WCG has partnered with Inspire, a leading online health social network, in an effort to make it easier for patients—especially those with rare and genetic-based diseases—to find clinical trials that may help them.
The move is aimed at linking patients with clinical research opportunities, providing greater access to cutting-edge, potentially life-saving treatments.
“As the focus of clinical research shifts from the treatment of widespread illness to the study of genetic-based disease, patient volunteers are becoming increasingly hard to identify,” said Don Deieso, WCG’s executive chairman and CEO. “The Inspire platform is the largest network of proactive, self-identified disease patients in the world. Through this partnership, we will make it easier for researchers and patients to connect, accelerating important advances in this underserved area of clinical research and care.”
Inspire is an online health social network that creates and manages support communities for 1.5 million patients and caregivers.
It’s a potentially powerful reserve army for a battle that needs fresh trial recruits: The NIH estimates that some 25 million Americans suffer from rare diseases. Most have no cure. In fact, there are treatments for fewer than 5 percent of the nearly 7,000 rare diseases. Yet enrollment can be a real challenge, in part because each rare disease affects a relatively small slice of the general population. Researchers often find the best success when they’re able to tap into word-of-mouth among patient populations.
Inspire is especially useful for patients and caregivers who often struggle to get an accurate diagnosis and/or track down clinicians with specific knowledge of their disease. It also helps biopharmaceutical research sponsors better understand and serve the needs of patients—and directly engage and recruit hard-to-find patients for research.