Better matching, better trials

Parexel, NeoGenomics unite to improve and accelerate clinical trials with real-world genomics data

February 4, 2021
DDN Staff

BOSTON, DURHAM, NC & FT. MYERS, Fla.—Parexel and NeoGenomics, Inc. have launched a strategic partnership that will focus on advancing the application of precision medicine in oncology clinical trials by leveraging real-world genomics data for faster patient matching and better trial design, site selection, clinical development, and translational research.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Parexel to provide our robust genomic and clinical database to help match cancer patients to clinical trials and therapies that are precisely targeted to their unique tumor types and genomic biomarkers," said Douglas VanOort, NeoGenomics' chairman and CEO. "We look forward to our strategic partnership and future opportunities to broaden our relationship based on customer needs in the oncology space."

NeoGenomics' specialty is in cancer genetics testing and information services, providing what it says is one of the most comprehensive oncology-focused testing menus in the world. This partnership will boost Parexel's use of real-world data in a number of applications, including identifying and estimating prevalence of genomic mutations within respective populations, genomic patterning to stratify patients according to novel biomarkers, and use of de-identified patient data to precisely target patient populations. All of these factors will better inform clinical trials and patient matching, leading to faster enrollment, and the partnership will support biopharmaceutical customers in making more educated decisions on clinical trial design, companion diagnostics, and drug repurposing. Parexel and NeoGenomics are considering opportunities to expand the partnership, such as in lab services and biomarker capabilities.

"Parexel's partnership with NeoGenomics provides access to greater predictive modeling capabilities so that we can rapidly identify specific patients and connect them to clinical trials that provide them with the best potential for treatment, advance our understanding of their disease and identify the drug's effects and potential benefits," Dr. Sy Pretorius, president of Clinical Development and chief medical officer at Parexel, commented in a press release. "This collaboration supports our efforts to adopt more novel approaches in the identification of data populations for oncology studies while keeping the patient at the center of everything we do."

In other recent partnering news, Parexel announced a strategic collaboration last month with Signify Health to offer new solutions to customers to access a more diverse and traditionally population for clinical trials. The companies' goal is to improve patient access to clinical trials, bring studies to patients in their own homes, and identify relevant social determinants of health to bridge the gaps between patients, caregivers, and local resources. They plan to initiate their first pilot program in the first half of the year.

The World Health Organization defines social determinants of health as the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. As Parexel noted in its press release, “issues such as limited availability for assessment tests, limited mobility, and lack of reliable dependent care are examples of the social factors that can make participating in a clinical trial difficult for a patient and the caregiver they rely upon. The collaboration between Parexel and Signify Health is intended to penetrate these barriers to entry.”

“Simply saying clinical trial diversity is ‘important’ is not enough,” commented Peyton Howell, executive vice president and chief commercial & strategy officer for Parexel. “To correct the disparities in healthcare and drive more inclusion in clinical trials, we first must achieve a more holistic understanding of the non-medical factors that influence patient lives. Signify Health’s analytics and technology platform will enable us to use these insights to better understand the social and societal factors impacting inclusion—a key requirement to ensuring diversity in clinical trials.”



Photo courtesy of Carlos Muza on Unsplash

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