Science 37, a provider of decentralized clinical trial solutions, has made several moves designed to expand its reach in several parts of the world. In addition to increased presence in several geographical regions and the center in Slovakia, it has added staff in several European countries.
Science 37 CEO David Coman told Outsourcing-Pharma that the company’s expansion is designed to improve service to clients around the world.
“By strengthening our global presence, we’re enabling our sponsors to execute more decentralized clinical research without limitations,” Coman said. “In addition to expanding global capacity, we continue to enhance our best-in-class technology platform, the industry’s first and only platform purpose-built to support virtual trials; the platform will be deployed in more than 30 countries and is now available in more than 40 languages —ensuring a seamless user experience for a myriad of international stakeholders.”
According to Coman, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the clinical trial industry.
“COVID-19 has crippled the traditional, site-based method for clinical trials. Several large contract research organizations (CROs) that conduct site-based trials reported that roughly half of their clinical sites are inaccessible; IQVIA reported 53% and Syneos Health reported 40%,” he explained. “Additionally, a top-30 pharma sponsor and Science 37 customer recently halted enrollment on all of its trials—except for the two that Science 37 is conducting on its behalf. The pandemic has accelerated the need for the decentralized model Science 37 pioneered.”
Further, Coman told us, the pandemic has effected how clinical research professionals view decentralized trial technology.
“As many are coming to realize, a virtual or decentralized research model can help keep patients and study teams safe, support the wider public effort to slow viral spread, and provide business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Plus, using a decentralized model may also reduce the burden on healthcare systems and personnel who are already dealing with extraordinary circumstances due to the pandemic."
Coman added that with virtual trials in increasingly high demand, Science 37 has discussed with several sponsors ways they can adjust protocols to rescue ongoing trials, or transition to virtual models for upcoming trials.
“Many sponsors are now incorporating the decentralized approach into their long-term patient-centric strategy to mitigate future risks and accelerate benefits of a decentralized model,” he told us. “These companies are looking to incorporate telemedicine, minimize the number of in-person interactions for patients, and have IMP shipped directly to patients—elements that the Science 37 model already provides.”
In the face of shifting attitudes toward, and increased adoption of, virtual trial models, Coman said, it makes sense for companies like Science 37 to expand their global presence.
“As the industry adopts and embraces a more decentralized clinical trial model, being able to access, recruit, and enroll patients from a variety of geographies into studies is critically important—ensuring clinical trial data represents the real-world populations who will benefit from the treatment. Given the unprecedented demand for our services and expertise, the timing has made sense for us as we continue to make virtual trials the new reality for clinical research participants around the world,” he said.