Big Pharma supergroup plots clinical trial site database

Earlier this year, 10 of the biggest names in drug development joined forces to streamline R&D, and the resulting nonprofit is creating a huge database of global clinical trial sites.

TransCelerate BioPharma founding members Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Eli Lilly ($LLY), along with Merck ($MRK), are getting approval from up to 100,000 clinical investigators, Reuters reports, looking to compile an expansive database of trial sites, listing technology, capabilities and track records.

The goal is to launch by next year a one-stop database for information on CROs and other potential partners that will save time and money in R&D by avoiding duplicated work, said Andreas Koester, clinical trial innovation and external alliances chief at J&J's Janssen.

"GCP doesn't get any better if the investigator takes it repeatedly," Koester told Reuters. "We wouldn't have to ask each site, 'Do you have a centrifuge?' or, 'Do you have a minus 70 degrees freezer?'"

The three drugmakers are doing the legwork to set up the database, and they plan to loop in the rest of TransCelerate's membership once it's ironed out. The nonprofit also includes Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), AstraZeneca ($AZN), Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Pfizer ($PFE), Roche's ($RHHBY) Genentech unit and Sanofi ($SNY).

TransCelerate's mission of speeding along drug development could well be a boon for CROs in the long run. The Big Pharmas estimate the total cost of getting a drug from the lab to pharmacy at $1.2 billion, saying if they can slash into that figure, they'll have more R&D dollars to investigate more drugs.

- read the Reuters story

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