Doc launches user-friendly website for clinical trials searches

In a new stab at improving online searches for clinical trials, a nonprofit effort has brought the world an open-source site called MyClinicalTrialLocator.com. The website was designed to make searches easier for patients and serve as a resource to the global research community.

Many pharma companies and groups have developed similar software apps in an effort to boost the visibility of clinical trials for patients with certain types of diseases and, in some cases, improve traditionally difficult recruitment efforts. Many of the apps use data from the National Institutes of Health's ClinicalTrials.gov, which contains data about trials in the U.S. and around the world. But many physicians complain that the government website is tricky for average patients to navigate and understand.

Enter MyClinicalTrialLocator.com. Bruce Moskowitz, a Palm Beach, FL physician, told the AFP that he was inspired by conversations with his patients and took on the project of creating the website. The site offers a streamlined interface that allows patients to search for specific trials in their area, receive alerts on studies that suit their needs, and communicate with investigators. Researchers can also add info to the site for free in an open format.

Moskowitz also thinks the website could help reduce waste in drug R&D from duplicating efforts, such as studies that have already been done. "It is going to be a revelation to see how many clinical trials are duplicated from ones outside North America without anyone knowing it's already been done and wasting money," the primary care doc told the AFP.

As the wire reported, the site is unlikely to rival ClinicalTrials.gov, which U.S. regulators require researchers and drug companies to use for registering most midstage and late-stage clinical trials. Yet this is unlikely to deter more companies from developing apps that make use of the data from the government website.

For instance, last year the drug giant Eli Lilly ($LLY) launched the Clinical Trial Resources app to enable patients and doctors to find clinical trials in oncology from the company and other sponsors.

- check out the reportage from the AFP

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