Quintiles is collaborating with electronic health records firm Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (NASDAQ:MDRX) to develop software to streamline the process of setting up and recruiting for clinical trials in a move that could cut the cost of drug development.
The goal is to develop software tools that are designed to significantly reduce some of the bottleneck that traditionally impedes clinical research, outcomes, education and proof of new compound safety, effectiveness and value. Among the areas the software would address are late-phase research, recruiting for and monitoring of clinical trials, and postmarket surveillance.
Two of the biggest sources of delays for clinical trials are site selection and patient recruitment. More than 80 percent of clinical trials start late, and that’s partly because it’s not easy to recruit patients who fit the desired profile. It’s also a challenge for clinical trials and patients to find each other. And that’s why clinical trial organizations have turned to electronic health records. Although EHRs have been used for clinical research organizations for a few years, they are still in the early stages but companies are getting increasingly more sophisticated in how they are using them.
One part of Quintiles collaboration with Allscripts is to narrow the patient profile, said Gavin Nichols, Quintiles vice president, research and development innovation, IT, in a phone interview. For example, instead of looking for a rheumatoid arthritis patient, look for a rheumatoid arthritis patient of a certain age with particular symptoms and a particular medical history. That way the drug’s target is more personalized and it could mean a greater chance of a successful trial. That’s one area where using de-identified electronic health records can make a significant difference. The software program will also help locate physicians with the right type of patients for trials, among other features.
Another reason for the collaboration is Quintiles and Allscripts both have a global reach. Just this week Quintiles has expanded commercial operations to Brazil.
The software solutions will be added onto Quintiles’ Infosario software with implementation set for the first quarter of 2013, according to Nichols.
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