How to drive impact by taking a different approach to simplify processes in access to clinical oncology trials.



Roel Divendal

For many people the diagnosis of cancer (for themselves or their loved ones) is one of the biggest fears in life. Knowing that the medication and treatment of tomorrow is already being tested in clinical trials, I am on a mission with iClusion to improve the access to clinical trials for patients and their physicians.

Spending most of my career working on projects linked to clinical oncology trials I’ve experienced the obstacles and bureaucracy in this highly regulated environment. I was looking for ways to improve the adaptiveness and processes to speed up the start of clinical trials for new therapies to become available for patients as soon as possible.  

When I first spoke to Hanneke Janssen and @Edwin Klumper, I was immediately fascinated by the mission of @iClusion. So, it was only a matter of time before I joined the company.  

Studies show that Only 5% of patients participate in clinical trials while 50-80% of patients indicate they would like to.

In my career, working for a global pharmaceutical company, I already often experienced a large gap between the expressed need for new or additional treatments for patients and the enrollment in clinical trials. In these instances, it was difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for the lack of enrollment. But awareness of the clinical trial option was certainly a factor, especially in hospitals that do not participate in the clinical trials.

What if both physicians and patients always have a conversation about all treatment options, including the participation in clinical trials (even if this means they have to be referred to another hospital)? There is a clear need to facilitate the access to information on all recruiting clinical trials for both healthcare professionals and patients, to support a meaningful conversation.

There are a lot of resources to find information on recruiting clinical trials. But all of them have their pro and cons: they are not complete, not up-to-date or not easy searchable. The diversity and scattered information landscape of sources to look for suitable clinical trials for seriously ill cancer patients is an important hurdle for physicians to discuss clinical trial options with their patients, and this, ultimately, slows down the development of new therapies.

Where to find clinical oncology trials and what to look for is key.

Realizing that not all physicians know by heart what clinical trials are open for enrollment for any of the patients diagnosed with cancer, we asked ourselves a couple of questions.

  • What If we could have just single source of information to find all open clinical oncology trials that is accurately and easily accessible in just a few clicks for all professional stakeholders?
  • What if we can decrease the bureaucratic processes and shorten the time to start up a clinical trial in any hospital close to patients.
  • What if any cancer patient and their beloved ones also have a single source of information to find all open clinical oncology trials in a way that nonprofessionals understand what the information is about?

These questions need to be addressed to drive and increase clinal research to find better treatment options for cancer patients. Because clinical trials should always be an option also as in the moment treatment, close to home if possible and further away if necessary.  

At iClusion I found a team of devoted people to make an improvement and impact on the lives of patients, working on projects to come up with the solutions.

iClusion’s Professional platform Trial Eye

The professional Trial Eye platform connects study sponsors, study sites, physicians and their patients in a closed-loop ecosystem, providing a harmonized and standardized network infrastructure for fast local study startup and patient recruitment. Rather than each group remaining siloed Trial Eye invites various stakeholders to connect and start up clinical trials and recruit patients in a fast & easy, transparent & accessible and harmonized & standardized manner. This speeds up clinical trial processes and patient recruitment and therefore the entire drug development process.

Trial Eye also provides a complete, up-to-date and easily searchable overview of all recruiting clinical oncology trials for physicians, nurses and other hospital research professionals.

iClusion’s Public platform Heyleys

The Public service Heyleys platform is designed with healthcare professionals and patients to give access to information about all clinical oncology research with new medicines. And it provides tools for patients (and caregivers) to discuss these extra treatment options with their own physician.

These platforms are active now in the Netherlands and Belgium and it’s our ambition to expand our services into more countries soon. Me and the other iClusion team members are continuously looking for ambitious contributors, partners, and staff to increase our impact footprint in our mission to increase access to clinical trials.

Send me a note to have a chat over a cup of coffee for additional information or check out the website for >>vacancies.

Janssen Roepman Oncologie UpToDate sept2018

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