Where Are They Now? CGIRB

Andrew Stanten


Content is king at Altitude for good reason. With well-written, fact-laden content as the linchpin of an integrated marketing campaign, Copernicus Group IRB (CGIRB) rose from the pack as an innovative leader in a highly competitive industry, leading to the realization of their ultimate goal—acquisition.

CGIRB, an institutional review board (IRB), is an independent organization operating within federal regulations to review and monitor clinical research studies involving human subjects. An IRB’s primary responsibility is to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in research, both before and during studies. IRBs serve a vital oversight role in the drug development and clinical trial process.

Altitude recognized an opportunity to leverage the content … to generate lift that would help the company rise well above the competitors in a very crowded industry.

With our keen understanding of business-to-business technology, Altitude’s team of content developers crafted a potent case study that positioned CGIRB as an innovative leader with superior technology dedicated to creating efficiencies and improving the IRB review process.

The case study documented CGIRB’s transition to a paperless organization, highlighting the obstacles in existing protocols and processes that lead to the transition and how the organization dealt with them. CGIRB leadership recognized that current and prospective clients would be more inclined to accept new technology and recognize its benefits when evidence of success was provided.


And Altitude recognized an opportunity to leverage the content—which essentially tells the story of CGIRB’s status as an early adopter of technology—to generate lift that would help the company rise well above the competitors in a very crowded industry.

Generating Lift

Once written, the case study, which illustrated the regulatory, efficiency and cost-saving benefits of the paperless system, was used to create a number of downstream marketing opportunities.

In addition to helping readers and potential clients understand the significance of the new system and detailing the benefits of a paperless review process, Altitude used it to pitch CGIRB leadership for coveted speaking engagements at large industry conferences such as the annual Document Strategy Forum.

Altitude also submitted the case study to industry-leading magazines where it was featured as a cover story in Applied Clinical Trials, one of the largest and most widely read publications in the clinical trials industry.

Each article and speaking engagement in turn created additional marketing opportunities, including award nominations, press releases, event postings, newsletter articles and blogs.

The content was so powerful that Altitude used the case study as the linchpin of a year-long integrated marketing campaign for CGIRB designed to introduce the clinical trial industry’s first completely paperless IRB process in phase one, and in phase two, roll out CGIRB’s new technology platform, CGIRB Connexus®.

Altitude worked with CGIRB to tie all the marketing efforts into positioning the company as an innovative leader, focused on the message of CGIRB Connexus’ tagline, “Managing complexity through innovation®.”

Even more importantly, in an industry where IRBs are viewed as a regulatory hurdles and barriers to the clinical research process, the case study, spinoff articles and speaking engagements helped to separate CGIRB from its competitors. By establishing credibility and carefully cultivating its brand image, CGIRB became known as an agile, responsive partner in human subject protection instead of a regulatory hoop through which to jump.

An Attractive Acquisition

After a few years of working with Altitude to build their reputation as a technology-leading IRB, CGIRB drew the attention of Arsenal Capital Partners, which acquired the company to complement its other IRB holding, Western IRB (WIRB). Following the acquisition, Arsenal has successfully leveraged CGIRB’s image by launching WIRB Connexus™, building on the credibility established by CGIRB’s reputation and leading edge technology to help to create yet more transformative offerings in the clinical research industry.

And that’s the story of how one well-conceptualized, content-heavy, fact-filled case study helped to shape CGIRB’s image as a technologically advanced competitor, elevating the company to an industry-leading IRB that was an attractive acquisition.

Andrew Stanten

Andrew Stanten co-founded Altitude Marketing in 2004. As CEO, he ensures the right people are on board, delivering world-class marketing services to Altitude’s global client base, and staying true to Altitude’s mission, vision and values.
Andrew possesses an innate ability to process, organize and summarize massive volumes of client and market information and turn it into actionable, strategic thinking. This enables Team Altitude to get smart about a company quickly—and develop winning, integrated approaches that vault clients into a position of prominence and strength.
Andrew graduated from Syracuse University and earned his MBA from Lehigh University.