Global contract research organization PRA Health Sciences and Deep Lens a provider of clinical trials recruitment software announced a collaboration designed to improve patient access and recruitment for oncology clinical trials. The collaboration will leverage Deep Lens’ VIPER patient screening platform to match cancer patients to precision clinical oncology trials around the world, with the combined offering deployed via Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services.
“More than 14,000 oncology trials are currently recruiting patients, but estimates are that only three to five percent of eligible patients actually participate,” said Kent Thoelke, chief scientific officer at PRA Health Sciences in a press release. “The challenges facing clinical trial recruitment are multifaceted, and sponsors have been unable to determine where specific patients are in order to match them to studies. Using Deep Lens’ VIPER technology, the patient identification process will be streamlined by instantly analyzing data within electronic health records, pathology systems and genomic profiles to enable matching of cancer patients with suitable clinical trials.”
Deep Lens’ VIPER patient screening platform is currently deployed by cancer centers, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), and community oncology networks to identify and match oncology patients to life saving clinical trials. Its focus is to identify patients who would have otherwise missed the opportunity to enroll in an appropriate trial. The differentiated technology and services model allows Deep Lens to deploy its software at cancer centers and site networks on a global basis, free of charge, to better give patients access to the therapies—while accelerating study timelines to potentially bring new therapies to market sooner.
VIPER is a HIPAA-compliant public cloud service that accesses data “behind the firewall” at participating sites and automatically ingests data from pathology systems at the time of diagnosis. Data sources include electronic medical records and genetic test results from top genetic testing labs globally. VIPER uses artificial intelligence (AI) as a screening platform for research coordinators and care teams for potential patients eligible for trials, while the de-identified data helps sponsors identify where in the process patients are being identified, where they may be disqualified and why they may or may not have enrolled in a trial once qualified.
Once patients have been qualified for trials, the system will refer those patients to PRA’s Mobile Health Platform, also deployed on Azure, to provide an end-to-end patient-centric screening and trial management experience for providers globally.
“This will really move the needle in cancer research, and it will allow community oncology networks to compete with their much larger competitors at academic medical centers and comprehensive cancer centers,” Thoelke said. “With Microsoft Azure behind PRA and Deep Lens, we believe this relationship could create a game-changing model in cancer research, not only for patient screening but for the development of just-in-time networks and other new business models.”