Clinical trial enrollment-focused software maker DecisionView is launching what it says will be the first benchmarking effort to focus tightly on enrollment metrics.
DecisionView Enrollment Benchmarks is due out later this summer. On board and contributing their historic enrollment numbers are big pharmaceutical companies Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche, all DecisionView clients that already have their enrollment data cycling through DecisionView’s software system, StudyOptimizer. The software tracks site performance and enables cost forecasting for trials.
Is another benchmarking effort needed? After all, some sponsor companies recently have had to hire a full-time employee to amass and deliver their data to all the benchmarking companies that ask for it.
The answer is a resounding yes, said Linda Drumright, president and CEO of DecisionView. She said much is lacking among other enrollment benchmarking efforts and simulation engines in the field.
First, she said, most don’t focus solely on recruitment. Second, they don’t come out often enough, and, once published, often contain outdated data in written-report or spreadsheet form, lacking depth. “Those are just straight-line, linear projections,” said Drumright.
In contrast, DecisionView’s effort, she said, will be accessed through a Web portal and be user friendly, fluid and updated quarterly initially, and maybe more often further down the line. Being able to access it just as one is sitting down to begin planning a trial is one of its key features. “The data will be available at the point of decision making, and that’s not something you see out there now,” said Drumright.
In addition, she said, the reports will be granular, and “slice and diceable,” allowing a subscriber to dig in to better understand inclusion and exclusion criteria, for example.
The reports, said Drumright, will be useful not just for comparing one’s recruitment numbers with those of competitors, but to look at new geographic regions and therapeutic areas.
Another upside for subscribers will be that they don’t have to come up with and then prepare their data to send in, said Drumright. If they’re already using DecisionView’s StudyOptimzer—which eight of the top 10 pharma companies are, she added—the data is already being collected on an ongoing basis.
As with other benchmarking efforts, DecisionView’s will only be available to those who are submitting their data to it, and all data will by anonymous. To be a part of it, one must be or become a StudyOptimizer client.
Said Alex Lancksweert, director of performance and supplier governance at GlaxoSmithKline, there is massive demand for such data to inform study planning just as one is getting ready to map out potential sites for new studies.
“Right now, benchmarking solutions aren’t integrated directly into our processes, which makes making it difficult to really use them,” said Lancksweert. “It makes sense to leverage the enrollment data already in StudyOptimizer that will give us very user-friendly information right when we need it: when planning a study.”
Drumright added that at $20,000 a year, it will be cheaper than other competitors. “Companies are spending far more than $20,000 for a set of data that tells them maybe average cycle times,” said Drumright. Customers pay for StudyOptimizer by annual subscription, though it can also be bought on a study-by-study basis. StudyOptimizer has been used on about 1,250 studies with 450,000 subjects enrolled in 13 therapeutic areas in 91 different countries, according to the company.
Traditional sources for this type of benchmark information include company internal study data, third-party data sets, and survey-based benchmarks. Companies offering benchmarking reports include CMR, KMR, SiteTrove and TrialTrove.
Added Drumright, “In contrast to other benchmarking reports, ours will be coming from an already trusted source.”
GSK, Merck and Roche are the site’s founding members. Their data is in and they are testing the site this summer, said Drumright.
The idea for the new benchmarking effort came about, she said, when many customers, able to view their own company’s recruitment numbers going back several years as a standard function of StudyOptimizer, asked why DecisionView didn’t anonymize all the data in their system and publish it. DecisionView, founded by a tech entrepreneur Jack Porter and former FDA COO John Norris, launched in 2004.
“Customers started to say, ‘Jeez, this is really interesting. We can look at our own historic data. Wouldn’t it be great, DecisionView, if you could gather all the data from your other companies and create a report for all of us?’” remembered Drumright.
Drumright said she’d like to have all DecisionView customers participating in DecisionView Enrollment Benchmarks by mid-2012, and from there hopes it will go industry-wide.