December 10, 2020 – An historic alliance of life sciences and healthcare organizations seeks to accelerate the broad adoption of patient-focused, decentralized clinical trials and research. The Decentralized Trials & Research Alliance (DTRA) plans to unite stakeholders, including healthcare companies, regulators, patient groups and research organizations, with a mission to make clinical trial participation widely accessible by advancing policies, research practices and new technologies in decentralized clinical research.
“The benefits of decentralized research methodologies have been apparent for some time, but adoption has been slow due to many factors including culture and the lack of a forum for stakeholders to collaborate.”, said Amir Kalali, MD, life science executive, founder of several collaborative life science communities, and co-convenor of DTRA. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to adopt decentralized methodologies which have the potential to broadly accelerate drug development.”
Experts estimate that COVID-19 may set back non-pandemic clinical trials by several years due to prospective patients’ inability or reluctance to schedule visits at physical research locations. Decentralized approaches to conducting research facilitate participation by a more diverse patient population and could ease COVID-19-imposed difficulties for both patients and clinical investigators. Inclusion of representative patient populations in clinical trials by race, age, and geographic location has long been an operational challenge. COVID-19 has amplified the disparities and inclusion biases that have become hurdles for potential trial participants.