Sarah Pozek Recaps DIA 2017

July 5, 2017

By Sarah Pozek, Director of Life Sciences

View from Navy Pier at the ERT/Transperfect Event

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend DIA 2017 in Chicago. Although seemingly smaller than usual, it was so exciting to dive deeper into the world of Clinical Trial technology to see what solutions will be driving future innovations in healthcare.

Below is a sampling of the companies that I met with and felt were doing some really innovative things! What technologies or companies blew you away at DIA?

Offering cloud-based eClinical software solutions since 2005, namely EDC and eSource modules, Medrio solutions are used for studies in all phases and therapeutic areas.  Medrio’s simple-to-use, point-and-click interface with risk-based monitoring, randomization, and eSource capabilities offers leading-edge innovations not found in other solutions. Medrio clients include 16 of the top 20 global biopharmaceutical companies and 4 of the top 10 CROs (and a 98% customer satisfaction rating).

On the strength of its cloud-based innovations of EDC, Medrio has since 2014, been outgrowing the overall EDC market by 4X and the Phase 1 and Phase 3 sub-markets by 11X and 8X, respectively. Resulting in a leading market share of almost 20% worldwide for Phase 1 studies alone.

Medrio thus recently announced a $30 million equity investment from Questa Capital Management, a venture capital firm focused on investing in growth-stage healthcare companies. These funds will be directed towards accelerated deployment of new innovations and global expansion. Congratulations to Founder & CEO Mike Novotny and the rest of the team (especially Dr. GoodData – who we know is the one captaining this rocket ship)!

CluePoints offers a cloud-based RBM software to improve data quality, increase operational efficiency and reduce regulatory submission risk. Their offering has a proven statistical engine, integrated platform, seamless integrations with EDC, CTMs, and IRT systems. Already providing solutions to seven of the top ten global pharma companies (as well as notable CROs and medtech companies) this team is poised for success.

In addition to their continued reign as “Most Coveted Invite of DIA” with their swanky rooftop event (partnered with Bracket), their new releases and ambitious growth continue to impress. With their recent opening of a US office, they’re definitely a company to watch.

Patrick Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer for CluePoints, provided an insight into the current climate in the industry with respect to Risk-Based Monitoring, “We at CluePoints have been evangelizing about using a statistical approach to interrogate clinical and operational trial data for a number of years now. The benefit to sponsors being a vast improvement in data quality and integrity, significant resource and cost reductions and increased patient safety. It is now inspiring to see that we have played a key role in making the RBM market and being an agent for change in our notoriously conservative industry.  The fact that the regulators, by way of ICH E6 R2 in particular, have come out to recommend a sea-change in the way that risk management is undertaken to drive better quality and resource efficiency echoes our own thoughts and we are perfectly placed to support this approach from a technology perspective. We are delighted to have as customers, Large and Mid-Size Pharmaceutical innovators that took the leap of faith to adopt this approach, even before the regulations were published and we also signed a Collaborative Research & Development Agreement with FDA in October 2016. Further, we have on our roadmap even more disruptive technology offerings to positively impact the way the clinical trials are conducted.”

OpenClinica accelerates clinical research using smart software that's built on CDISC standards and optimized for data quality and speed. OpenClinica gives users greater control and insight over their studies (including rich, graphical reporting),next-generation forms for higher quality data, and cost effectiveness that saves up to 80% compared to other solutions. Their software has long been the world’s leading open source system for EDC in clinical trials, and the company's SaaS offering combines the flexibility of open source with the dependability of a supported, validated solution.

This team is a mission-focused company looking to serve those who serve patients, whether as part of an academic team, a new, nimble CRO, or a proven pharmaceutical company, biotech, or medical device manufacturer. With a new release that offers a rare combination of power and ease of use, I can’t wait to hear the client success stories! Cal Collins, CEO of OpenClinica said, “Researchers need technology to enable 21st-century trials - integrated, mobile, and precise - not systems that merely implement workflows from the 1980s on a web browser. The new OpenClinica combines rapid, self-service study build with intelligent forms and real-time analytics so research teams and sites can make good decisions quickly and spend their time on the things that add the most value."

This year I heard more about the need for connectedness between EHR and the clinical trial process than ever before. ePatientFinder seems to be very on trend thanks to the foresight of their Founder, Tom Dorsett. While at a doctor’s appointment for his young daughter, he and the physician began discussing treatment for a large port-wine stain that she was born with. After going home to research on his own, he found dozens of clinical trials that the doctor was not even aware of. This was the spark that ignited ePatientFinder.

Started in 2013, ePatientFinder connects Physicians and EHR data through a secure platform that produces the highest-quality referrals and helps populate clinical trials quickly and cost effectively. Using Clinical Trial Exchange, the first and only clinical exchange technology platform, life science companies, pharmaceutical, and medical device and CRO organizations are connected with referring physicians on an easy to use interface to facilitate patient screening and produce more predictable/reliable results.

MedNet Solutions
“It has never been more exciting to be a part of MedNet Solutions,” remarked Robert Lovinger, MedNet’s Sr. Director of Marketing and Business Development. “You can feel it in the air as you walk the halls of our corporate headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota.” Since 2001, MedNet is in the position to deliver technology innovations backed by experience and reliability. Their platform, iMedNet eClinical, is a proven, agile, efficient, and effective, SaaS-based EDC and eClinical solution that is truly cloud-based. Developed with study builders and end user ease-of-use in mind, iMedNet allows non-technical research personnel to configure and manage their own clinical studies. This comprehensive platform also offers randomization, inventory management, ePRO, CTMS, role based security and more; making it a one-stop shop for any phase of clinical trials.

With a fresh face in Richard Murg as CRO who joined MedNet a few short months ago, and new enhancements rolled out earlier this month, 2017 is looking strong for MedNet! In addition to other platform improvements, the new Payment Manager and ePRO modules are significant enhancements that improve overall workflow and site satisfaction. “We are doing things other EDC and eClinical companies just aren’t doing or can’t do,” said Murg. “We continue to raise the bar for integrated platform innovation and other companies are finding it harder and harder to compete with us. iMedNet is just that good!”

PharmaSeek partners sponsors and CROs with clinical research sites to conduct clinical trials. They expedite study start-up timelines by streamlining the site selection process and providing a single point of contact throughout the start-up process for multiple clinical research sites. With PatientWise under the same umbrella, they are able to offer full-service patient recruitment and marketing services. Additionally, PharmaSeek is aligned with PFS Clinical. PFS is a customizable solution to meet the administrative needs of different research institutions (from study initiation to cash flow and professional services). All of your partners – under one roof!

Comprehend is a technology company that provides Clinical Intelligence software that enables clinical teams to improve speed, efficiency and quality of trials across its portfolio of studies. Comprehend’s Clinical Intelligence Suite is used to unify, monitor, and analyze clinical data across CROs, studies, and systems to enable Life Sciences companies to address FDA guidelines for quality, risk and oversight.

According to the 2016 Clinical Benchmark Report, 85% of clinical executives surveyed indicated that trial medical and operations decision processes are based on outdated data, take too long, and can no longer keep up – Comprehend is looking to close that gap. They released their newest version at DIA that added new functionality to quickly manage ever changing study conduct data. Customizable, on the fly reporting? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Overall, it was great to see clients, partners and friends in Chicago. As always, I was impressed with the level of innovation and passion in this industry. I’m looking forward to seeing many of the same in a few months at SCOPE! What other conferences should I plan on attending in 2017?

Sarah Pozek
Director of Life Sciences

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