UBC, Seqster join forces on patient-centric, remote trials

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The rise in the use of decentralised clinical trial (DCTs) designs forced by COVID-19 looks set to outlast the pandemic, and digital health company Seqster has formed another partnership to tap into the shift from traditional site-based studies.

The latest agreement is with contract research organisation United BioSource (UBC), which will use Seqster's expertise in collecting and analysing data from electronic health records (EHRs), genomic studies, wearables, and other sources in remote trial designs.

Proponents of DCTs argue that they are less disruptive for patients, help recruitment, and can reduce the cost and time of completing trials, allowing patient assessments, medicine administrations, data collection and care to take place in their own homes.

The approach has been used well before the pandemic, but mainly in pilot form and came to the fore design COVID-19. The big question now is whether that momentum will be retained now that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to lift.

UBC and Seqster are adamant that it will, and the alliance is the third in a year for Seqster as it builds capabilities in DCTs.

Last March, Seqster also joined forces with Medable, combining their expertise into a platform that for managing decentralised studies, connecting patients with investigators and trial sites, and layering real-world data into trial designs.

Shortly after it also teamed up with patient recruitment specialist Trustr, which has developed a rewards-based platform for encouraging enrolment and retention in clinical trials.

UBC said the ability integrate real-time, real-world data not its trial designs will be a "game changer" for its clients.

"This partnership enables participants, researchers, and pharma the flexibility to conduct clinical trials and observational studies beyond the traditional site-based setting to a fully decentralised or hybrid design while adding a critical patient engagement layer to every study," said Seqster's chief executive Ardy Arianpour.

"In addition, the Seqster platform will facilitate patient recruitment, which is the number one reason most clinical trials fail," he added.