ball further down the field.
Mr. ZHANG Yuren, Manager and Medical Compliance of AstraZeneca Investment (China) Co., Ltd.,, is at the helm of the ICON study team and in charge of the program management. He had just finished the screening visit to the ICON participants when we met again a while back, which had been a year since we made acquaintance last October where ZHANG was in the middle of applying for the HRG approval for this study (HRG: Administration of Human Genetic Resources). We finally got around to chatting with each other, and I was told about many of the up-to-the-minute achievements. It is encouraging to know the program has been keeping pace with what is expected.
ICON was kicked off in late 2020, when AstraZeneca reached on the same wavelength in this cohort study with Rui-jin Hospital Shanghai Jiao-tong University School of Medicine and both parties signed the agreement. The study aims to provide evidence for improving bronchiectasis evaluation and treatment strategies in China. It collects data from the real-world bronchiectasis database (A total of 1,250 subjects will be recruited from 30 participating sites in China) and follow up for one year, describe the bronchiectasis exacerbation rate and proportions for frequent exacerbation, clinical features and prognosis of bronchiectasis exacerbation, the treatment pattern (when clinically stable) during follow-up period; and describe characteristics of bronchiectasis at baseline. Many demonstrations through the investigation have provided new insights to the bronchiectasis study, helping put things into a perspective.
The program has worked out well, but that doesn’t make it any less tough in taking a challenge followed by another and another. Great endeavor as ICON takes efforts and guts, and Mr. ZHANG, a leader of the program, has got the shoulder measuring up to this big undertaking. He has gone out all since he first latched onto it, one foot in front of the other, with a slew of work being funneled in, involving the preparation and organization of the agreement between AstraZeneca and Sponsor, the drawing up of bilingual proposals and study protocols , case report forms, and participant’ informed consent forms etc.. He’s also got numerous ideas to be bounced off the medical experts, Medical Affairs Review Committee and Administration of HRG until they get on the same page, together with all the materials with respect to clinical trial as well as commercialization to be weighed up and modified time and again before getting approval. These are the essential parts leading the program’s proactive steps forward. The study is expected to ride off into the sunset next June, with Mr. ZHANG’s CSR-full data analysis unveiled to the public. He has no doubt that ICON will bring a broad-ranging and significant effect on the investigation of bronchiectasis, and the commercialization of related pharmaceuticals.
ICON has been one of the remarkable accomplishments since Mr. ZHANG Yuren clung to respiratory study, but he has larger dreams beyond this. “Plagued with COVID-19 for years, we keep being told we’ve just achieved a tip of the iceberg in the field”, he said, “I, as many who engage in it, will give it my all to an ever more resounding commitment in investigating the respiratory health and pharmaceuticals, not only for the crisis at stake, but for our life well into the future”