Analytics and CRO services firm IQVIA has kick-started a new matchmaking trial service to “accelerate treatment and vaccine development” against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Trial Matching Tool runs at c19trials.com, which IQVIA says is one of the world’s first online platforms that matches individuals with specific COVID-19 studies, and it hopes it will help speed up clinical research projects.
The pandemic has quickly spread from Asia to the U.S. and Europe, now the epicenters of the disease, with governments and biopharmas scrambling to get any new or existing treatments, as well as experimental vaccines, into testing as soon as possible.
There are already more than 40 vaccine therapies in development with a host of repurposed meds, experimental antivirals and plasma therapies also in the mix to try to either stop the disease or help those with more severe cases.
The issue is time: The virus is in a hurry, it seems, to spread, and the world, as well as our immune systems, currently have no defense against it. A new vaccine will take at least 18 months to be approved, and even that would be lightning quick; other treatments also need to undergo rigorous tests to ensure they can work against the disease and not make people more ill.
IQVIA, borne in 2017 from the megamerger between Quintiles and IMS Health, said it is hoping to do its bit to help speed things along with its Matching Tool. It works by combining publicly available information, IQVIA data and tools and an “algorithmic logic” that creates a questionnaire, dependent on previous responses, to match patients and study investigators to speed up ongoing COVID-19 clinical research projects within the U.S.
Patients can “easily and quickly navigate” an otherwise complex search process to find relevant trial options for them, thus getting more people in COVID-19 trials more quickly, the company said.
“In response to this unprecedented crisis, IQVIA has created the first comprehensive online screener and trial matching tool for all U.S. COVID-19 trials,” said Richard Staub, president of research and development solutions at IQVIA.
“This sponsor-agnostic solution will accelerate Phase I-IV clinical research trials when they are most needed, by connecting users to COVID-19 investigators working tirelessly to discover, and develop treatments and vaccines against this disease. IQVIA is focused on delivering industry-leading clinical development solutions to support and advance human health on behalf of our valued customers.”