Javara last week formed a collaboration with Tryon Medical Partners through which it will offer industry-sponsored clinical trials to Tryon’s patients.
“What were we’re hoping to do, and what Javara specializes in, is bringing the right studies to our group based on what our needs are in our patient population,” said Dr. Dale Owen, CEO of Tryon Medical Partners and a cardiologist with the practice.
Tryon has eight offices in the Charlotte region, 64 internal medicine doctors and 25 sub-specialists across areas including gastro, pulmonology, dermatology, endocrinology – and more than 108,000 patients registered to date, a number that Owen said continues to rise.
As part of the collaboration, Javara will place its clinical trial navigators within Tryon’s clinics in the Charlotte area. Clinical trials will initially be conducted in internal medicine, endocrinology, and dermatology, and are slated to commence in September 2019. Over the first 18 months, the number of trials is expected to reach 35 to 45.
Said Owen, “Big pharma used to say, ‘here are the studies we’re doing, are you interested?’ And it may not have anything to do with anything we need.” Studies also were often previously viewed as additional sources of revenue, he said – “That’s not the way we’re looking at this.”
Tryon, instead, is analyzing its data and areas in which its patients need the most help before going to Javara and saying, “here are the targeted areas that we need to be doing studies in,” explained Owen. “Then Javara goes and finds the studies that big pharma is out there doing that fits our needs.”
This is a significantly different model, he said: “We’re directing what types of studies we need to be looking at based on the needs of the patient, rather than the needs of big pharma.”
The integrated research organization and independent medical practice
As Javara CEO Jennifer Byrne explained, the concept of the integrated research organization (IRO) requires more than what people initially realize.
“Being patient-centered, being collaborators, and being really committed to teamwork are such essential elements as we really are driving for the integration of research with care,” she told us.
Similarly, Owen stressed that the collaboration is about doing the right thing for the patients – and the ability to do so is rooted in their independence, he said, speaking to the group’s extrication from the Atrium Health hospital network last year.
“We’re hoping that this helps to even further demonstrates what we can do as independent physicians at a lower cost, with better value, and Javara is providing a tremendous tool with collaboration and our venture together that can help do this for patients,” he said.
From a pharma standpoint, Byrne said the group’s independence is a real opportunity: “We have a clean slate; We’re not going in with a system fraught with legacy, legacy systems, and legacy processes,” she added. “What we are building is a highly customized partnership and delivery that really streamlines.”
There also is a ‘huge’ data play to the collaboration, said Byrne. “It brings us a level of insight that really truly takes the patient needs, matching it to that gigantic drug and device pipeline, in a really targeted and meaningful way,” she explained. “And we believe that’s the best way for clinical research to become more relevant, for patients, for providers.”