Companies Join Forces to Help Improve Clinical Trials for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Worldwide Clinical Trials and Datavant have teamed up to improve research and clinical trial design for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

The collaboration will combine Worldwide’s expertise in neurodegenerative diseases and clinical trial regimens with Datavant’s experience in organizing and structuring healthcare data.

It intends to study the challenges behind the failure of many clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases, the impact of real-world evidence and big data on clinical trial improvement, and opportunities to use digital technology for expanded trial monitoring.

“The challenges that continue to persist in neurodegenerative diseases highlight the need for novel and evolved approaches to understanding both disease mechanics and patient progression. We believe our partnership with Worldwide takes an important step to revisiting and improving upon elements of trial design and operations that have remained stubborn barriers to progress in the field,” Travis May, co-founder and CEO of Datavant, said in a press release.

Parkinson’s disease presents a growing challenge to healthcare systems worldwide. In the United States, about 1 million Americans are estimated to have Parkinson’s, and globally, that number grows to about 10 million.

Through this partnership, the two companies aim to increase understanding of the specific challenges associated with drug discovery, development, and research for Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Datavant will provide software that is capable of creating a comprehensive overview of anonymized data sets, linking traditional real-world medical data from electronic health records, claims, genomics and diagnostics, with socioeconomic data, wearables/devices, and behavioral data.

Initially, the partners will co-design a pilot study that combines traditional clinical operations with external data sets to explore opportunities to improve trial monitoring by focusing on patient compliance, adherence, and overall enrollment feasibility.

Researchers will also study the obstacles faced in current clinical trials, including slow recruitment, low patient engagement, inflexible design, and limited observations.

Goals for the new partnership include enhancing methodologies and algorithms used in clinical trials, and improving existing protocol, strategies, and methods used in the clinical trial design of neurodegenerative diseases.

“Together, Worldwide and Datavant are focused on exploring the uncommon value big data and next-generation analytics, combined with robust clinical trial experience and deep therapeutic expertise, can deliver throughout the research process. For Worldwide, the promise of advancing drug development and unlocking novel opportunities for innovative trial design and interpretation is particularly important, as we strive every day to improve the lives of patients and populations suffering from the complex ravages of neurodegenerative disease,” said Peter Benton, president and chief operations officer of Worldwide Clinical Trials.