Meet Catherine Lund, the Director of Johannesburg-based OnQ Research, a full-service Contract Research Organization with over two decades of experience. Under her leadership, OnQ is committed to providing innovative, cost-effective, and practical clinical research services to pharmaceutical, biotech, other CROs, and related industries. Being a South African company, OnQ Research prides itself on offering its clients a blend of innovation and adaptability while adding real value with its highly trained staff. By not compromising the quality, OnQ research uses science as the basic premise for its services. It offers assistance with protocol inception, designing, liaising, and obtaining appropriate Health Authority and IRB approvals, selecting high-quality sites through its extensive networks, monitoring, data management, and medical writing.
The Steadfast Leader
After completing her undergraduate training in 1991, Catherine started working as a midwife and specialized as a neonatal ICU nurse. She started her journey in clinical research as a study coordinator for an RSV trial. She then joined IQVIA as a Clinical Trial Assistant in 1996 and trained to become a CRA. Later she left IQVIA to pursue her career in contracting. Soon through collaborations, she established OnQ Research, a South Africa-based CRO, in 2006. Catherine has also served on the South African Clinical Research Association(SACRA) for three years. Additionally, she headed the writing department of SACRA and served as the Vice Chair for the South African Chapter of ACRP in 2003.
Ensuring Successful Clinical Trials
OnQ’s unique clinical monitoring team model and approach to clinical studies ensure the success of all clinical trials organized in the African continent. The organization works as a team of trusted experts to deliver quality research timely and efficiently. It offers innovative, cost-effective, and practical clinical research services, including Clinical Trials Management, Direct Patient Services- Mobile Research Nurses, Data Management Services, Quality Assurance, Medical Monitoring, Centralised Vendor Management, and Medical Writing. Under Catherine’s leadership, OnQ delivers excellent patient experience, reduced risk, and high-quality data management. The company’s clinical research team is spread across all the major cities in each country, enabling it to be agile as it can deploy resources on very short notice.
A Different Company
Catherine never intended to start a CRO; instead, she wanted to manage work-life balance as she had small children. However, she soon understood that it was difficult to work independently as the projects grew fast, and so did her team. Since its inception, OnQ Research does not believe in one size fits all approach. This also applies to all gambits of the client relationship and interface, starting from budget to the size of the team, systems and processes offered, and the level of engagement.
How the Future Looks Like
Located at the bottom of Africa, Catherine feels there’s a need for a deliberate and intentional focus on neglected diseases and diseases that predominantly affect developing nations primarily because of economic disparity and exploitation.
“Our company is deliberate in its focus on being the premier CRO in Africa. Our plan to achieve this is to intentionally invest in our staff and understand that all our clients require a bespoke and unique service.”- States Catherine.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just the first step”. Martin Luther King