Science 37 teams up with Roche's Foundation Medicine to boost home-based oncology trials

Roche
Roche's Foundation Medicine unit will help seek out the right patients for the siteless cancer trial platform from Science 37. (Roche)

Cancer trials typically have to be done within a hospital or community healthcare setting, but Science 37 and Roche’s genomics unit Foundation Medicine are teaming up to move some of this to an at-home setting.

Science 37 says less than one in 20 patients with cancer will sign up to a clinical trial, and more than 80% of studies around the world fail to enroll patients within the sponsor’s timeline. Being able to do some of the trial work such as follow-ups and checks from a subject's home could boost recruitment and retention.

To help, California-based Science 37, tapping its siteless trial tech, is teaming up with Foundation Medicine (FMI) to help seek out cancer patients and do a lot of the trial work at their home.

FMI will offer up its so-called FoundationSmartTrials patient identification tool, that will be used to find patients who may be eligible for a trial based on results from its tissue and blood-based genomic profiling tests.

Science 37, meanwhile, will then enroll the appropriate patients and provide ongoing support via its operating system—underpinned by its tech platform of networks of mobile nurses, telemedicine investigators, remote coordinators and connected devices.

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“Many advanced cancer patients are unable to travel to or visit in-person clinical trials sites, so it’s critical that we work across the ecosystem towards new and innovative solutions to improve access to clinical trials regardless of a patient’s location,” said Jonathan Cotliar, M.D., CMO at Science 37.

“Combining our operating system with Foundation Medicine’s precision oncology expertise sets us on an exciting path with the goal of accelerating treatment discovery while bringing the research directly to patients.”

This isn’t the first pact between FMI and Science 37, as the two already have a deal for a decentralized trial program aimed at Roche's ALPHA-T trial for its anaplastic lymphoma kinase cancer drug alectinib.

“As we explore this decentralized approach to research, we hope to continue innovating on this model for other clinical programs in the future. Ideally, we’ll create a learning system where physicians and patients have more options, and their experiences help inform treatment for patients in the future,” added Brian Alexander, M.D., CEO at Foundation Medicine.