Mike Forgash, CEOGrowing up, Mike Forgash would always roll his eyes when he would hear the classic adage from his father: Actions speak louder than words. It hardly made sense to Mike back then; however, as he grew up these words motivated him in his entrepreneurial journey and led him to become the spirited CEO of TrialScope.
“My father’s verses about actions always drove me and inspired me as I took the leap from big, established companies to growth stage companies,” says Mike. Unlike major corporations, where Mike spent the early years of his career, the entrepreneurial world was a whole new ballgame. “Looking back it seems like a terrific foundation for me because I learned a lot about different aspects of the business including marketing, sales, management, and operations.” When Mike moved to TrialScope in New Jersey, he was able to apply all of the lessons he learned from his father and build on the experience he gained in the past to make him a stronger leader.
“We were developing products for efficient subject recruitment for clinical trials when we came across Deloitte and their plans to put their clinical trial disclosure platform for sale,” says Mike. “As the product was not core to Deloitte’s offerings, we acquired their platform and customer contracts in mid-2014 and then were able to hire the entire team.” Since then, Mike and his team have come a long way in enhancing the capabilities of their platform, PharmaCM. Today, it is used by life sciences companies to simplify the complexities of tracking and managing clinical trial registrations across the clinical content lifecycle. The platform manages the intricate processes of authoring, reviewing, editing, approving, and publishing clinical trial disclosure data. “Clinical trial disclosure data is constantly being updated, modified, and formatted for specific registries such as ClinicalTrials.gov and EudraCT,” says Mike. “This presents a complex clinical content management challenge for clinical trial sponsors around the globe.”
Speaking of EudraCT, the European Clinical Trials Database, TrialScope has released TrialScope Convert, a free online service, to upload and reuse clinical trial results data, and convert it to the appropriate format for submission to EudraCT. “This automatic conversion reduces data entry by as much as 85 percent, saving an enormous amount of time and effort while maintaining accuracy. This translates to better compliance,” says Mike.
Every entrepreneur who aspires to build their castle on the pharma landscape is familiar with the uphill battle that awaits them. “It’s a demanding industry,” says Mike, “with constantly changing regulatory requirements that foster compliance issues and increasing complexities.” To keep level with changes, TrialScope leverages their Rapid Path to Compliance engagement methodology, incorporating industry best practices to ensure customer success. Tying all this automation and communication with deep domain expertise, TrialScope is helping customers with their disclosure decisions, and tracking processes. However, it is not just the solutions or services that make a difference at TrialScope. Before implementing any tool, Mike ensures that his team comprehends the overall strategy of their organization and the steps they have to take to transform challenges into solutions. “It’s all about maintaining alignment between your customers’ goals and your company’s solutions,” remarks Mike.
Clinical trial disclosure data is constantly being updated, modified and formatted for specific registries such as ClinicalTrials. gov and EudraCT. This presents a complex clinical content management challenge for clinical trial sponsors around the globe
“We have built a great team here that diligently works closely with customers to see problems through their eyes and to translate our expertise into impactful products that help sponsors maintain compliance.”
Believe and Keep Moving Forward
An entrepreneur’s journey is never an easy one. It is often marked by trials and failures, missed opportunities and unrealized expectations. Nonetheless, these setbacks are the real treasure of knowledge and experience that teach the art of perseverance and survival. Mike’s professional journey was also marked by bumps in the road, but these never lowered his dedication and spirit. “Persistence and belief are the two most important words in my dictionary,” says Mike. “You have to put your faith in your people, products, services, and above all, in yourself.”
In today’s world, entrepreneurs strive to make their own path, making their own decisions, and taking calculated risks. However, the successful entrepreneurial journey cannot be made without having a strong leadership team by your side. During his stints at different companies, Mike attempted to learn every day from the people around him. “Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to keep growing, to expand and leverage your experiences,” reckons Mike. Mike recounts another important lesson, “Never consider yourself the smartest person in the room. Listening is one the most important traits of a successful entrepreneur. To fully embrace the power of a team, one should know how to leave their ego at the door and let smart people do what they do best.”
In every mistake, there lies a potential for growth and greater understanding. This may sound like a cliché but it stands as an important principle. At TrialScope, employees understand that mistakes are inevitable. They also know it is important to fix them quickly and learn from them, both as individuals and as a team. TrialScope has invested a great deal in developing an innovative culture that supports this type of learning and growth. “All entrepreneurs need team members who are empowered to use their expertise and knowledge to continuously improve their offerings,” concludes Mike. “We have attracted thought leaders from across industry to our team. I’m proud of the culture we have forged at TrialScope where our team is passionate about quality, continuous improvement and providing a world-class customer experience.”