Competition intensifying for diabetes subjects; Acurian

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Obesity, Diabetes

Patient recruitment specialist Acurian has hit a major milestone in its business, with more than half of the entire US population of type 2 diabetics now opted into its database.

That means the company now has around 8 million of the estimated 16 million diagnosed type 2 or adult-onset diabetics on its books. Overall, the company has a database of around 40 million patients.

"It should come as no surprise that diabetes is one of the most robust indications in our database​," said Rick Malcolm, PhD, Acurian's CEO. "But the fact that over half of the country's type 2 diabetics are in there and receptive to receiving clinical trial information is clearly worth noting, particularly as competition for research participants has risen dramatically in this therapeutic area​."

Diabetes is among the fastest-growing therapeutic category in the pharmaceutical industry, and it is estimated that 194 million adults worldwide suffer from the adult-onset version. This need for new treatment strategies is ever greater since the number of those numbers are expected to nearly double in the next twenty years, thanks to an aging population, sedentary lifestyle and rapidly growing incidence of obesity (over 90 per cent of obese people have Type II diabetes).

Meanwhile, the current US market for these drugs exceeds $10bn, and is predicted to grow to $45bn by 2020.

According to Malcolm, the high prevalence and growing incidence of diabetes does not guarantee that clinical trials enroll smoothly. In fact, Malcolm suggests that the challenges are increasing.

According to Malcolm, for trial sponsors it is no longer just an issue of finding a diabetic with a certain level of haemoglobin A1c, a commonly-used marker for glucose control.

"Compared to just a few years ago, the diabetes protocols we see today are not garden variety​," continued Malcolm. "Trial sponsors are aggressively competing for treatment naive, metformin-only, or diabetics with specific co-morbidities such as obesity.”

Acurian can help trial sponsors access large numbers of diabetes patients in order to effectively enroll the appropriate sub-sets, including minorities with diabetes, or those with type 1, he said.

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