Tagged: clinical research in Chattanooga

Our Staff Discusses COVID-19 Crisis on WPTF Podcast

Posted on May 21, 2020

Aubrey Farray is the Phase I clinical manager at Wake Research in Raleigh, N.C., the headquarters of the site network ClinSearch belongs to. He recently spoke with hosts Jason Kong (WPTF) and Nicole Clagett (Transitions GuidingLights) of WPTF’s Aging Well podcast on clinical trials in the COVID-19 crisis.

In the interview, he details the process of clinical trials — explaining what participating in a clinical trial entails for those who have questions, and discusses how the elderly population can still participate in ongoing clinical trials, and do so safely during COVID-19.

Farray also tells Aging Well how Wake Research and all of its sites are keeping current clinical trials safe for all participants during the COVID-19 crisis, and emphasizes the important role clinical trials have right now in researching and testing drugs to treat COVID-19.

Listen to the full interview here:


October 2018 Newsletter

Posted on October 16, 2018

October 2018 Newsletter

ClinSearch would like to keep you up to date.

Our monthly newsletter details new studies and events happening at our site. Our website has several resources to learn more about the clinical trials process. We encourage you to read and share these links with friends and family who may be interested.

Volunteer Referral Program

Suggest a friend and receive a $50 referral bonus.
Learn more here

 Featured Studies

Rosacea clinical trial
Uterine Fibroids

Planning your life around heavy periods shouldn’t be the norm. Consider a research study for uterine fibroids.

Learn more here:
Uterine Fibroids Study

Overactive Bladder clinical trial
Overactive Bladder (OAB)

If you are a women who experiences the symptoms of OAB, consider joining our clinical research study.

Learn more here:
OAB Study

Crohn’s Disease

If you have moderate to severely active Crohn’s Disease and are between 18 to 75 years of age, you may qualify for our current study.

Learn more here:
Crohn’s Disease Study

Other Studies

Check out our complete list of enrolling volunteer studies here…

Active clinical trial studies

Want to be notified whenever a new volunteer study matches your interests?

Complete a volunteer sign-up form

Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and You

Posted on September 27, 2017

Crohn’s disease vs. ulcerative colitis

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both chronic inflammatory diseases of the GI tract.

Ulcerative colitis involves only the colon, and Crohn’s can involve any part of the GI tract (from the mouth to anus).

Both occur most frequently in men and women between the ages of 15-35.

Symptoms vary but can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems

Cause of either is unknown, but may be a combination of genetics, immune system or environment. There appears to be an over-reaction of the immune system attacking the gut.


There is no cure, but we can control symptoms by suppressing the immune system using:

  • Steroids
  • Anti TNF drugs
  • Vedolizumab
  • 6MP

ClinSearch has several new studies to treat Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis not responding to current treatment.

For more information on our Crohn’s study, please click here.

For more information on our ulcerative colitis study, please click here.

Contact us at (423) 698-4584 or go to our website at www.clinsearch-us.com.

Inside Insights from Spaz the Spastic Colon.

Posted on February 4, 2016

Happy Colon


My name is Spaz, and I’m a Spastic Colon. I am a hard worker with good intentions, but sometimes I have anger issues. This happens to be pretty common for those of us in the “business”. Did you know that nearly 15% of all the bowels in the United States have a reputation for being irritable? Unfortunately, when tummies get upset we can be a literal pain in the butt. That’s why it’s important to understand what provokes us. I have taken it upon myself to be the voice of intestines everywhere in hopes that one day we can all live in digestive peace.

Colons are sensitive beings. Second only to the brain, the digestive tract contains the largest number of nerve cells in the entire body. It’s safe to say that I have a mind of my own. (Click here to learn more about my brain, aka the Enteric Nervous System.) There are multiple interacting factors that have an effect on us, and some of us are especially hypersensitive.

Spastic Colon

Things that make me go “Grrr”

#1. Communication Issues

I’m not totally blaming the “big brain” upstairs, but I’d say that one of the underlying problems is the way she processes the sensory information I send her. We don’t always have the best communication and that can be very frustrating for both of us.

#2. Bacterial Imbalance (Dysbiosis)

Happy intestines have a healthy balance of both good and bad bacteria.  There is a constant battle going on down here between them.  In the event that a colony takes over, a chronic imbalance occurs, known as dysbiosis.  This is actually a very important insight into my psyche.  Many of the symptoms of IBS (and a host of other ailments, mental and physical) are believed to stem from intestinal dysbiosis.

#3. Leaky Gut Syndrome

Now seems like a good time to address Leaky Gut Syndrome. A leaky gut is an unhappy gut and arguably more of a symptom than a diagnosis. The small intestine is expected to simultaneously function as a sponge AND a barrier, absorbing nutrients while keeping food, bacteria and other unsavory molecules from entering the bloodstream. Leaky guts struggle with this and are often found in patients with Crohn’s, Celiac Disease and IBS. While the cause isn’t always clear the effects can lead to many problems throughout your entire body. Including but not limited to: inflammatory bowel disease; food allergies; and chronic skin problems.

There you have it folks. I hope I was able to provide some insight from the inside. Next time you think your tummy is upset, maybe you’ll have a better understanding of why. For more information on IBS, treatment options, and when to see a doctor click here.

ClinSearch has provided our community with access to clinical research trials since 1992. We serve volunteers from the greater Chattanooga area, Cleveland, Dalton, Georgia and North-Eastern Alabama with access to clinical trials like this one, currently enrolling for Crohn’s Disease. While each individual trial varies, most offer study-related investigational drug and medical exams at no cost, and compensation for your time and travel.

ClinSearch is always looking for qualified volunteers. If you have IBS, Crohn’s, Celiac Disease, or any other inflammatory bowel disorder and want to know more about new treatment options, give us a call at (423) 698-4584 or request more information here.

Fibromyalgia is a woman.

Posted on November 18, 2015

FibroHi, my name is Fibromyalgia. Maybe you’ve heard of me, but like most women I am poorly understood. While I pride myself on being so mysterious, I think I need to set the record straight on a few things. First of all, I am real. If you don’t believe me, ask one of the 5 million people in the United States that live with me every day. I mean, how much pain and debilitation does a gal have to cause before someone starts taking her seriously!? Sorry, I tend to get emotional. I just think it’s time I get the respect I deserve. If you want to know more about me, keep reading. I’ll open up about causes, symptoms, and who’s at risk of becoming my new best friend.

Where did I come from? Oh wouldn’t you like to know. I’m not ready to reveal all just yet. However, I’ll hint that it may be due to problems in the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

I prefer to keep company with other women, but not exclusively. The important qualities I look for are as follows:

  • Physical/Emotional Trauma
  • Family history of me
  • Certain infections
  • Autoimmune diseases

I do love my job, and I am proficient in initiating discomfort in the following areas:

  • Deep muscle pain
  • Painful tender points
  • Morning stiffness
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritable Bowel
  • Sleep Problems (Oh did I wake you?)
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Urinary problems

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people get me confused with, Arthur. I’m sure you know him as Arthritis. Yes, Arthur is a pain but he only causes pain in the joints. I know I risk sounding braggadocios here, but I can cause pain throughout your entire body! And here’s the real kicker. I’m hard to diagnose. There is no specific blood test or X-ray to prove my existence! However, with the right evaluation of tender points, a diagnosis is not impossible. I told you I was mysterious.

Okay, let’s talk about treatment. Science is finally starting to take me seriously. You may find relief using some of the following options:

  • Pain Medication
  • Antidepressants such as Cymbalta
  • Lyrica (Calms excited nerves)
  • Savella
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medical Marijuana
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation

Also, I am honored to announce, ClinSearch is currently evaluating a new medication to treat ‘yours truly’. Please contact them at (423) 698-4584 or go to the website for more information.

Migraine. My Brain. My Headache

Posted on September 29, 2015


Got migraines on your mind?  If you’re one of the 30-47 million Americans that suffer from these monster headaches, it’s safe to assume that you do. And whether your migraines rage on for hours—or days—their presence can certainly be debilitating.

Pain in the Brain: Understanding Migraines

To know how to treat migraines, it helps to understand where they come from. A migraine is more than a headache. It’s a complex condition precipitated by both genetic and environmental factors (I’ll touch more on potential triggers in a bit). There is still so much unknown about migraines, but we do know that when they “attack” a chemical imbalance is underway in the brain. Serotonin, one of the good chemicals, helps to regulate pain in the nervous system. During an attack, these levels drop, causing a release of another substance called neuropeptides. The neuropeptide, a Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP), causes vasodilation of the blood vessels. Studies show that CGRP levels increase during a migraine and this may be a major cause behind the headache.

Are you at risk?

Risk factors vary from person to person, however if migraines run in your family you are more likely to be plagued with them as well. Other factors include:

  • Age—Migraines usually strike before the age of 40
  • Gender—Women are three times more likely to get migraines than men
  • Pregnancy


Some individuals will experience an aura that develops right before an episode. Attacks can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Usually migraines will cause sharp or pulsating pain on one side of the head. This pain is exacerbated by light and sound, and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Many variables are known to trigger migraines, and these also vary per person.

Some triggers include:

  • Sensory stimulation
    • Bright lights
    • Loud sounds
    • Unusual smells
  • Foods
    • Cheese
    • Salt
    • Processed foods
    • Artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate)
    • Highly caffeinated drinks
    • Alcoholic beverages (especially wine)
  • Hormones (migraines may precede menstrual cycle)
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Change in weather
  • Intense physical activity (including sex)
  • Stress
  • Too much or too little sleep

When to see a doctor. You should make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Seizure
  • Double vision
  • Weakness
  • Trouble speaking
  • New (unusually intense) headache after 50 years of age
  • If symptoms worsen with cough, exertion, or straining

In short, if you find yourself experiencing “the worst headache ever” you may want to see your doctor.

Acute treatment options include:

Chronic prevention options include:

Additional options with less evidence of efficacy include:

Latest prevention concept:

ClinSearch is  currently conducting a study to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment that will block CGRP, the chemical in the brain that causes blood vessels to dilate.  If you are interested in learning more about this trial, please call (423) 698-4584 or visit us at ClinSearch.com

Clinical Trials Lead to Better Care

Posted on May 27, 2015

Clinical Trails are Critical in Bringing New Drugs to Market

Written by Mike Haskew Updates by Melissa Watson

Research and development are critical components of progress in any field, and in medicine the introduction of new drugs is heavily dependent on the clinical trial.

Pharmaceutical companies are continually producing new medications, but the effectiveness of any one of them cannot be measured with any degree of accuracy until a group of actual patients gives it a try. Across the country, clinical research facilities solicit patients to participate in studies which take place prior to or soon after the approval of a new medication by the Food and Drug Administration. One of these facilities, ClinSearch, has been operating here in Chattanooga for nearly 2 decades.

Founded in 1990 by Dr. Richard Krause, a local gastroenterologist, ClinSearch has enrolled over 11,440 patients in more than 290 studies and developed relationships with almost 100 different pharmaceutical companies. ClinSearch has become such a major player in the clinical research field that it is a fixture in the top 10 percent in numbers of study participants.

Dr. Krause became involved with clinical research in 1992 for a couple of reasons. “I could see the writing on the wall,” he remembered. “Insurance companies were manipulating patients to go to particular doctors whether they wanted to go to them or not, and being involved with clinical trials gave me the opportunity to see patients that I would otherwise never see.”

Basically, a clinical trial is a research study initiated and funded by a pharmaceutical company and conducted by medical professionals who evaluate treatments or procedures. Quite simply, today’s clinical trials lead to tomorrow’s standard care.

Clnical research is conducted on four different levels at Clinsearch. A phase 1 study involves monitoring the progress of relatively healthy patients to make sure that a certain drug is safe. In Phase 2, a drug has been determined to be safe on a relatively small number of people, and the drug is administered to a larger number. Phase 3 includes the fine tuning of dosages and other criteria specific to the drug. Occasionally, a pharmaceutical company will commission a Phase 4 study, which may also be known as a post-marketing study, to compare its drug’s performance to that of a competitor after FDA approval.

“At the end of Phase 3, the data and results from clinical studies are presented to the FDA,” explained Dr. Krause, “and the FDA may take months or even years to give its approval. They do have a fast track they can put a drug on for approval if it is brand new or if there is a disease that no other drug can combat. Prilosec, one of the first proton pump inhibitors to be used for heartburn, was put on the fast track, for example.”

Clinsearch was involved in the study for Prilosec, and the process was typical. “We advertised for volunteers,” said Dr. Krause, “telling them that they would be trying a new drug and that they might get a sugar pill (placebo), or the real drug. We were looking for people over 18 who were experiencing heartburn on a regular basis. In the beginning, because we don’t know the proper dosage, there will usually be four arms in a study. These arms receive the low, middle, and high doses, and one of them gets the placebo. Because we are fine tuning in Phase 3, this type of study may only have two arms.”

Dr. Krause is selective with the studies in Phase 2 & 3. “I pick and choose the ones we get involved with,” he said, “based on whether or not I think the drug is safe or the study is important. Before we do a Phase 3, we get the chance to review the results of Phase 2, but Phase 2 is the most fun because it is on the cutting edge.”

To date, ClinSearch has conducted clinical trials on such ailments as Celiac Disease, Chronic Constipation, Migraines, Acne, IBS, and more.

According to Dr. Krause, recruiting patients is not a difficult thing to do. “I would bet that half our patients come by word of mouth from friends or relatives who have heard of us or participated in previous studies. The people of Chattanooga have been very willing to participate. Some of them may come through my office after talking to me or seeing us advertise,” said the native of Philadelphia who came to Chattanooga in 1997.

“I may suggest a study to the patient if they aren’t responding to current therapy, and we don’t take a patient off current medication if they are responding,” the doctor continued. “We don’t try to convince people to go into a study. We just expose them to the information. If someone has heartburn and they aren’t responding to treatment, they might be interested in a study. We give a lengthy explanation of the pros and cons to the patients and discuss the risks, which are the unknown and the potential side effects.”

Throughout the course of a clinical trial, it is clear that the health and welfare of the patient are the primary concerns. While it might appear to the layman that talking a drug is safest after FDA approval, it is actually safer during the trial. Each study participant is provided with a document called an informed consent form, which describes the risks, benefits and expectations of the study in detail. Because the patients are monitored closely, any adverse effects or developments are discovered early.

“I explain to patients that our research studies are really safer than taking a brand new drug which just came on the market,” commented Dr. Krause, who completed his internship and residency at Grady Hospital in Atlanta through Emory University, and his GI fellowship at Yale University. “We monitor patients much more closely than a private physician could. We don’t have to get approval from an insurance company to run an EKG or a blood test because the drug company is paying for it. The drug companies usually require monthly blood tests while the patient is in the study, and the reason for this is that most drug side effects occur in the liver or the kidneys. If these side effects occur in a patient, they will usually be detected through these tests before the patient even has any symptoms.”

Some drugs, says the doctor, have actually received FDA approval after studies of groups of as many as 5,000 patients. However, if the frequency of a side affect is one in 10,000, theoretically it may not be discovered until the drug is mass marketed and hundreds of thousands of patients are taking it.

“In situations like that, the FDA is blamed for not being more careful,” noted Dr. Krause, “but it would be cost prohibitive to run a study on such a large scale. If a patient takes and new drug outside a study and is developing liver failure, they may not know it, and they could even die. But, we monitor our patients much more carefully. I call them “guinea persons”, and I always tell them that if they do not get better on the medication we will take them off of it, usually after about a month, or sometimes even a couple of weeks.”

The direct benefits to the patient in include:

  • A chance to try a new medication if you are not responding to current treatment
  • Many studies include one year of medication at no cost
  • Compensation for time and travel
  • Aiding in the development of new treatment options

Our clinical trials are usually a win/win for everyone.

If interested, contact our office at (423) 698-4584, or visit our website www.clinsearch-us.com