Cytel Inc. has launched an open-access global COVID-19 clinical tracker to help facilitate greater collaboration between researchers, policymakers, clinicians, journalists, philanthropists, and other critical stakeholders who need to understand the complex dynamics of the global response to finding a solution to the COVID-19 outbreak. This will enable them to make more informed and pragmatic decisions on how to channel scarce resources. Clinicians and local government need to know what trials are taking place in their community to ensure that the right patients receive the right exploratory treatment, while philanthropists and Federal policymakers deserve a one-stop shop to determine which are the most promising early phase treatment results.
Funded in part by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a leader in global health solutions, this live dashboard offers an overview of all the trials taking place in the international effort to tackle the pandemic. One of the most difficult challenges facing those seeking a COVID-19 treatment is how little data exists about this disease. Early investigators are relying on guesswork to determine which therapies to investigate. Collating information in one place on the growing numbers of trials, will enable decision-makers to compare treatments more easily as they determine which to investigate further.
Joshua Schultz, Chief Executive Officer at Cytel, explained, "While much of the world is isolating, the scientific and clinical communities are coming together to fight the COVID-19 virus. United by an unprecedented sense of urgency, there is a level of collaboration that we’ve not seen before, and, despite the current pressures on the healthcare system, hundreds of hospitals are still committed to working on clinical trials. At Cytel, we have been supporting numerous clients in developing statistically rigorous models for fast data analysis and addressing the various challenges the pandemic presents in the current clinical environment. We are committed to supporting the global effort – and launching the COVID-19 Clinical Trial Tracker offered an additional way to do that."
In the short time since the outbreak occurred, around 500 trials have already commenced – a number that is growing daily. Without a dashboard, scientists and other stakeholders would have to examine hundreds of different trial registries for updates, to determine which are most promising. The dashboard collates these in one place making it easy to see all the relevant trials and to compare the effectiveness of treatments. Such comparisons will also help foster more transparent debates about reasonable cost-benefit analysis during times when tough calls are required about where to direct resources. Trials should not be duplicated in different countries because of a lack of awareness of what other scientists are doing internationally. By creating this dashboard to facilitate the sharing of crucial information, Cytel aims to encourage further collaboration between scientific, philanthropic and policy-making stakeholders around the world while also informing journalists, policy makers and local government about options for testing in their area.
Professor Edward Mills, Vice President of Real World Evidence and Senior Principal Scientist at Cytel, explained how Cytel had used its position as data and analytics leaders to identify and resolve a problem they were seeing across the field, "Given our experience building models using real world evidence from all over the world, we quickly identified the need for access to data and reached out to our partners to synthesize their findings quickly in order to develop this dashboard."