Quintiles unveils big changes to patient recruitment


As it readies to merge with IMS Health in a major multibillion-dollar deal, Quintiles ($Q) is not resting on its laurels and has announced a new service aimed at flipping the patient search process on its head.

In a move to combat the myriad challenges faced by clinical trial outfits, the world’s largest CRO is introducing its new "Precision Enrollment" effort that it says will both speed up and streamline its patient search and site startup process for oncology trials. The multifaceted CRO will put to work its investigative site network and incorporate a patient’s health data in the screening process so that patients are identified only before a trial site is established.

That way, Quintiles says, it can cut down on the time and costs involved in finding patients for trials on targeted therapies.

“By opening a site only after a patient has been identified, we’re able to reduce zero-enrolling sites and associated time and costs, and most importantly, provide patients with quicker access to potentially life-saving treatments,” Jeanne Hecht, Quintiles’ SVP and global head of site & patient networks, said in a statement.

The move is in response to a range of new challenges that CROs now face, including the scarcity of patients and investigators, plus an industry-wide move toward precision medicines and more complex trial protocols. With three out of 5 oncology therapies now being targeted, oncologists can have trouble pairing a patient with a study, Quintiles said.

The Durham, NC-based company adds that site setup will take less than 21 days.

It’s not the only large-scale change underway at the CRO giant after Quintiles and IMS Health announced their surprise megamerger that will create a company worth nearly $18 billion.

- here's the release
- and an explanatory video