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News - Atlantia Clinical Trials

Types of Trials & Community

Atlantia Clinical Trials is 10 years in business this year. We wouldn’t have achieved this milestone without our community. Considering the key stakeholders, our participants are at the centre. They are our most valuable asset and their contribution to research supports the growth and development of Atlantia. Some team members have joined us on this occasion to discuss the type of trials that the company has been involved in over its existence and what value they have brought to society.

Keep reading to learn the thoughts from Andrea, Barry, Claire, Sian, Shauni, Cian, Irene, Ted, Onthatile, Sally and Shauna.

Clinical research industry expertise

Atlantia has enabled companies with food components and/or naturally occurring products to conduct high-quality research allowing them to make claims based on solid scientific evidence. As Onthatile Serehete, Atlantia’s Medical Study Manager, expressed, this is a much-neglected area in the scientific community to research natural products and their impact on clinical health outcomes. Too many supplements are marketed without appropriate evidence. Our clients are ethical companies who base their claims on science.  

We enable scientific research by investigating and exploring how different ingredients are contributing to human health. We offer an end-to-end service, starting off from protocol development, ethics submission, data management, recruitment, study conduct, monitoring, statistical analysis and final report writing. We are much more than a typical CRO as we have full control over the entire study process and we can conduct our studies onsite in our Cork and Chicago clinics.

To begin with, we gain insight into the specific market objectives of our clients. We design and conduct studies based on the company’s requirements. Fully aware of the fact that many companies have limited resources, we achieve goals in a cost-effective manner.  

Conducting a study based on unlimited resources is easy, but we pride ourselves on achieving objectives within limited budgets and within predefined timeframes– highlighted Ted Dinan, Atlantia’s Medical Director.  

Atlantia provides world-renowned expertise to its clients. This is a unique opportunity for some start-up companies to have scientific advice from global leaders in their field of research. We deliver local science for global companies.

Clinical trial areas and types of studies

Atlantia has been involved in over 550 thrilling projects over the last 10 years with more than 300 sponsors across multiple health areas. The scope of Atlantia’s clinical studies has been wide-ranging. The products studied vary from small molecules to probiotic bacteria.  

Many of the early studies focused on probiotics, gut health and elements of metabolic syndrome, reflecting the expertise within the company. We have since diverged into areas such as sports nutrition, brain health, women’s health and skin products. Atlantia has worked with many novel food formulations from fermented coconut milk with beneficial GI applications to natural alternatives to dietary sugars.  We conduct trials in healthy volunteers and on specific patient populations studying a wide variety of products, in areas as diverse as stress, obesity and osteoarthritis, body composition, muscle repair, constipation, bloating and IBS as well as glycaemic control, memory and cognition, or anxiety, just to name a few.  

Over the years, we’ve performed many different types of trials. Anywhere from bioavailability, observational, interventional studies that are acute or longer term as well as challenge models. Trials have ranged from open-label safety and tolerability trials to randomised, controlled efficacy trials; From questionnaire based, using validated questionnaires, to collecting biological samples such as blood, fecal or skin, for specific biomarkers, or even using specialised technologies such as Video camera endoscopy, cognitive test batteries or Antera 3D for beauty and cosmetic studies. Studies can go from 20 participants all the way up to 600 ranging in age from 3 months to 90 years old.

Atlantia has been a pioneer in food trials or the alternative medical products space. In the 10 years that the company has been established, to have done over a hundred trials in the nutraceuticals space is remarkable, stated Sally, Atlantia’s first CEO.

Links with academia & scientific outreach

University College Cork

Atlantia is very committed to bridging the gap between scientific advancements and the industry.

As a spin out of APC Microbiome Ireland, we have contributed to the human nutrition and microbiome research fields through over 120 clinical studies in collaboration with over 85 sponsors.

Atlantia collaborates with world leading scientists (among the top cited 1% internationally, in the areas of digestive health and functional foods) at the: APC Microbiome Institute in University College Cork, Ireland and Teagasc, Moorepark. Atlantia are delighted to continue to be closely linked with this developing community through collaborating with a number of the research groups to conduct gut and microbiome research in Cork.  Atlantia remains connected with the academic institutions in Cork and provides valued opportunities for third-level students to complete internships. As a company, we have stayed true to our roots in academia and its employees continue to contribute regularly to scientific literature, conferences, expert panels and committees, helping to increase the impact of on-going research and development. From a scientific perspective, we contribute to the scientific general knowledge database.

Many of the studies we conduct are published. Our clients are always looking to push the boundaries of science, and as such, we are the conduit in many of those cases because we deliver the science, the human clinical science at the end of the development pipeline.  We are part of 5 scientific industry associations. We were involved in over 20 publications and disseminate scientific advancements in over 80 conferences and more than 15 educational webinars and panel discussions. Atlantia has spent a great deal of resources embedding itself into the local and international communities.


Atlantia works with many stakeholders who are very important to the success of the business. Our participants, first and foremost, who partake in all our studies, we consider them as our greatest asset when it comes to other stakeholders.  Other key stakeholders would be our collaborators, as a spin out of university college cork and further collaboration with the researchers in APC Microbiome Ireland, having their expert knowledge, experience and support when it comes to conducting our research and our clinical trials, is very important.

Andrea Doolan, Atlantia’ CEO stated that our stakeholders who we collaborate with at the APC are extremely important and provide us with such research, knowledge and support to deliver in a lot of our more complicated research focused studies.

Our collaborators at the APC Microbiome Institute in University College Cork are key to the success of Atlantia and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in research.   In addition, we collaborate with a lot of other researchers outside the core community that help us to deliver high quality research, whether it's in microbiome research or more specialized metabolomics.

Bringing it back to the community

Atlantia's open day 2022

We get a big response from the community interested in taking part in our trials and this shows how excited the local people get for being part of ground-breaking research. We would like to thank over 9000 volunteers who have helped us conduct many studies over the last 10 years. These projects have already helped 62 different products to market. The recruitment team loves getting out of the office to meet the local community whether it’s at large events & shows or smaller group talks. We have a dedicated events team which helps us to play a much more active role within the community going forward.

Some of the research projects with the most impact tend to be around digestive health issues, IBS, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis. There is a rapidly growing body of supporting evidence for the positive impact of oral pre and probiotic supplements on gastrointestinal health and disease prevention and Atlantia is at the forefront of that research with trials in IBS, constipation and bloating with a number of products trialed by Atlantia in Cork available on pharmacy and health food shop shelves.

Barry Skillington, Chief Commercial Officer expanded on the above idea, it's nice to see some of the subjects on the trials get relief from the products that we're trialing in our communities. Then as a result of that, we advertise and we have a very large subject database of people who are interested in doing research with us.  we often do open days in our office, we do community days, we do community talks like mother and baby groups and nutrition talks for young mothers. We do elderly talks for the elderly in terms of good nutrition and successful aging. So, we give back to the community from which we operate in both sides of the Atlantic.

Andrea Doolan explained the importance of conducting research with populations who are at risk of developing disease. Cohorts such as pre diabetics or osteopenia who really are at the path or who are likely to progress into diabetes and osteoarthritis by being able to intervene early and develop products that can support them, and their health and overall well-being is key.

If we can delay the onset of disease, it's going to have a significant global impact on health care services, but also on people's quality of life. From a research perspective, we can see that the microbiome is having a very significant impact on people's overall health and wellbeing.

I trust that all the research projects we took part in have made an impact on society, as preventative medicine may reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. One research field that I am very excited about is the human microbiome area, said Irene Cisma, Marketing Manager at Atlantia.

And it's quite difficult to understand   by doing research and seeing how a diverse microbiome can have a very positive impact on people's health. Developing products that really support that diversity is going to have a significant positive impact on people's health- summarized Andrea.

Our goal with this article was to reflect upon the type of work we do here at Atlantia and its implications to the local and global communities we interact with. We thank our team who have shared their views on this topic.

Atlantia Clinical Trials is 10 years in business this year and with that we are focused on commemorating our achievements and milestones met to date, our current capabilities & the future of Atlantia.

We will be producing Atlantia community centric content over the coming weeks in the form of videos and articles. Last week we had a dive into clinical trials technology and innovation. Next week we will focus on the future of clinical research and Atlantia. Stay tuned!

irene-cisma / About Author