Marken is a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS. It is a supply chain organization 100% dedicated to the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Marken facilitates direct to patient (DTP) clinical trials and biological sample shipments and offers a state-of-the-art good manufacturing practice-compliant depot network and logistic hubs in 47 locations worldwide for clinical trial material storage and distribution. Marken has more than 830 staff members and manages 50,000 drug and biological shipments every month at multiple temperature ranges including dry ice in more than 150 countries. The company provides additional services such as biological kit production, ancillary material sourcing, storage and distribution, shipment lane verification and qualifications, as well as consultancy .
The average drug development cost is USD $2.6 billion and a major component of that spend is within the clinical trial supply chain. According to a recent global survey by Sonoco ThermoSafe, Berlinger & Co. AG and Arena International Events Group 24% of clinical trials offer a home-based solution and that number is expected to increase by 33% in the next 12 to 18 months . The survey indicated that the main reasons for adopting DTP distribution were improved levels of patient retention by maintaining closer contact and offering the patient more convenience. The greatest number of respondents indicated that the main risks associated with DTP distribution were the lack of control over receiving samples back from patients specifically temperature sensitive materials.
In response, Marken has launched a new service that allows nurses to drop off clinical trial samples at The UPS Store® which has a wide coverage of locations within the United States. The company will manage the booking of shipments with UPS in order to ensure protocol compliance, patient data blinding and data encryption which are required for clinical trials. This will enable fast delivery to the client’s central laboratory for rapid sample analysis, and potentially biobanking.