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Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials, Envizualized

Conference illustration by Jonny Goldstein of Envizualize

Sean and I recently attended the 2nd Annual Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials for Pharma, Biologics, & Devices (DPharm) in Boston. We had a really great time and learned a ton.

Here are a few themes that really stood out for me:

An increasing momentum for collaboration among pharma:

Tom Krohn of Eli Lilly kicked off the conference by bluntly telling us why we need to change the current industry paradigm: because it’s completely unsustainable. Yikes. While radical changes in this industry might feel like trying to pull a 180 in the Titanic, progress is being made.

Elise Felicione of Janssen detailed a cross-pharma investigator databank that is advancing. Janssen, Merck, and Lilly are collaborating on a project that combines their investigator lists into a database hosted by DrugDev.org (we want to be a part of this effort!). While the project has only reached exploratory stages to this point, they have gotten past some very difficult hurdles involving lawyers, red tape, and the like. Did you know about all of the redundant tasks that take place between sponsor and investigator, like how investigators have to go through Good Clinical Practice training with each sponsor that they work with? As a data geek residing on the peripheries of the industry, I did not. Reducing these “redundant burdens” is a no-brainer, but implementing is no easy task. It will take indomitable leaders to overcome the resistance to sharing competitive intelligence, but luckily it appears that such leaders are in place.

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