Clinical research organization (CRO) Precision for Medicine is joining forces with Trialbee, a patient matching and enrollment company, in a partnership aimed at addressing clinical development complexities. According to the partners, they will use Trialbee’s analytical capabilities and Precision for Medicine’s expansive trial resources to extend recruitment efforts.
Outsourcing-Pharma spoke with two leaders from the companies about the collaboration, and what they aim to accomplish for the future of precision medicine development and patient engagement:
- Megan Liles, vice president of clinical solutions at Precision for Medicine
- Matt Walz, CEO of Trialbee
OSP: Could you please share how Precision for Medicine and Trialbee got together to partner on this project?
ML: In November 2020, I attended a webinar titled “The Power of We” hosted by Trialbee, highlighting the importance of collaboration in clinical trials. I found their overall strategy and use of technology for patient recruitment to be extremely interesting, specifically how they are able to build patient profiles that enable us to better understand the target patient population. Following the webinar, we connected and started discussing how their patient recruitment strategies could be applied for oncology and rare disease trials.
MW: Matt Walz, CEO of Trialbee: Precision for Medicine’s specialty in oncology and rare disease made them an ideal fit to help us work with trials in those areas. Trialbee is investing more into our technology platform, which makes greater use of disparate and smaller patient data sets for modeling and outreach, and focuses deeply on the patient experience and journey into a clinical trial. We were eager to find the right partner to help us expand deeper into oncology and rare disease treatment with our investments, thus providing a natural synergy for a partnership with Precision for Medicine.
OSP: Please tell us about how the field of precision medicine has evolved in recent years, and what makes connecting with patient participants on PM research challenging.
ML: In the past few years, we have seen more therapies being tested in clinical trials that are directed to a very specific molecular alteration. The prevalence of these alterations is extremely low and in some cases, may not even yet be known; this makes identifying patients a bit like finding a needle in the haystack.
Raising awareness of the availability of these clinical trials to the patient, rather than relying on the patient to sift through clinical trial registries to find a potential trial, is a first step in connecting patients with these trials. Engaging patients, in combination with informing KOLs and investigators at sites, will accelerate enrollment.
Precision medicine remains of very high interest to patients and we need to do what we can to simplify the process for them to locate not only the trial but also where the trial is being conducted.
OSP: Could you share a little bit more detail about what each partner is bringing to the table, with Precision for Medicine’s network and Trialbee’s platform and data capabilities, etc.?
ML: At Precision, we are very fortunate to work alongside biotechs that are developing cutting-edge, novel therapies that are of high interest to investigators and patients alike. By using Trialbee’s platform, we will be able to design recruitment and engagement strategies, at a country-level, based on the needs and locations of the patient.
This partnership expands Precision for Medicine’s ability to match patients who could benefit from life-saving therapies, especially those who could be a match for trials in oncology, rare and orphan diseases, including cell or gene therapy trials. Trialbee enables accurate and fast enrollment, improving the patient journey and helping to meet patient enrollment timelines.
The Precision Site Network, which includes both academic and non-academic sites across North America, Europe, and Australia, can utilize Trialbee’s targeting data to identify untapped populations for trials. This outreach, which can be geo-targeted to trial candidates close to the relevant site, greatly enhances patient enrollment with a focus on representative trial participants.
MW: Both companies are industry leaders in applying technology and data science to help clinical research sponsors succeed in the development of life-changing therapies. One example of the many solutions that Trialbee will be bringing to the table is Trialbee HIVE, a real-world data-driven patient matching platform that accelerates recruitment using global data assets, look-alike modeling, and digital outreach. This platform allows interested participants to be enrolled through a nurse qualification process and ultimately grants them access to a patient-centric clinical research experience.
OSP: Do you have any initial or long-term goals you can share with us?
MW: Our companies collaborated for three reasons. First, it was to match clinical research studies with the right patients using real-world data (RWD) in a time-efficient manner. With comprehensive RWD sources captured from over 70 countries and with over 300 healthcare organizations, Precision For Medicine and Trialbee can identify patients that are true matches for a given protocol and are motivated to participate in protocol activities.
Second, the partnership will reduce the effects of study burden on participating patients. Through analysis of robust socioeconomic data as well as clinical data, we can better characterize the patient population and forecast situations in which decentralized clinical trial approaches might be more effective than a traditional, centralized approach.
Finally, we want to drive inclusivity and diversity in clinical research, and Precision shares this goal. Our goal is to enroll patients representative of actual patient populations, which we can achieve through adaptive recruitment for diverse cohorts and by employing outreach strategies that are relevant and specific to the intended audience.
ML: We are certainly excited to see this partnership officially kick off and to introduce Trialbee’s platforms to our clients as a tool for patient recruitment and engagement, especially as we see the number of clinical trials continue to grow each year. By better understanding the patient population that is being targeted for a given clinical trial, we can then better understand how we can support patient participation whether through home visits, telehealth, use of local facilities for imaging or blood work, or through the provision of transportation services for the patients.