Member Spotlight: Q&A with Allucent

Dec 01, 2022

Every month, MassBio spotlights a member company and the great work they’re doing to advance the life sciences industry and support the patients we serve. This month, we spoke with Christopher Brennan, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at Allucent. Christopher is a seasoned executive who has managed all facets of operational growth, people and culture, legal, compliance and governmental affairs. He previously served as an officer in the United States Air Force and practiced corporate law at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, before launching a venture-capital-backed specialty pharmaceutical company. Brennan also served as executive vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance officer within the CRO industry at PharmaNet, Bioclinica, and at Nature’s Bounty.

Tell us about your organization, its mission, and current initiatives.

Allucent is on a mission to help bring new therapies to light by solving the distinct challenges of small and mid-sized biotech companies. We’re a global provider of comprehensive drug development solutions, including consulting, clinical operations, biometrics, and clinical pharmacology across a variety of therapeutic areas. Our singular purpose is to support the ability of smaller companies to deliver next-generation therapeutic innovations to patients with unmet needs, and the services and solutions we offer are specifically curated to achieve this goal. 

With more than 30 years of experience in over 60 countries, our individualized partnership approach provides experience-driven insights and expertise to assist clients in successfully navigating the complexities of delivering novel treatments to patients. 

How does your organization’s activities help patients now and into the future?

At Allucent, we share our sponsors’ dedication for delivering novel therapies to patients with unmet needs and work collaboratively with them to stay close to the science that drives therapeutic innovation. Our focus is on supporting small and mid-sized biotech companies because they hold approximately 70% of the biopharmaceutical industry’s intellectual property. Many of our clients don’t have large teams or in-house experts and benefit from a partner who can provide specialized expertise, particularly for the most complex and challenging diseases where no previous pathway exists and patients are urgently awaiting breakthroughs.

By intentionally curating our offerings and approach around the distinct needs of smaller companies, we’re helping them to deliver on the potential of their breakthrough science for patients around the world.  And we’re committed to ensuring that everything we do along the drug development journey benefits patients as well.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the life sciences industry today?

In today’s global economic environment, we must work smarter, faster and leaner across all facets of the industry. This is particularly true for small and mid-sized biotechs, many of whom are competing for increasingly limited funding to propel their groundbreaking science forward.  While this presents significant challenges, it also offers opportunities.  For example, there’s fertile ground to realize the potential of decentralized clinical trials, which can increase patient access and diversity, accelerate development and generate stronger data.  We’re also seeing increasing value in protocol optimization, an approach that allows drug developers to improve study planning efforts early to avoid costly mistakes and delays later. This may include competitive and market analyses to identify indication and compound priorities, feasibility assessments including country and site strategies, and accelerated approvals for novel and breakthrough therapies. Protocol optimization has a downstream effect on clinical study scope and size, allowing for time and cost benefits.

What’s next for your organization / what are you focused on in the coming year?

This has been a transformative era for Allucent.  Over the past three years we have strengthened and deepened our capabilities to address the distinct, modern clinical trial needs of smaller companies, doubled our size, and expanded our global reach to over 60 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  In the year ahead, we’re focused on continuing to enhance our first-in-class offerings for small and mid-sized biotech companies. These include specialized services such as Patient Direct trials with a focus on decentralized and hybrid models and techniques such as such as MIDD (Model Informed Drug Development) to impact critical decision-making and, in some cases, reduce the need for certain trials. We’ll also continue our efforts to expand our global footprint in key markets such India – where we recently opened our second office – and attracting ‘A-Team’ talent with unsurpassed regulatory, therapeutic and operational expertise.

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