Otsuka pharma teams up with ‘site-less’ clinical trials firm to accelerate research

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: iStock/Poike)
(Image: iStock/Poike)

Related tags: Pharmacology

Science 37 and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have announced a strategic collaboration through which the global healthcare company aims to explore patient-centric clinical trials – “with fewer physical restrictions and greater efficiencies,” says CEO.

Los Angeles, CA-headquartered Science 37 is a mobile technology company focused on “site-less” clinical trials. The company’s proprietary, cloud-based mobile research platform, the Network Oriented Research Assistant (NORA), enables “site-less,” remote clinical trials.

Together we will be able to extend Otsuka’s commitment to develop and implement digital technologies to bring innovation and advancements to the process of drug development, and ultimately help transform the lives of patients in new ways​,” said William H. Carson, MD, president and CEO of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization.

As part of the collaboration, Carson told us the global healthcare company aims to explore ways to select, test, and manage patient-centric clinical trials, “with fewer physical restrictions and greater efficiencies​.”

 “We believe that together, we can achieve long term benefits including cost-savings and accelerated clinical trials which will facilitate earlier market entry and patient access​,” he said.

Development of Otsuka products using the Science 37 platform will happen in successive phases and work is already underway, explained Carson.

We plan to explore how to define more meaningful outcome measures that ultimately reflect more real world data​,” explained Belinda Tan, chief medical officer and co-founder of Science 37.

The collaboration with a specific focus on psychiatry and behavioral health.

This is a therapeutic area where a patient-centric approach will be highly impactful because people suffering from mental health conditions are less likely to leave their home environments​,” she told us.

The announcement follows an investment in Science 37 by Otsuka as a minority shareholder as part of a $35m Series C investment round completed earlier this year.

Belinda Tam, chief medical officer and co-founder of Science 37 told us the investment will help the company expand its internal research and development and further develop its NORA platform in addition to new software technologies to support trials.

Last year, Science 37 raised $31m in Series B financing​ to support its end-to-end decentralized clinical trial services and technology platform. 

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