News

Clinical Trials Europe

Our last conference of 2019!

The end of last month saw Team uMotif head to Barcelona for Clinical Trials Europe (formerly known as 'Partnerships in Clinical Trials' or 'PCT') accompanied by one of our famous cardboard cut-outs!

Two of the major industry themes from 2019 were voiced loudly during the conference: patient-centricity and the rise of virtual trials. Throughout this past year there has been consistent focus on these areas. Both have the promise of improving the way trials are conducted, therefore reducing costs whilst increasing the volume of new insights.

And what was new at CTE?

There was a particularly interesting panel discussion on virtual trials involving a range of leaders from Almirall, Janssen, and the FDA. The last of these - Leonard Sacks, Associate Director for Clinical Methodology in the Office of Medical Policy, spoke about the inevitable use of virtual trials. He also proved that virtual trials are not necessarily new, and that a number of published papers show their use over previous decades. A slide that resonated with me outlined a type of measure now used as part of new drug filings. It showed 30% of drugs have been licensed based on a Patient Reported Outcome as the primary endpoint.

I was happy to hear discussions highlight how virtual trials can help capture more data and new data types as well as speeding the data capture process. I was even happier to hear that many of the virtual trial benefits bring patient-centricity into play. New trial designs help reduce the burden faced by patients and make trials more accessible to people in remote locations or who are unable to travel to traditional large medical centres.

We spoke to a number of people about how our QUASAR virtual study in sleep and rheumatoid arthritis with the University of Manchester engaged people remotely, some as far as the Orkney Islands. Not only were we able to help recruit a widespread demographic of people, the participants were so engaged with the uMotif app that they captured the required study data volume in just 12 of the planned 18-month study duration!

So, what does 2020 have in store? I think these themes - plus those of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), new types of outcome measures, and stakeholder engagement - will continue to guide conversations over the next few years. There is certainly an increase in the number, size, and ambition of virtual or hybrid trials which is good news for patients and researchers.

We look forward to seeing the conversations evolve at CTE 2020 in Amsterdam!

Bruce Hellman, CEO, uMotif.