Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer give trial-patient matching tech to TrialReach

Eli Lilly ($LLY), Novartis ($NVS) and Pfizer ($PFE) have found a new home for the tech they created to improve The group is giving what it has achieved to date to TrialReach, a tech company developing a patient-focused clinical trial discovery platform.

London, U.K.-based TrialReach has similar goals to the initiative started by Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer in 2013, which aimed to tweak to ease trial enrollment bottlenecks and explain studies to patients in jargon-free language. The approach pursued by the partners was to create machine-readable profiles for trials that could be compared to patients' electronic health data. Potential participants could then see an IRB-approved, plain-English outline of the trial. Such a model could cut the risk of patients never hearing about a trial for which they may be eligible.

In the 18 months since getting started, the partners have established a back end for the initiative. Lilly built and hosted software to underpin the workflow and created an application programming interface so the information was accessible to app developers. In parallel, the partners have been figuring out who will host the platform and how they can encourage more sponsors to join. Now, Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer have come up with an answer to both questions: Give the project and its tech to TrialReach.

The expectation is that giving the platform to a neutral, independent organization that is solely focused on the trial enrollment bottleneck will help it grow into the industry-wide initiative its Big Pharma founders originally envisaged. "This has to be huge. It has to be available everywhere," ex-Lilly VP of Clinical Innovation and Implementation Jeff Kasher told Forbes contributor Zina Moukheiber.

- read the Forbes piece