MORRISVILLE, North Carolina, and COLUMBUS, Ohio – Worldwide Clinical Trials, Inc. (Worldwide), an award-winning, full-service, midsize, global CRO, and Deep Lens, an AI-driven digital pathology company focused on disease diagnosis confirmation and clinical trial recruitment, today announced a new strategic alliance in oncology. The companies will pair Worldwide’s expertise in clinical cancer research and global clinical trial operations with the Deep Lens VIPER™ digital pathology platform. This combination will support a new ecosystem for sponsors, researchers and care teams to accelerate cancer diagnoses and present clearer treatment and clinical trial options earlier in the process.
Patient recruitment for clinical trials remains a time-intensive, costly barrier to the execution of drug development programs. More than 14,000 oncology clinical trials are actively recruiting patients[i], yet estimates put the rate of participation as low as 3 percent of potential trial candidates.[ii] Worldwide and Deep Lens will address this challenge by first collaborating to design a pilot study to marry innovative clinical trial designs and operational acumen with the VIPER platform. The aim is to enhance trial recruitment through real-time diagnosis and alerting and enhance coordination between research teams, care teams and patients.
Cancer research is advancing at an incredible pace. We need to up our game as pathologists and CROs to deliver increased precision, speed and communication to find patients with particular disease subtypes or biomarkers, said Dave Billiter, co-founder and CEO, Deep Lens. “With the global reach and scientific and operations expertise of Worldwide, we believe we can streamline clinical trial recruitment. And, just as importantly, oncologists can inform patients and their caregivers about clinical research options from day one.”
Through the strategic alliance, Worldwide and Deep Lens seek to:
- Accelerate oncology patient recruitment for clinical trials
- Advance clinical research as a care option (CRAACO) where the critical conversation with a patient is enabled at the point in their journey that is most impactful
- Create trusted networks of precision diagnosis and clinical research options
- Provide biopharmaceutical clients with a new platform for basket and umbrella study designs that can quickly process diagnosis and tumor response in real time
- Support pre-competitive research into better clinical trial approaches by organizing data clubs (disease-specific consortia) of industry stakeholders
Worldwide and Deep Lens are collaborating to drive critical, lifesaving decisions earlier in the treatment conversation – where days can impact outcomes. For sponsors, this further builds on our commitment to provide uncommon scientific and operational expertise throughout the clinical research process, said Dave Bowser, executive vice president and general manager, Worldwide Clinical Trials. For patients, the alliance seeks to bring clarity and confidence to the incredibly challenging moment they are diagnosed with cancer.
With operations spanning 60 countries, Worldwide offers biopharma sponsors the clinical, technical and regulatory expertise they need to navigate the international and strategic complexities of oncology drug development – including proven ability to access hard-to-find patient populations.
Deep Lens offers a modernized, AI-driven approach to pathology.
Together, the companies will address unique barriers to recruitment. These include:
- Deployment of advances in digital pathology, deep learning and workflow for interventional and observational research in oncology;
- Accelerated characterization of complex oncology sub-types and stages in real time; and
- Engaging study teams and care teams in meaningful patient conversations about treatment options.
By working with Deep Lens on clinical trial recruitment, Worldwide can reach upstream from the oncologist to the pathologist, enabling identification of eligible patients at the time of their diagnosis – much sooner than current methods. Going straight to the source can fast-track trial enrollment and potentially shorten the duration of the trial.