Category Archives: Clinical Trials

Syeda Lipi Begum, BSc (Hons), SRPharmS

In British Science Week, meet one of our amazing team at Covance Leeds and be inspired!

It’s British Science Week this week – a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Here at Covance, we thought it’s a good reason to tell you about one of our team and why they chose a career in science.

Syeda works in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Quality Assurance at Covance – in short this is the pharmaceutical manufacturing part of the business. Syeda is making sure the necessary systems and processes are in place to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of drug we manufacture.

Syeda has worked at Covance since graduating in 2006. Science has always been something she enjoyed and at school she was inspired by her chemistry teacher. Coming from a traditional Asian background, her ambition to follow a career in science was not really the norm for a young girl. However, she decided to keep on doing what she enjoyed and went to University in Bradford to study for a BSc in Pharmaceutical Management. Following her graduation, she joined Covance.

Having grown up locally Syeda was aware of Covance and the work we do, but at this point was not convinced that she wanted to be in this area for the long term. She initially joined the company as a Pharmacy Technical Assistant. During this time she completed a qualification in Pharmacy Services, so that she could register as a Pharmacy Technician.

Syeda said: “When I started at Covance, I was not sure that I was going to work in this area for the long term, but I soon became aware of the support and encouragement Covance gives employees. There are so many inspiring people working here, all with the aim of making a difference in medicine. Every day is different’’.

“The company has financially contributed to my further studies and is constantly giving me opportunities to learn new things. I am definitely the kind of person who needs challenges in work and the satisfaction that I am making a difference means a lot to me.”

Syeda’s role today within Covance’s has evolved and she is currently in the process of qualifying to become a QP (Qualified Person) within Covance. This is a person who is recognised by the EU regulations as the key figure within a drug manufacturing environment, responsible for certifying batches of drug product before it can be used. Syeda started on this training in 2017 and is now in the final stages for her Qualification, having completed her final module in January this year. Syeda has been encouraged and supported by Covance throughout this training.

When asked what makes Syeda most proud she said: “It’s the work in manufacturing drugs that we do here on site at Covance. I get involved with all aspect of manufacturing processes and their approvals – ultimately helping the drugs to reach the people who need them in the correct way. It’s something we as a company, alongside our volunteers should be very proud of’’.

“I would always encourage people thinking of volunteering to do a study with us to come and talk to us at the unit. See what we do and the difference we make. It’s all stringently controlled and regulated. We could not do this without volunteers. Together we can make a true impact on medicine and the future generation.”

Photo of a man on a motorcycle

Over 60’s clinical trials

They say 60 is the new 40. People who are retired, or considering it, have so many options in terms of activities and the generation is thriving. With more personal free time, many people are focusing on their health and taking up new hobbies to help keep them fit. Plus there is more time to meet new people too.

Here at Covance we have regular studies for people over 60. In some cases we need people aged between 60 and 80. It’s a great way to meet new people and may be give some time to starting a new hobby or craft? Or just even finish that box set that you’ve been meaning to see. Plus volunteers are generously reimbursed for their time.

Our studies for over 60’s are popular and very social. People have made new friends that they have continued to meet up regularly with following the study. They even plan to apply and volunteer for future Covance trials together.

We are currently recruiting for a trial looking for healthy volunteers aged between 60 and 80. A 24-night stay in total with up to 3 follow-up visits where volunteers will receive over £6170 plus travel expenses.  More info here http://bit.ly/383y722

Just think what sort of trip you could plan with that? Or may be put towards that motorbike or motorhome you’ve been lusting after?

Dry January – you’re almost done!

For those of you who have taken the leap and had a Dry January – we take our hats off to you! You’re almost there. It may have been difficult after the festive season, but we bet you’re probably feeling a lot better in yourselves?

Those who have taken out alcohol in January may be feeling the benefits of weight-loss, clearer skin, more energy and better sleep. Couple that with having a bit more spare cash and it seems that many of us may take steps to continue with a lower alcohol intake as we go further into 2020.

Here at Covance we have a study coming up that may just be perfect for those of us who are considering continuing with a healthier lifestyle. Think of the money you’ll be saving with not spending as much on alcohol plus money you will receive if you participate in a clinical trial with us. You’ll also be helping others by playing a part in developing life-saving medicines. Now that’s a very worthy way to embark on a new decade!

The study requires people aged 18-55yrs old with a low alcohol intake. Female applicants must not drink more than 7 units per week and male applicants, no more than 14 units per week. The screening will take place in February with the clinic trial scheduled for March.

For more information on this clinical trial and all other trials we are running, please visit our website.

Photo of a plate of lemons

The importance of lemons in clinical trials!

Here at Covance Leeds we love to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on the 20th May every year. Did you know that there is a surprising link between the humble lemon and the history of clinical trials?

Lemons are such a versatile citrus fruit and most of us love a refreshing glass of lemonade or a rich slice of lemon drizzle cake now and again, but in fact lemons were also central to the discovery of how to treat the condition Scurvy, an illness which is the result of a lack of Vitamin C.

Doctor James Lind, a Royal Navy doctor performed the first clinical trial aboard The HMS Salisbury on 20th of May 1747. By testing various treatments on sailors who were suffering from Scurvy, he was able to discover that oranges and lemons were effective in treating the condition.

Clinical Trials Day is a chance to highlight the importance of the work involved in clinical trials by scientists and volunteers alike, in order to advance the development of medicines.

This year we decided to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day with a bake-off competition here at our Covance Leeds facility, with delicious lemon and orange baked goods competing to be judged the best. It certainly must be a hard job to judge which cake is the tastiest! In honour of the bake-off, here is a link to some of the loveliest lemon recipes we could find from BBC Good Food!

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/lemon  We are always looking for volunteers to participate in our paid clinical trials and we have a range of studies currently available. You can see the list of our upcoming clinical trials here: https://www.covanceclinicaltrials.com/en-gb/browse-studies.html

Photo of yellow flowers

Spring has sprung

Finally, the evenings are getting lighter, the daffodils are in bloom and there has even been some sunshine lately – all of this can only mean that spring has sprung and here at Covance Leeds we are very excited for the new season. Spring always puts a spring in our step, if you pardon the pun! We thought we would round up some facts and health tips to celebrate the season.

Did you know that spring officially begins on two different dates? The 1st March marks the beginning of meteorological spring, but 20th March is the first day of astronomical spring (which relates to the position of the earth’s orbit in relation to the sun).

After a long cold winter, we are always ready for a few easy ideas to lead a healthier lifestyle in spring and these simple tips are so useful –

Stay hydrated

Drinking water is essential for good health, so keep a bottle of water with you at all times and always drink water before and after exercise. If you find it hard to stay hydrated, why not try some of these recipes for infused fruit water to perk up your H20!

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/easy-fruit-infused-water-ideas

Walk more

Try walking more rather than taking the car or public transport. Walking not only boosts your mood, but it is also linked to increased cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Apart from anything else, walking is a great form of exercise which costs nothing!

Switch it up

If you are tired of your usual fitness routine such as hitting the gym, why not try incorporating a new activity such as cycling or swimming in to your workouts? Joining a new fitness class can also motivate you to work out regularly. Use this handy NHS website to find fitness classes near you: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/Fitness-activities-and-classes/LocationSearch/671

Eat more vegetables

Vegetables make a tasty, inexpensive and healthy staple meal which add fibre to your diet and there are so many tempting recipes to try here, which can help to boost your daily vegetable intake.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/category/vegetables

Check out this calendar of amazing events which will take place around the UK this spring. Perfect if you need some inspiration for a day out!
https://www.visitengland.com/things-to-do/events-in-spring

Covance Leeds are proud to be based here in this beautiful city and if you fancy treating yourself to a bite to eat somewhere a bit different in the city, check out this article from Leeds List on ‘5 New Openings You Might Have Missed’
https://leeds-list.com/food-and-drink/5-new-openings-you-might-have-missed/ We hope that you enjoyed our blog celebrating the new season and remember, if you want to take a rewarding step this spring you could help to contribute to the advancement of treatments for a range of conditions when you participate in our clinical trials at our Covance Leeds Clinic. To find out which clinical trials we currently have open, please click here and we look forward to hearing from you!
https://www.covanceclinicaltrials.com/content/covance-clinical-trials/en-gb/browse-studies.html

New Year, New Start

Happy New Year from everybody at Covance Leeds! We hope that you all had a wonderful time celebrating over the holiday season. Many of us may have indulged in a drink or two over the festive season and January is the perfect time to make a healthy new start! Dry January takes place this month, when many people choose to cut out alcohol from their lifestyle altogether.

Did you know that the charity Drinkaware has a wealth of resources on their website to help you track and reduce the amount you drink along with useful tips for how to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume? http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/

If you choose to stop drinking alcohol altogether for Dry January, just some of the positive effects linked to reduced alcohol consumption include:

  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Improved mental health and wellbeing
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved heart health

Whether you decide to reduce your alcohol intake or to stop drinking completely, the health and wellbeing benefits are so positive!

This is the perfect time of the year to make positive lifestyle changes, from eating a healthy diet to exercising more frequently. Another rewarding choice to make at this time of year is to help others by participating in our clinical trials. You could help to advance treatments for a range of conditions while relaxing at our Covance Leeds Clinic, equipped with every amenity to make you feel right at home.  Helping yourself to become a better you while helping others, is such a rewarding thing to do this January!

Thank you for reading out latest blog and we wish you all a great start to 2019!

To find out more about our clinical trials, visit our current listings:  https://bit.ly/2rVYy6E

Follow us on social media:

Facebook : www.facebook.com/CovanceClinicalTrialsLeeds/
Instagram : @covanceclinicaltrialsleeds
Twitter : @CovanceLeeds

Season of goodwill

So here we are in December and at Covance Leeds we feel as though this year has just flown by! We love Christmas, which is often referred to as the ‘season of goodwill’ and in the season of goodwill, why not consider being a part of our clinical trials? When you take part in our clinical trials, you are making a valuable contibution by helping to advance treatments for a range of conditions.

We couldn’t do the amazing research we do without the help of our volunteers and we are so thankful for your help.

At this time of year, we could not resist finding out some interesting facts about how Christmas is celebrated in some other countries:

In The Netherlands Sinterklaas or St. Nicholas brings presents on 5th December.

One of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe is held in Strasbourg, North Eastern France.

In Germany, gifts are often exchanged on Christmas Eve and German for Merry Christmas is ‘Frohe Weihnachten’.

In Greece a traditional table decoration is a loaf of ‘Christopsomo’ meaning Christ’s Bread or Christmas bread. This round, sweet bread is flavoured with orange and spices.

In Spain many people eat their main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve, before attending Midnight Mass at church.

So there you have it, a few interesting traditions from around the world. We are looking forward to the Christmas celebrations and don’t forget during the season of goodwill, you could contribute a valuable gift by volunteering to take part in one of our clinical studies!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas from everyone at Covance Leeds.

Please note our opening times over the festive season are as follows:

  • 24 December: 9am-1pm
  • 25/26 December: Closed
  • 27/28 December: 9am-5pm
  • 29/30 December: Closed (weekend)
  • 31 December: 9am-5pm
  • 01 January: Closed
  • 02 January: Back to standard opening times, 8am until 7pm

 

 

photo of hands in a heart

Can I be healthy and still be prescribed Statins?

From time to time, many of us become concerned about our cholesterol levels and we frequently hear the terms ‘good cholesterol’ and ‘bad cholesterol’ in the media.

High levels of ‘bad cholesterol’ in your blood can lead to fatty deposits building up in your arteries, which can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which includes conditions such as coronary heart disease (leading to angina and heart attack) and stroke.

LDL cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein is often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’ but a healthy diet, not smoking and being physically active are all important factors in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol is usually treated with Statins, so we thought we would share a quick overview of what Statins are.

Statins are a medicine usually in tablet form, which are taken to help lower cholesterol. Once prescribed treatment often continues for life, in fact according to The British Heart Foundation ‘Statins are the most commonly prescribed medicines in the UK’.

Although they are prescribed frequently, Statins have been the subject of controversy in the media as they are sometimes prescribed as a preventative measure to people seen to be at risk of heart disease, who have no history of the condition.

Despite the concerns surrounding them, the benefits of treatment with Statins include reducing the risk of serious cardiovascular conditions and the side effects associated with them are comparatively rare in comparison to the positive benefits of Statin therapy, which include the reduction of heart attacks and strokes.

You can find out more about Statins at the links below:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/statins/

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/treatments/statins

https://heartuk.org.uk/statins-and-treatments/statin-side-effects/the-statin-conundrum

Student life

Settling in to student life

It is that time of the year when many new students are starting university. Here at Covance Leeds, we are located close to the city centre and we would like to say a big welcome to all students who have arrived in this lovely city for the new academic year!

We understand that arriving at university can be a daunting experience, so we have put together a few top tips which we hope will be useful while you are settling in.

  • Researching which student bank accounts are available before choosing one is a wise idea, as there are some great offers to be found.
  • Use framed photos, trinkets and some of your favourite books to give your room in halls that ‘home away from home’ feeling.
  • Be sociable and try to get to know people from the start – making friends will help you to settle in.
  • Find out which clubs and societies you can join and what events are on during term time, as these are all super ways of getting to know people.
  • Explore the local area – take a walk and familiarise yourself with your surroundings. A new place will start to feel more welcoming when you know your way around and in practical terms, it is useful to know where the local shops and amenities are located.
  • Work out a budget and stick to it – if you plan what you can afford to spend weekly, it will make life much simpler in the long term.
  • Plan your meals – work out what you need to get weekly as doing one big food shop is more cost effective than buying items here and there.

Here at Covance Leeds we would love to wish every student a wonderful term ahead. We are based in a Grade II listed building surrounded by attractive grounds and gardens, just a short walk from Leeds city centre and adjacent to the universities.

Here are a couple of useful websites which may come in handy too:

World Cup excitement at Covance Leeds

13434965_1027655097288700_6773491345253860731_nHere at Covance we are getting excited for the start of the FIFA World Cup. Did you know that as a clinical trial volunteer at our Covance Leeds Clinic, you have access to a host of facilities including satellite television with Sky Sports and free Wi-Fi (and you can bring your own Laptops / iPads too) so you can chill out and watch the football while you take part in our paid clinical trials! To celebrate the FIFA World Cup 2018, we have rounded up a few interesting facts:

  • The FIFA World Cup 2018 tournament will take place in Russia from June 14 to July 15 – the first time Russia has hosted the event.
  • The first World Cup was played in 1930 in Uruguay, who also won it that year!
  • The most goals ever scored by one player in a World Cup match, was five by Oleg Salenko of Russia.
  • The birth rate of the nation that wins the World Cup goes up 9 months after victory!

With the anticipation for the World Cup building, why not join us now so you don’t miss any of those all-important World Cup games. You can apply to join our Covance volunteer panel here, to be selected as a participant for our paid clinical trials. Take a look at our current studies here.

If you are already a Covance clinical trial volunteer, why not get your mates involved so you can watch the World Cup together – you will receive payment of at least £50 for each recommendation (£200 for specific groups). Click here for full details.

Don’t forget, as a Covance clinical trials participant, you can keep up with those all-important World Cup matches in the comfort of our lounge areas – we are looking forward to kick-off! If you are not in to football, there are many other ways to relax here at our Covance Leeds Clinic. As a Covance clinical trials participant, you have access to the following within our Leeds Clinic:

  • Satellite television with Sky Sports and Sky Movies in HD
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Pool table
  • Free retro arcade games
  • Xbox 360 & PS3
  • Board games
  • Book library
  • Daily newspapers
  • Organised events such as quizzes and bingo
  • Modern shower rooms
  • 3 delicious meals a day