Lilly leads docs to cancer drug trials with iPad app

Lilly's new app provides a free gateway to all oncology trials around the world--courtesy of Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly ($LLY) has discovered a new use for mobile apps--informing doctors about clinical trials for cancer drugs. With the Lilly Oncology app, the Indianapolis drug giant provides a free gateway to all oncology trials around the world on Apple's ($AAPL) iPad and iPhone, Google's Android-enabled devices and even RIM's Blackberry. 

Lilly emphasizes that its app isn't limited to the company's own trials, and users can find information on open studies for specific cancers, compounds, phase of trial and geographical location. However, just below the top tab of the app (which I downloaded to my Droid this morning) that says "Search All Trials," is a menu item that says "Search Lilly Oncology Trials." The company also created a website called LillyOncologyPipeline.com, which provides greater depth of information about Lilly's cancer drug candidates such as videos that show a drug's mechanism of action.

Make no mistake, Lilly faces the same challenges as other operators of cancer drug trials, which are notoriously slow to enroll patients and hardly ever get completed on time. Delays are costly for cancer drug developers, easily running up to the millions of dollars. So it makes a lot of sense for Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) before it, to offer free mobile apps that inform doctors about available clinical trials.

"The information will enable physicians to provide the most current study information--quickly--to patients who may be interested in participating in a clinical trial," Anne White, senior director of portfolio management with Lilly Oncology, said in a statement.

The fact that the Lilly-branded app doesn't restrict searches to the company's own trials also seems like a good move, because it makes the software a better resource to oncologists and provides a greater incentive to download the app. Physicians are rapidly adopting the iPad and other mobile devices, doing more of their work on the platforms to save time and increase efficiency.

- here's Lilly's release
- see PMLive's article

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