News & Updates

5 May 2020

Marken and Rutgers Partner on COVID-19 trials

Study Supports Rutgers Cancer Institute, Robert Wood Johnson, and University Hospital

Research Triangle Park, NC, May 5, 2020 – UPS and Marken announced today that they are delivering serial biospecimens (nasopharyngeal swabs and blood) to the Rutgers lab facilities. Healthcare workers can voluntarily enroll in a natural history cohort which will test antiviral therapies for participants potentially exposed to COVID-19. The cohort is being offered at 4 command sites at Rutgers Cancer Institute, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and University Hospital in Newark.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) has sponsored the largest COVID-19 observational study in the US by successfully recruiting 839 healthcare workers in order to recognize asymptomatic cases at their earliest point. The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and focus on the safety of healthcare workers and impacted hospital staff. If the tests show positive infection, whether asymptomatic or symptomatic, the workers can be enrolled in a follow-on clinical trial. Marken will also support the follow-on trial with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  The trial examines a potential treatment using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and is not limited to cancer patients.

This is a ground-breaking study that went from concept to full recruitment in 14 days. Such a monumental task could not have been accomplished without an incredibly dedicated team of investigators and our Marken and UPS Express Critical® colleagues who have provided critical logistics,” says Dr. Reynold A. Panettieri, Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers University.

This clinical trial is an important part of the global fight against COVID-19. As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has the infrastructure to carry out this work, and we are proud to contribute our expertise. We are grateful for Marken’s support to ensure timely delivery of bio samples collected as part of the trial,” notes Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, who is also Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health and Vice Chancellor, Cancer Programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Ariette van Strien, President of Marken commented, “We are honored to offer our services in kind as part of this study and incredibly proud to have been chosen by RBHS to be their supply chain provider for this cohort. We are leading the way in patient-centric supply chain solutions with Direct-to-Patient and Direct-from-Patient services.  We will continue to set standards which enable patients to participate in these types of initiatives, now and going forward, anywhere in the world.”

About Marken

Marken is a wholly owned subsidiary of the UPS Healthcare division. With Polar Speed and Marken included, the UPS division staffs 128 locations with 5000 employees worldwide. Marken maintains the leading position for Direct-to-Patient and Home Health care services, biological sample shipments and offers a state-of-the-art GMP-compliant depot network and logistic hubs in 54 locations worldwide for clinical trial material storage and distribution. Marken’s dedicated 1200 staff members manage 85,000 drug and biological shipments every month at all temperature ranges in more than 220 countries. Additional services such as biological kit production, ancillary material sourcing, storage and distribution, shipment lane verification and qualifications, as well as GDP, regulatory and compliance consultancy add to Marken’s unique position in the pharma and logistics industry.

CONTACT: Christine Noble,, +1 919 474 6890,

About Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health.  Aligned with Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers.

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