PhRMA-backed data sharing platform looks to engage with CROs, sponsors

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Rick_Jo)
(Image: Getty/Rick_Jo)
Pfizer, AbbVie, and GlaxoSmithKline are among the members of a clinical trial data-sharing and analytics platform designed to speed up the discovery and development of new treatments.

Independent, non-profit organisation Vivli Center for Global Clinical Research Data has launched its Vivli Platform, a cloud-based platform designed to make clinical trial data accessible for researchers worldwide, regardless of the sponsor or study location.  

Vivli describes itself as a ‘neutral site’: “We act as a neutral broker between data contributor, data use and the wider data sharing community. Vivli has harmonised the governance, policy and processes to facilitate data sharing.”

The platform was built within the Microsoft Azure Cloud and includes more than 2500 studies from approximately 100 countries, with contributions of more than 1.3m trial participants.

According to executive director Rebecca Li, Vivli will allow clinical trial data from multiple sources to be integrated on its platform: “For example we have members from government, academic institutions, biotech, non-profit foundations and the pharmaceutical industry that have all pledged to share their data.”

The initiative was partly funded by US trade group the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and has secured 15 members to date, including AbbVie, Biogen, Pfizer, Harvard University, GlaxoSmithKline, and Takeda.

Vivli is looking to engage with contract research organisations (CROs) and sponsors that outsource data management and biometric functions. “We look forward to working with them as data becomes ready to share,” ​said Li.

The future of data sharing?

According to Li, industry is arriving at an “inflection point​,” whereby sharing will become the norm in science. “For clinical trial data, we are starting to see the trend moving in that direction,” ​she added.

As a result, funders are investing in specific sharing mandates for their grantees, which Vivli encourages, she explained. “The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) also this week released a data sharing statement for clinical trials.

According to the ICMJE’s data sharing statement policy, all clinical trials that begin enrolling participants from 2019 onward must include a data-sharing plan in the trial’s registration.

“We believe both carrots and sticks will move the culture forward,” ​Li added.

Investments in data-sharing platforms are growing as industry and regulators increasingly call for improved clinical trial transparency​. Project Data Sphere​, for example, aims to accelerate research by providing cancer clinical trial data sources to ‘any and all scientists.’ Additionally, in April this year, BioCelerate announced a partnership​ with Accenture to develop a platform designed to aggregate and analyse preclinical and clinical information.

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