Oracle aids Moffitt Cancer Center’s IT system for speeding patient recruitment

Slow patient recruitment looms as one of the biopharma industry's most notorious boogiemen, delaying the start of trials and prolonging the costly development process. Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, aims to slay this trials monster with its patented computer system that streamlines recruitment into cancer drug studies.

Moffitt won a U.S. patent for the computer system, the group announced last week. The system enables the center to, among other things, match the molecular profile of a patient's tumor with an appropriate clinical trial--all through a data-driven process that avoids some of the hassles of traditional patient recruitment. The cancer center's for-profit subsidiary has begun working with pharma companies to aid them in the development of new drugs, InformationWeek reported.

Cancer drug developers can require two or more years to recruit enough patients for a late-stage drug study, according to the InformationWeek article. Moffitt, which built its computer system with the help of software giant Oracle ($ORCL), has been able to mine its database for appropriate candidates for cancer drug trials in a couple of hours, Moffitt CIO Mark Hulse told the IT magazine. In addition to patient recruitment, Moffitt's Health and Research Informatics platform seeks to enable personalized care of cancer patients.

Oracle has been involved in other efforts to ease the pain of trials recruitment via data-driven approaches. The tech behemoth is supporting a pilot electronic clinical research network in New York for the Partnerships to Advance Clinical Electronic Research (PACeR), a project focused on improving the clinical trial process. Pfizer ($PFE) and other large drugmakers are also involved in this effort to streamline patient recruitment.

- here's Moffitt's release
- see InformationWeek's article

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