On Tuesday, life sciences company LabCorp announced a new technology platform to help streamline the clinical trial and drug development process.
The platform was designed for LabCorp’s drug development and decentralized clinical trial business, Covance. It hopes to more easily connect patients to trials, decrease administrative tasks, improve trial resiliency and enhance studies through the use of data and technology.
LabCorp recently acquired GlobalCare, a global clinical trial company, and snapIoT, a company focused on decentralized clinical trials, to help support its new platform.
Now, the company will be able to perform clinical trials with its platform, which allows for interoperability across the entire system. LabCorp hopes it will be able to speed up the trial-design process, while simultaneously removing risks and improving access to potential drugs, vaccines and medical devices.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Decentralized clinical trials, or those completed through the use of telemedicine and other mobile tools, are experiencing a massive uptick in adoption due to the pandemic.
In fact, about 76% of respondents from a Pharma Intelligence survey said the pandemic has increased the use of remote trials. More than 90% of respondents said they expect these increases to be maintained in the long term.
Research has revealed that 85% of trials fail to retain enough participants, according to mdgroup. These kinds of clinical trials offer benefits to both the study participants and the researchers because they make it easier for people to enroll and stay active throughout the entire process.
Other potential benefits of decentralized clinical trials include remote data collection using wearables and broader participant recruitment using social media, according to a paper in Nature. The paper also noted that a lot of data used in digital clinical trials are collected using consumer-grade products, which would need to be upgraded to medical-grade to be useful in a clinical trial.
THE LARGER TREND
The increased utilization of decentralized clinical trials has resulted in a surge of supporting platforms.
Castor, a cloud-based clinical data platform designed to automate the research process, recently scored $12 million in a Series A funding round. Its electronic-data-capturing tool enables researchers to gather information from clinicians, patients, devices, wearables and electronic health records to build a study.
Flagship Pioneering also recently launched Valo Health, which has a drug-discovery technology platform. The platform works by first identifying drug candidates for a certain disease.
From there, it evaluates both new and known molecules to estimate how they will react within the body while predicting which patients will see the best results. Additionally, Opal can design the clinical trials needed to test its hypotheses.
ON THE RECORD
“By deploying protocol-specific, tech-enabled solutions, we are providing patient-centric trial experiences,” said Dr. Paul Kirchgraber, the CEO of Covance. “In addition to reducing the burden on patients, our approach improves data quality and provides operational efficiencies that will benefit our biopharmaceutical and medical device customers.”