Parexel has introduced its #KeepingPatientsFirst integrated clinical research platform, designed to collate critical evidence, and accelerate patient and physician access to insights on treatment and outcomes in COVID-19. The platform is powered by Microsoft Azure and incorporates technology from Parexel’s Informatics division to give researchers and medical professionals the ability to understand and adjust treatments in real time.
Leanne Larson, senior vice president and worldwide head of real-world evidence (RWE) at Parexel, told Outsourcing-Pharma that the company has been very focused on contributing to discovery of preventative and therapeutic solutions for COVID-19 since the outset of the pandemic.
“We are currently supporting more than 70 COVID-19 projects worldwide and have worked with regulators across the globe to rapidly transition traditional trials to fully virtual or hybrid models,” she told us. “Through conversations with our customers and the APANDEMIC initiative, we also became acutely aware that applying the traditional process of executing randomized controlled clinical trials for these new developments in today’s landscape is challenging.”
Larson added that the #KeepingPatientsFirst platform “was developed to apply our expertise in Real-world data and technology, while leveraging our long-term alliance with Microsoft, to help generate evidence that could ultimately help support a deeper understanding of COVID-19 and faster development of new therapies, while providing physicians real-time data to support their critical treatment decisions.”
She explained the #KeepingPatientsFirst platform is centered on aggregating, analyzing and predicting real-world COVID-19-related disease progression and outcomes using advanced machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics. Adult patients answer a series of questions, which get saved to the platform; doctors also can get access to the platform and input data regarding patient conditions.
“The platform also aggregates secondary data from real-world data sources, with data seamlessly de-identified enabling faster analysis of large datasets,” Larson explained. “With both physicians and patients able to register for the platform, this approach is able to document the real-world patient journey from awareness to diagnosis to disease outcome, speeding the evaluation of potential COVID-19 therapies.”
Jamie Macdonald, Parexel CEO, said the platform improves upon more conventional trial processes.
“Applying the traditional process of executing randomized controlled clinical trials that require in-person subject availability over a period of months and years to execute is simply not feasible in today’s landscape,” Macdonald said. “Our industry must innovate to validate and approve these therapies at the earliest possible moment; our #KeepingPatientsFirst platform leverages advanced technology capabilities along with industry-leading expertise to expedite the processing and analysis of information to work with regulators to save lives.”
Patty Obermaier, Microsoft’s US vice president of healthcare, said, “As the global health pandemic has evolved, we’ve seen the industry come together with a range of innovative solutions emerging. We are pleased to see that by using Azure, Parexel has been able to accelerate their work to help provide rapid access to COVID-19 therapies.”
According to the company, the study is now available to provide patients and healthcare providers a reliable source for rapid access to pooled real-time analyses on multiple COVID-19 therapies thus facilitating informed, individualized treatment decisions and accelerating the identification of promising therapies. This epidemiological approach is intended to help characterize and define the pandemic worldwide event, including documenting the real-world patient journey from awareness to diagnosis to disease resolution, speeding the evaluation of potential COVID-19 therapies.