Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Approximate Cost of Small In Vivo Clinical Study?

  • Approximate Cost of Small In Vivo Clinical Study?

    Posted by spadirect on May 1, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Approximately what would be the cost to commission an in vivo 12 week very small scale clinical study of the skin microbiome effects of a topical product on the volar forearm skin of study participants (very few)?

    What do clinical research firms charge for conducting and writing a report for a small study of this type?

    The efficiency of evaluating skin microbiome changes and other skin health parameters has greatly increased recently with the advent of lab services like “Sequential Bio” testing kits.

    Any rough estimates, comments and discussion on the costs and logistics of conducting small scale clinical studies would be greatly appreciated.


    spadirect replied 1 year, 11 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Pharma

    May 1, 2022 at 7:33 pm
    Depends on the quality you expect and your definition of small scale.
    If you have the right connections and work for example with an university (find a PhD who does it parallel to his/her work using students as guinea pigs), you might get away with a lot less $$ ;) . As an alternative, find someone who runs the analysis (PCR, agar plates, or whatever) and get a few coworkers, friends, and family to play the part of the volunteers (use force, intrigues, blackmail etc. if they don’t volunteer voluntarily 🙂 ).
    Skin microbiome is still a very complex and poorly understood topic. Cosmetics and more so marketing people still love it (it’s new, it’s fancy, it’s hyped)! You just have to figure out what you want to measure or rather how you want to twist, tweak, exaggerate, and/or ignore the outcomes of the cheapest test you can run in order to fit your marketing claims.
    If you want something like a real phase I double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial… pharma prices are in the 10-20 tousand $ per volunteer, rising for successive phases. Clinical trials are never cheap. That’s why cosmetics does it a bit differently and, as a consequence, why cosmetic publications are usually very poorly made, are biased and unreliable… in other words, they just suck.
  • spadirect

    May 1, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    My definition of “small scale” would involve a very small number of study participants, somewhere in the range of five to twenty volunteers (or paid) participants having their volar forearms tested over a period of between two and twelve weeks.

    The measurements would be those same skin health parameters tested by a lab kit like the “Sequential Bio” testing service.

    Ideally, the cost and time would total about 0.0000002% that of a multi-phase trial of an oncology drug candidate.  I am not Pfizer.

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