Pharma Strategy Blog

Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

This week has been insanely busy, especially with the 4 day work week, so I haven't had as much time as usual to post some detailed blogs.

Here's something interesting I came across this week, which may provide some food for thought.

One of the challenges of taking drugs to market faster is more rapid enrollment of clinical trials, hence cutting down the time to get the registration trials ready for the FDA or EMEA submission.  One small biotechnology company came up with a novel approach – using the web to effectively provide useful information based on where the sites are and also key words such as TKI or CML resistant etc.  I found the site by searching on the T315i mutation, which is what doctors and patients might also search for if they have CML with that aberration.  

This is what the site looks like:

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ChemGenex is an Australian based company, with offices in California, who submitted an NDA this week:

"For the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who have failed treatment with imatinib and who have developed the Bcr-Abl T315I mutation. Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), is the first-line standard of care for patients with CML."

What's interesting about their site, is that when you look at the trials, you can download a map of either of the trials.  The map provides information on where the centres are, who the PI's are and contact details (email and phone numbers) for physicians to call if they have suitable patients eligible for the study:

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As you roll over your cursor on the site or the PDF download (see example here), you get a pop up box with the relevant contact information.  Very neat.

These are user friendly ways of communicating relevant information and embracing and extending the knowledge to patients and physicians in a searchable way.

It's good to see companies trying new approaches like this, rather than just sticking the study in the database and hoping for the best.

9 Responses to “Novel use of web 2.0 in Pharma clinical trials”

  1. Daniel Ghinn

    Clearly the challenge/opportunity for pharma in clinical trials is getting information out asap to possible candidates and HCPs.
    This site feels like a great way of communicating what’s happening where, so it’s a good start as long as there’s a strategy for connecting it with patients & HCPs.
    I don’t see much web 2.0 happening – no real 2-way dialogue, or community. Or did I miss something?

  2. MaverickNY

    Hi Daniel, Thanks for commenting.
    With regards to communicating, don’t forget email as a way to facilitate a dialogue between the physicians or even the physician with the patient or care giver.
    Interaction and dialogue needn’t be public, in fact, in this case, many would rather discuss medical issues in private not on a public forum. As such, the concept here does a great job of facilitating that. Pfizer mentioned that the reason behind their recent trial approach was the expressed need of patients to feel that their data and information would remain private and confidential.
    My own experience is that if you have access to investigators by email, they or someone in their team will respond and thus a dialogue starts. What we often need is access to the right contact information in order to get started.

  3. MaverickNY

    I should add that there are online patient forums for this particular disease where the patients are very active at sharing and discussing information behind the privacy of their site. They often link out to relevant company sites and information such as this one as a way of connecting the patients to the trials.
    The dialogue and community takes place on those sites. I just wish more diseases and cancer groups were as organised.

  4. ellen hoenig

    great example of using web 2.0 to help speed up and cast a wider net for clinical recruitment…I think you’ve hit upon a key point–enabling the right (and private) dialogue to happen between physician and patient…access and dialogue are needed for treatment/enrollment decision…

  5. Pharma Ed

    Hi Sally,
    Its good to see that an increasing number of industries are coming up with new and innovative ways to use web 2.0 to their advantage, and in this case the advantage of others. This idea from ChemGenex is very inpressive, however I cannot take my mind off one of your posts from a few weeks ago that mentioned an iphone application for effectively searching for clinical trials, the innovation of that idea still astounds me and will do for some while.

  6. Timo Ahopelto

    Some of this activity is excellent. However, I still believe that pharma has not cracked how to make web 2.0 fit in regulatory environment — compared to something else that is happening in other industries, this is pretty standard stuff.

  7. Timo Ahopelto

    I think this is great but pretty rudimentary compared to what other industries do. Pharma needs to find the way how to use web 2.0 within the applicable regulations.

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