PPD unit pens Science 37 virtual trial pact amid pandemic


As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across nearly all clinical trials in the U.S., Asia and Europe, so-called virtual trials are coming to the fore. Now, PPD is teaming up with Science 37 to tap its “siteless” approach to trials.

PPD’s site solution unit, Accelerated Enrollment Solutions (AES), which for the past two years has been helping enroll patients into studies, has penned a pact with California-based virtual trial specialist Science 37 to help it run trials remotely.

In essence, this sees the two work on telehealth programs to remotely screen patients and conduct study visits, removing the need for physical trial sites. Amid this pandemic, when so many trials have been paused or halted due to lockdowns and safety fears, the pair hope this can help many studies stay the course.

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The pact allows patients using AES to go through Science 37’s Metasite, a hybrid clinical trial platform that combines traditional site visits with remote trial capabilities, “allowing patients located virtually anywhere to participate in a clinical trial,” the pair said in a statement.

Science 37 runs a network of telemedicine investigators, in-home nurses and clinical research coordinators who are connected by its tech platform to arrange virtual, or “decentralized,” clinical trials. In return for its work, Science 37 can also tap AES’ global research network. Any financial terms were not revealed.

“We are pleased to provide our customers, through our collaboration with Science 37, one of the most advanced, trial-tested approaches to clinical research virtualization," said Roger Smith, general manager of AES.

“By offering the Science 37 Metasite in conjunction with our existing network, we give our customers a taste of the future, while more patients will have the opportunity to participate in trials that might otherwise be unavailable due to location restrictions.”

The pair said this will also “help the fight” against COVID-19 and specifically will boost hybrid physical/virtual solutions to “rapidly recruit and enroll patients in COVID-19 vaccine trials.”

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