Cardiovascular Disease Drug Development

Delivering Solutions Made Real® for cardiovascular disease.

  • Obtain cardiovascular endpoints earlier using preclinical models

  • Successfully execute complex mega-trials with Xcellerate®, the world's largest clinical trials knowledgebase

  • Partner with a company that has conducted more than 350 global studies with over 200,000 patients during the past five years

Covance preference center
Photo of a toy heart in a hand.
Your Needs

Beating cardiovascular disease requires a strategic, scientific approach. From tracking changing disease patterns in an aging population to developing cutting edge approaches to disease management, it’s no easy task. That's why you need a trusted partner who keeps pace with the rapidly evolving marketplace and has vast experience with small molecules, device-based therapeutics and biologics. At Covance, our dedicated cardiovascular specialists have a unique combination of both academic and industry experience that provides you with insightful study design, predictive study management and operational service excellence. 

The primary reason for late stage drug failure in cardiovascular trials is the inability to document improvement in outcomes. Therefore, we begin working with you as early as the preclinical phase to design outcomes oriented programs that help minimize risk and maximize your chance for success. 

  • Get answers on safety earlier using our nonclinical cardiovascular safety assessment techniques and gain critical information for your “go / no-go” decision

  • Add value to your study through our experience in cardiac ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear scanning and CT angiography by capitalizing on our team of physicians who currently serve, or have served, as academic and core imaging laboratory directors

  • Validate your drug’s safety and efficacy by proactively identifying those biomarkers – assays, multicomponent panels or imaging-based – that are most predictive of risk or success

  • Go beyond surrogate biomarkers by demonstrating actual improvements in cardiovascular outcomes with well-designed trials

  • Reach your clinical development goals faster with specialized design and conduct of Phase I - Phase IV trials across a wide range of small, molecule, devices and biologics including genetic therapies, peptides, enzyme replacement and stem cells

Navigating the specific complexities of cardiovascular mega-trials is a big challenge.  Success often depends on investigator interest and recruitment of appropriate patient populations.  To help point you toward success, we have partnered with cardiovascular academic research organizations (AROs) who provide both medical and scientific leadership as well as insight into investigator and site quality. This partnership, in combination with Covance’s proprietary Xcellerate® knowledgebase—the world’s largest database of site selection and clinical laboratory data—enables you to identify patients for your trial faster, saving valuable time and money.

Once your trial is up and running, we will help to further reduce your timelines through proven operational efficiencies learned from prior successes in more than 200 global clinical endpoint trials.

Our Integrated Services

We deliver a holistic suite of services for cardiovascular drug development. From lead optimization through commercialization, we have the expertise and resources to help manage the complexity of your molecule and transform your results. 

Meet Our Experts

If you have a question for one of our cardiology experts, please click the button below. 


Cheerag Shirodaria, MD, MBA
Vice President and Cardiovascular Global Therapeutic Area Head
Honorary Consultant Cardiologist Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr. Cheerag Shirodaria joined Covance in 2011 and has pursued clinical cardiology and intensive cardiac care in an Oxford University academic practice for more than a decade. As an interventional cardiologist, he provides expertise at Covance in all aspects of coronary artery disease, in particular acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and device therapies. He is also an expert in cardiac imaging, having completed his doctoral thesis on the use of novel MRI-based imaging techniques to assess vascular function.

Dr. Shirodaria also serves as the co-director of the cardiac CT imaging program at the University of Oxford, where he remains on the faculty. He has successfully designed and led a number of stem cell trials in the acute MI population and is a member of the trial steering committee for numerous trials. 



Jonathan Plehn, MD, FACC
Vice President, Cardiovascular Medicine
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine

Dr. Jonathan Plehn moved to Covance from the Translational Medicine Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the NIH in 2008 following over 25 years of academic medical practice and research. Dr. Plehn’s research focus has been in heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and vascular disease. He has directed heart failure programs at George Washington University, the National Naval Medical Center and the NHLBI. He is NIH-trained in cardiac MRI and directed several academic cardiac ultrasound clinical and core laboratories including having established the first two-dimensional echo lab at the Framingham Heart Study.

Dr. Plehn has participated as both an investigator and as a manager of a wide range of clinical trials. These have ranged from small proof of concept trials in rare diseases and novel molecules and biologics to phase 3 pivotal cardioavascular outcomes trials. At the same time he maintains his academic contacts continuing to publish and review manuscripts from top cardiology journals and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cardiac Failure.