More than 1,300 oncology drugs are in the development pipeline, waiting to potentially embark on the long journey toward their commercial debut. This journey is usually an arduous one, made even more difficult by the mere 6% participation rate in clinical trials among adult cancer patients in the U.S.
To help tackle this issue, OneOncology — a cancer center network that TPG and AmerisourceBergen bought for $2.1 billion in June — recently announced that it is deploying Verily’s clinical trial management software platform across 11 of its community oncology clinics.
Verily’s platform, called SignalPath, was designed with the intention of making providers’ complex clinical research ecosystems more manageable. It does this by converting trial protocols from PDFs to automated workflows, enabling centralized site and study management, and facilitating communication across site stakeholders. SignalPath also produces real-time metrics on performance and finances that users can turn into actionable insights.
“As a faculty member at Duke and then an investigator in the community, I experienced the complexity of research execution firsthand. That’s why we designed SignalPath to be intuitive and easy to use while addressing the key pain points of taking part in research. It can help address burnout commonly experienced by clinical research professionals who are bogged down by repetitive, manual and redundant tasks,” said Brad Hirsch, Verily’s head of product and implementation.
He added that SignalPath also improves clinical research sites’ collaboration with sponsors. The software platform aligns timelines between sites and sponsors, as well as identifies new opportunities to better match these two entities, Hirsch said.
OneOncology conducted “an extensive search” to determine the best clinical trial management system to adopt, declared Davey Daniel, the company’s chief medical officer. He didn’t say which other vendors OneOncology was looking at, but other companies that sell clinical trial management platforms include Oracle, Veeva Systems and RealTime. Daniel said that Verily stood out due to the usability of its platform and the strength of its partnership support team.
“As we’ve grown, we have known that we needed to be able to scale clinical trial support. Every time you add a practice, you can’t grow by adding additional staff members; you need to be able to scale through technology — and SignalPath brings that to OneOncology,” he explained.
Through its 11 oncology centers that conduct clinical research, OneOncology is making clinical trial opportunities available to patients who would otherwise have to travel to academic centers, Daniel pointed out. Adopting Verily’s software will hopefully make clinical trial management much easier for OneOncology, which would allow the company to further democratize trials to improve health equity, he declared.
Integrating SignalPath into OneOncology’s clinics will allow for centralized management of many tasks, even at the smallest sites, Daniel said.
“To offer trials in small communities and underserved communities, it is really important to provide a solid menu across a number of disease types. For a small practice to be able to do that, you have to be able to provide some of those services centrally. Then, even the small rural practices can maintain that broad menu that lets patients have access, whether they can travel or not,” he added.
In Daniel’s view, OneOncology’s main goal for this partnership is to connect more patients to appropriate trials in an efficient manner. To measure the success of this goal going forward, the company will track its accrual rates and administrative burden at research sites.
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