4 Ways to Shake Up the Clinical Trial Process and Cut Costs

Stephanie Baum | MedCity News | February 1, 2012

A drug developer wants to shake up the clinical trial process through crowdsourcing as well as using telemedicine and greater data transparency. It believes implementing these together can cut the cost of doing clinical trials by 50 percent in the next two years.

Transparency Life Sciences is a New York-based startup that was founded by CEO Tomasz Sablinski, also currently the head of development at Celtic Therapeutics , and Marc Foster, Transparency’s chief operating officer, who previously worked at FoldRx Pharmaceuticals before it was acquired by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). The company plans to develop refocused compounds before embarking on novel drugs. Foster spoke about the company’s plans in a phone interview with MedCity News.

Crowdsourcing. “What’s wrong with the current system is clinical trials are mostly designed by a small group of opinion leaders who are experts in their fields, so we’re getting a very limited perspective of how these trials should be designed. [Clinical trials] suffer from that because they are not taking in a broad enough range of ideas from the field,” Foster said. He said his company wants to adopt something like what Topcoder has popularized in the technology sector — offering ways to design and implement a project in the form of “challenges.” Individuals submit ideas to create an efficient version of what a company wants and get a monetary award.