Services

Clinical Research Division

Doctor dressed in a lab coat working in a lab looking through a microscope holding a clear tube with a red lid.

Our Mission and Vision

Alabama Medical Group’s Clinical Research Division has been in place since April 2014 and has been actively working with its internal network of clinicians to support patient care. Alabama Medical Group’s Division of Clinical Research serves to uphold AMG’s commitment to providing the Alabama Gulf Coast and surrounding areas with the latest in healthcare advancements through robust clinical trials.

The mission of the Research Department at Alabama Medical Group is to support a rigorous program of research by our accomplished group of multi-specialty physicians, encouraging the highest standards of quality, and fostering ethical conduct in research. Department responsibilities include:

  • Facilitating strong programs of interdisciplinary research
  • Identifying the best researchers for your project needs
  • Streamlining of our collaboration from non-disclosure agreement through the contracting process to study start-up
  • Regulatory research compliance including appropriate standards for the protection of human subjects
  • Qualified on-site research support staff to drive patient recruitment, retention, and excellent sponsor communication
  • Sophisticated electronic data systems and support staff to provide access to specific the patient population from our large practice to meet your inclusion criteria; facilitating monitoring of research data.

An additional benefit of working with the largest independent multi-specialty clinic in Mobile, Alabama, is access to the many areas of world class research. Our research areas include:

  • Diabetes
  • Family Practice
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics
  • Hypertension
  • Internal Medicine
  • Lipidemia
  • Rheumatology
  • Neurology
  • Infectious Diseases

Providers participating in the conduct of clinical research at AMG:

  • Cody Barnett, MD, FACG
  • Edward Carlos, MD
  • Susan Fleet, MD
  • Panayoitis Grevenitis, MD
  • Deepak Kumar, MD
  • Jonathan Siegel, MD, FACG
  • Michael K. Sanders, MD, FASGE
  • Patrick Nolan, MD
  • Edward Hyndman, III, MD
  • Alan Shain, MD
  • Jessica Kantrales, PA-C

What is a clinical research study?

A clinical research study (or clinical trial) is a research study that uses human volunteers to answer specific health questions and find new treatments and ways to improve health. Clinical research studies help physicians and scientists develop improved treatments and even cures for many medical problems. The research, which is conducted on-site at Alabama Medical Group, relies on patients who volunteer to try a new treatment. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical research study, please contact one of the study coordinators listed below. Participation in a clinical trials is voluntary, will not affect your regular treatment from your doctor, and you may discontinue at any time. For trials within Alabama Medical Group, patients do not pay for study visits as the visits are covered by the study sponsor company. Patients may also be reimbursed for time and travel to the clinic for study visits.

Our team focuses on offering additional treatment options for our patients. Current enrolling studies include:

Diabetic Gastroparesis

This study is to evaluate a new treatment for Diabetic Gastroparesis compared to placebo (inactive drug). The study treatment is a self-injection from a pen (similar to an insulin pen) that is given 2 times a day. Eligible patients will complete up to 7 visits over approximately 18 weeks with 14 weeks receiving study treatment or placebo. Patients completing the all 7 visits over 16 weeks may be eligible to continue for up to an additional 46 weeks, receiving study treatment or placebo. The study related visits will include physical examinations, blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring, lab tests, ECGs, gastric emptying breath test, an EGD (if required), and ongoing assessments of diabetic gastroparesis symptoms. Study participants will receive all study related care and treatment at no cost to them and are reimbursed for time and travel to study visits. This trial is overseen by Dr. Siegel.

Crohn’s Disease

This study is to evaluate a new type biologic treatment, JAK-1 inhibitor, against placebo (inactive drug) in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease for patients that have previously failed biologic treatment or other, non-biologic treatments. The study treatment is a pill taken once a day. Eligible patients will complete up to 10 visits over approximately 26 weeks. Some eligible patients may be eligible to continue in the study up to 7 additional visits over approximately 52 weeks.  The study related visits will include physical examinations, colonoscopies, lab tests, ECGs, chest x-ray, blood pressure monitoring, and ongoing assessments of Crohn’s Disease symptoms. Study participants will receive all study related care and treatment at no cost to them and are reimbursed for time and travel to study visits. This trial is overseen by Dr. Siegel.

Ulcerative Colitis

This study is to evaluate a new type biologic treatment, JAK-1 inhibitor, against placebo (inactive drug) in the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis for patients that have previously failed biologic treatment or other, non-biologic treatments. The study treatment is first an infusion then will be taken by injection. Eligible patients will complete up to 8 visits over approximately 32 weeks. Some patients may be eligible to continue in the study up to 288 Weeks (5.5 years) should they choose.  The study related visits will include physical examinations, colonscopies, lab tests, ECGs, chest x-rays, blood pressure monitoring, and ongoing assessments of Ulcerative Colitis symptoms. Study participants will receive all study related care and treatment at no cost to them and are reimbursed for time and travel to study visits. This trial is overseen by Dr. Siegel.

GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

This study is to compare a new type of treatment, a bile acid sequestrant, to placebo (inactive drug) for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. The study treatment is a tablet, taken 3 at a time, taken 2 times a day along with the patient’s current GERD medication. Eligible patients will complete up to 5 visits for up to 15 weeks, receiving study treatment for up to 10 weeks. Study visits will include EGDs, physical examinations, ECGs, lab tests, blood pressure monitoring, and ongoing assessments of GERD symptoms. Study participants will receive all study related care and treatment at no cost to them and are reimbursed for time and travel to study visits. This trial is overseen by Dr. Siegel.

Colon Cancer Screening

This study is to evaluate the increased sensitivity of a new mt-sDNA 2.0 stool screening test for patients 40 and older that are scheduled for a screening colonoscopy with our GI physicians. Patients that qualify and choose to participate will be given a Cologuard kit to take home and return to address provided by the study sponsor within 30 days of receiving kit or prior to screening colonsocopy if sooner. Patients participating in this trial will also have the option for a blood draw for additional testing in conjunction with their colon cancer screening kit. There will be 1 study visit that would occur at the time of a scheduled visit GI visit for screening colonoscopy scheduling. Patients will be reimbursed for their time following day of enrollment, when completed and acceptable stool collection kit is received at testing facility, and additionally following enrollment for those choosing to participate in additional and optional blood testing. Cost of this stool screening kit and return shipping is covered by the study. Colonoscopies will be completed outside of the study and not covered by the sponsor. This trial is overseen by Dr. Siegel.

Ulcerative Colitis Registry

This study is not a treatment trial, but is to gather information about ulcerative colitis in patients receiving Humira. This research study collects long-term safety information on treatment of patients with moderate to severe active Ulcerative Colitis (UC). This study is a non-interventional (observation) registry, which aims to collect information on approved medications for ulcerative colitis under real-life conditions. This long-term study, lasting approximately ten years, will collect data every 6 months from each participating patient during regularly scheduled office visits for UC. Participating patients are reimbursed for their time and effort in provided study required information. This trial is overseen by Dr. Siegel.

HIV – Upcoming

This study is to evaluate a new treatment of HIV in patients with no history of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatment. Qualifying patients will be randomly selected to receive 1 of 4 ARV treatments for up to 80 weeks. Select, qualifying study participants will have the option to continue their treatment past 80 weeks. The study visits will include physical examinations, lab tests, ECGs, blood pressure monitoring, viral load testing and monitoring, and ongoing assessments of HIV and health. Study participants will receive all study related care and treatment at no cost to them and are reimbursed for time and travel to study visits. This trial will be overseen by Dr. Nolan.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis – Upcoming

This study is to evaluate a corticosteroid against placebo (inactive drug) in the treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis. The study treatment is an orally disintegrating tablet taken daily at bedtime. Eligible patients will complete up to 17 office and phone visits over approximately 46 weeks. The study related visits will include physical examinations, EGDs, lab tests, ECGs, blood pressure monitoring, and ongoing assessments of Eosinophilic Esophagitis symptoms. Study participants will receive all study related care and treatment at no cost to them and are reimbursed for time and travel to study visits. This trial is overseen by Dr. Siegel.

What are the potential benefits of participating in a clinical study?

While there is no guarantee that you will benefit from taking part in a clinical research study, there are numerous potential advantages, including possible health improvements from new treatments not available to the public, interaction with physicians and nurses who are at the leading edge of medical science, and close medical monitoring of your condition.

Also, you may feel satisfaction from participating in studies that may contribute to new medical knowledge and that have the potential of helping others with similar illnesses. Most clinical research studies provide study-related procedures and treatments at no cost to the volunteer.

Types of clinical trials

Clinical research studies may test new treatments, new combinations of drugs, medical devices or new medical approaches. Some research studies look for better ways to screen, diagnose or prevent disease. Others may look at the influence of genetics or the outcomes of medical treatments, such as improved quality of life or cost effectiveness.

Clinical research studies of new drugs are conducted in four phases:

Phase One: Tests a new treatment or device’s safety in the human body. Less than 100 to a few hundred healthy participants will be examined in this phase of a clinical trial.

Phase Two: Efficacy, safety, and dosage are examined in participants having the condition to be treated by a new treatment or device. Often there are two groups in which participants are placed: One receives the standard treatment or placebo (inactive treatment), and the second receives the new treatment. In this phase, a few hundred participants around the country or world will examined.

Phase Three:  Efficacy, safety, and dosage are examined in volunteers having the condition to be treated by a new treatment or device as well. In this phase, more is known about the efficacy and safety of the new treatment or device than phase 2, but additional information is needed before it is submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA. During or at the end of this phase of a clinical trial, the new treatment or device is submitted to the FDA for approval. . If approved, the drug will be available in pharmacies. Several hundred to a few thousand participants around the country or world will be examined.

Phase Four: The treatment or device has now been approved by the FDA. A phase 4 trial is conducted to further examine the treatment or device’s long-term efficacy and/or safety. Thousands of participants around the country and world will be examined.

Informed Consent

FDA requires research participant’s written informed consent prior to the start of study participation. Informed consent involves providing a potential participant with:

  • Adequate information to allow for an informed decision about participation in the clinical investigation.
  • Facilitating the potential participant’s understanding of the information.
  • An appropriate amount of time to ask questions and to discuss with family and friends the research protocol and whether you should participate.
  • Obtaining the potential participant’s voluntary agreement to participate.
  • Continuing to provide information as the clinical investigation progresses or as the subject or situation requires.

What risks are involved in clinical trials?

Side effects and risks exist with almost any treatment, whether it is an approved treatment or a clinical research study treatment. Some treatments that are being tested have side effects that can be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening. However, many safeguards exist to ensure that clinical research studies as safe as possible and to protect patient rights. Before a patient receives a new study treatment, their medical history is thoroughly examined by the doctor.

Cost is an important consideration for a patient thinking about entering a clinical research study. Most studies provide the study drug or treatment and any research-related procedures at no cost to the participant. Clinical research studies may require clinic or hospital visits, X-rays, blood tests, or other medical procedures. Some studies may have a sponsor that pays some or all of the costs. Sponsors could be federal agencies or the company that makes the new drug or device. A study participant is not required to have medical insurance coverage as no study related procedures or visits are filed to health insurance.

For more information on clinical research at Alabama Medical Group, contact: