PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Covance Inc. (NYSE: CVD) today announced that its central laboratory services ranked first, by a wide margin, in an independent global survey of 550 physician investigators participating in clinical trials. The majority (54 percent) of the study participants named Covance central laboratory services as their "most preferred" central laboratory, with investigators citing Covance three times more often than the nearest competitor. Investigators also reported having the "best overall relationship" with Covance, rating it 8.4 on a scale of 1 to 10. The survey also determined that investigators who participate in a clinical trial with their preferred central laboratory are overwhelmingly satisfied (98 percent). When pharmaceutical sponsors select investigators' least preferred central laboratory, satisfaction drops significantly. Respondents cited central laboratory preference as a key driver of satisfaction with the pharmaceutical sponsor as well, with more than 85 percent of investigators stating that they are more satisfied and willing to work with a sponsor on trials when they have selected their preferred central laboratory. Ninety-four percent of investigators indicate the central laboratory selected by the sponsor impacts their (and their staffs') success, day-to-day activities, and willingness to work with a particular sponsor on future studies. Survey results showed that factors that lead to a strong relationship between investigators and a central laboratory include effective communication, the laboratory's reputation for reliability and quality, and easy-to-use collection kits. Respondents ranked Covance first in all of the key performance metrics, from customer service to timely and accurate reporting. "We make every effort to understand the challenges investigators face and tailor our operations to overcome those challenges," said Jon Koch, Corporate Vice President and President, Central Laboratory Services. "Our ongoing dialogue with the investigator community has allowed us to make their priorities our priorities – and this study demonstrates that our efforts are recognized and valued among investigators across the globe." Covance, the most experienced provider of clinical trial central laboratory services in the world, has five dedicated laboratories in the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, China and Japan. In the past five years alone, Covance central laboratories have conducted more than 197 million laboratory tests for more than 3,600 clinical trial protocols in more than 95 countries, working with more than 115,000 investigator sites. The "Clinical Trial Investigator Satisfaction and Central Laboratory Performance" survey, conducted earlier this month by the Life Science Strategy Group, questioned physicians actively participating in pharmaceutical industry-sponsored clinical trials as investigators. Participants were prescreened to ensure a high level of involvement and/or key decision-making authority for their investigative site. All global geographies and practice settings were represented, as were more than 20 medical specialties. The mean experience level in a clinical trial setting was 13.4 years.