Does VIPER Afford Worldwide Clinical Trials Competitive Advantage in the CRO Space?

Mar 10, 2019 | AI in Clinical Research, CRO, CRO Partnership, Patient Recruitment

Patient Recruitment

Worldwide Clinical Trials reported on their web site that the full-service, midsized global CRO inked a strategic alliance with Deep Lens, Inc., an AI-driven digital pathology venture focused on disease diagnoses confirmation and clinical trial recruitment. The two formed this oncology-focused strategic alliance to leverage Worldwide’s cancer research capability with Deep Lens VIPER™ digital pathology platform. The two seek to create a new ecosystem for sponsors, researchers and care teams to accelerate cancer diagnoses and ultimately present clearer treatment and clinical trial options.

Presently more than 14,000 oncology clinical trials are actively recruiting patients. The successful recruitment and retention of patients represents an incredible challenge. Participation rates are as low as 3% of potential trial candidates.  The two partners will attempt to address this challenge by designing a pilot study to merge innovative clinical trial designs and operational acumen with the VIPER platform. Can the two improve recruitment rates for sponsors by introducing real-time diagnoses and alerting and hence enhance coordination between research teams, care teams and patients.

What is the VIPER platform?

The VIPER platform was developed by the innovation group at one of the largest pediatric oncology facilities in the United States. Nationwide Children Hospital (NCH) in Columbus Ohio. The platform was built by pathology groups working with the NCH team from around the world that focused on specific tumor types and subtypes. NCH played the role of global biospecimen repository and facilitated research projects globally. Over 65 major institutions participated in the effort worldwide—contributing directly to requirements in what ultimately became the VIPER platform.

Worldwide Clinical Trials should be able to offer sponsors a way to address unique barriers to recruitment including:

  • Deployment advances in digital pathology, deep learning and workflow for interventional and observational research in oncology
  • Accelerated characterization of complex oncology sub-types and stages in real time
  • Study team engagement and care teams in meaningful patient conversations about treatment options

The partnership in theory should afford Worldwide the ability to reach upstream from the oncologist to the pathologist to identify eligible patients at the time of their diagnoses. This type of access is sooner in the process than other methods today. Worldwide seeks to go straight to the source and hence, fast-track trial enrollment and possibly shorten the duration of the trial. Only time will tell but TrialSite News will monitor this situation. Our research team will also be available to survey existing VIPER platform clients to determine how well this system is faring.


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