SubjectWell has expanded its marketplace for patient recruitment to oncology clinical trials. The move is intended to open up a new source of potential study participants for sponsors.
The expansion builds upon SubjectWell’s earlier work to identify patients who may be open to taking part in clinical trials in other indications through adverts on general interest websites. In doing so, SubjectWell is trying to access the many people who are potentially interested in clinical trial participation but who are unaware of the opportunity.
“Our marketplace model allows us to find and reach out to patients when they're not actively thinking or looking into their condition, offering new healthcare solutions to people who’ve never considered a clinical trial for themselves. And given our risk-free model, sponsors only pay for patients who randomize,” said Ivor Clarke, CEO at SubjectWell.
Recently, SubjectWell expanded its marketplace to oncology, starting with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The selection of NSCLC as the first cancer indication reflects the number of patients with the disease, which accounts for around 80% of lung cancer diagnoses.
Only a fraction of the 500,000 Americans who live with lung cancer participate in clinical trials, with one study calculating that fewer than 5% of potentially eligible adults join oncology studies. That rate of participation contributes to the difficulties sponsors face when trying to enroll patients in cancer clinical trials.
As Clarke sees it, the low rate of participation reflects the fact that patients are unaware of the trials that are open to them, and when they are aware lack understanding of “how to navigate the complex process of making a choice.” SubjectWell thinks bringing awareness and choice to NSCLC patients will address the age-old enrollment barrier to the timely completion of studies.
“We've already seen patient interest and engagement rise when using our marketplace, as it gives them more choice in their participation. These patients randomize at two to three times the rate of other recruitment sources, thanks to our support through the enrollment process,” said Clarke.
SubjectWell has early evidence that its approach can work in NSCLC, an indication that forms part of the company’s broader expansion plan. A survey of 65 NSCLC patients found that 80% are interested in taking part in clinical trials. Only 4% of respondents said they are not interested in taking part in studies.