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Big Pharma’s Drug Studies Are Getting a NASA-Style Makeover

January 28, 2019 By firstwordpharma
  • Approximately a third of drug development costs come from clinical trials, and Novartis is looking to make them faster and less expensive, reported Boomberg.

  • In a bid to streamline an operation that spends more than $5 billion a year on developing new drugs, Novartis has dispatched teams to jetmaker Boeing and power company Swissgrid to observe how they use technology-laden crisis centers to prevent failures and blackouts.

  • According to the news source, that has led to the design of a global surveillance hub where supercomputers map Novartis' network of 500 drug studies in 70 countries, trying to predict potential problems on a minute-by-minute basis. If a trial shows up in red on the wall of flatscreen displays, signaling a risk to the schedule, the company can take action to make sure it stays on course.

  • According to the news source, a key concern is whether trials are attracting enough patients to get a complete reading of a drug's safety and efficacy or other trial objectives. Novartis plans to reduce the time it takes to fill a trial's patient ranks by as much as 15 percent.

  • Meanwhile, companies across the industry are turning to TriNetX for help prospecting for patients before their studies begin. That can circumvent costly, time-wasting alterations, says TriNetX CEO Lachman. The goal is to shave one to three years off the time it takes to get a drug to market, the news source said.

  • Further, mobile devices are increasingly allowing people to participate from their own homes, making studies more convenient, and reducing the likelihood that candidates will drop out because they don't want to travel to study centers for data collection, the news source added.

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