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Omaha Magazine

Meridian Clinical Research

Jan 01, 2020 04:09PM ● By Mariel Richter

When Nicole Osborn enrolled her first patient into a clinical trial at Meridian, the company’s assets totaled little more than a fax machine and a few credit card advances. Today, Meridian is celebrating its 20th anniversary and has enrolled over 40,000 patients across more than 2,400 clinical trials.

As CEO, Osborn grew Meridian from a single dedicated research center in Omaha to a women-owned and -led network that now includes more than 20 research sites and 50 physicians across North America.

Meridian conducts clinical trials to help determine if investigational medicines, medical devices, and tests are safe and effective. Without clinical trials, it would be impossible to develop new medicines, treatments, and cures.

“We conduct clinical trials for conditions that affect ourselves and our own families,” said Osborn. “Clinical research is a complex and heavily-regulated industry, but it has a very simple purpose—to improve human health and wellbeing.”

Meridian partners with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to conduct clinical trials for everything from flu vaccines and acne, to chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Meridian is currently conducting clinical trials for Zika virus and anthrax vaccines, and even conducted research for the Ebola vaccine when the outbreak affected the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“It’s most rewarding to see a product we studied achieve FDA approval and enter the mass market,” said Osborn. “That’s when our work can touch the lives of millions.”

Beyond what Meridian’s team does in clinics, Osborn has created a unique program to keep patients and communities at the forefront of everything the company does. “We have a charitable giving budget that is woven into our employee incentive program,” said Osborn. Driven by high employee performance, the company far surpassed its 2019 charitable giving goal of $209,700.

Osborn’s commitment to charity is showcased during a company-created holiday, Good Deeds Day. Once a year, employees at each Meridian site are given a stipend and a mission: Go make a difference in your community. “We’re always astonished by the team’s thoughtfulness and creativity.”

Osborn leads Meridian with a unique blend of tenacity, compassion, and generosity—all traits that are essential in the pursuit and exploration of new frontiers in human health.

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