Welcome to Trial Trends™, a monthly podcast brought to you by 4G Clinical and hosted by Kathleen Greenough, Senior Director of Client Solutions, and Libbi Rickenbacher, Director of Strategy! The show welcomes guests from all over to tackle big ideas, challenge the status quo, and bring fresh perspectives to the rapidly changing world of clinical trials. Get ready to disrupt the old ways of thinking and discover the newest trial trends! In today’s episode, Kathleen and Libbi have a conversation together about the trends in clinical trials in 2023, and what they expect in 2024.
To begin, Kathleen and Libbi look back on 2023 about what they’ve seen in clinical trials. They discuss mergers and acquisitions, including seeing trends with pharma and biotech companies. In quarter three, there was 33 billion in mergers and acquisitions alone. These companies are forced to run a smaller budget and this affects TSM space. Biotechs are also requesting different services from vendors than what they have seen in the past and there are fewer internal experts. They are strategically thinking about what technology will do for them and how they acquire their TSM in general. Historically RTSM technologies looked more simple, but they are much more complex now and have adaptive trials. These are no longer just transactional and the protocol complexity is more creative, flexible and tests the technology. In 2023, there has been a step back in the increase in the need for integrations, which helps connect to other systems. This has been driven by patient participation. Patients are well informed and expect to know what is happening with their study at all times. This is not just the patients, but the vendors want to integrate as well. There is increased pressure to innovate and make things seamless. Bigger companies also want technologies that we haven't heard about, which is pushing the innovation to integrate.
Next, Kathleen and Libbi talk about where they think clinical trials are headed in 2024. There are more pressures on the market to perform more with less, which is making us more innovative and creative in how we run clinical trials. The two types of methodologies or processes that will give the best inputs for clinical trials are simple or more complex. We won’t see a huge swing in the pharma space and will continue to be more creative as we go on. Also, 40% of all clinical trials are oncology studies and they are efficient by fitting everything into one study. They predict there may be a rise in clinical trials in other therapies like neurology, which are a lot simpler than oncology. AI is also being used in clinical trials to create generated targets for treatments. In clinical trials, patients get more attention and direct care than a regular clinic. They also predict that truly personal connections will become more important and this will help patients feel more special since it is never easy going through trials.
Lastly, they discuss the movement in clinical sites and data. There will be a continuation of that in 2024 and clinical sites will become even more responsible for data. Clinical sites have been feeling an increased burden to keep us with their new systems and processes and innovative change may not have been a good thing for clinical sites. Sponsors are aware of the power of an RTSM and have seen this in their studies. In 2024, they believe there will be a rise in partnership with vendors to provide technology and solutions. Randomization and drug management is integral to parts of a trial and you must allow those integrations. The key will be pivoting trials through personalization, complexity of trials and flexibility.
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