Virtual trials and the next generation of pharma clinical research

on demand

Previously viewed as a ‘nice to have’ for the pharma industry, virtual trials were already moving from a theoretical to a practical proposition before COVID-19 accelerated their transition.

Studies that follow a virtual, decentralised, hybrid or remote model can offer many patient recruitment benefits including improvements in terms of enabling a more diverse patient population to participate.

In doing so, the different types of virtual trials can also be better placed to produce valuable real-world evidence for their pharma industry sponsors, but they are not without their challenges and may not be suitable for every clinical trial.

This pharmaphorum webinar, held in association with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), took place on Thursday 25th March at 15:30 GMT / 16:30 CET and looked at where virtual trials fit into the next generation of pharmaceutical clinical research.

The webinar discussed how a virtual clinical trial approach can substantially increase the reach of pharma’s studies, as well as how to meet potential delivery challenges and make the required skill shifts.


The webinar also covered:

  • Harnessing the UK’s linked-up data systems
  • Increasing patient access to clinical trials
  • Ensuring new types of trial designs remain patient friendly
  • Delivering decentralised trials in the UK

View the webinar* on demand by clicking on the link in the window above or by clicking here.

Our Panel

Martin Gibson, Chief Executive, Northwest eHealthProfessor Martin Gibson is the chief executive of NorthWest EHealth, a company focused on revolutionising the use of electronic health data to support the delivery of clinical trials for the life sciences industry and academia. NWEH were the organisation behind the successful delivery of GSK’s Salford Lung Study – the world’s first real-world large-scale pragmatic randomised clinical trial. Martin is also clinical director of NIHR’s Clinical Research Network for Greater Manchester, and clinical lead for business development for the NIHR Clinical Research Network. He is a consultant physician (specialising in diabetes and endocrinology) at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

Rosamund Round is vice president of PAREXEL’s Patient Innovation Center and spends her time devoted to simplifying the patient journey in clinical trials. Focused on the reduction of geographical, financial and practical barriers to study participation, Rosamund is excited by the industry shift towards a truly patient centric approach. Her first job in an oncology clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital (USA), sparked her passion for putting patients at the centre of clinical research planning and implementation. Subsequent patient recruitment and innovation roles in both the pharma and CRO industries have enabled her to explore better ways to engage with patients. This includes addressing literacy and health literacy, exploring technological advancements, and constantly scanning the environment to help generate new ideas to make clinical trial participation more accessible and convenient. Rosamund is delighted to share her learnings around patient centricity and innovation in patient engagement at Patients as Partners EU.

Yan Yiannkou, Clinical Director, PRC, Newcastle

Yan Yiannakou is clinical director of the NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre (Newcastle). He has been a director of R&D and has also served as regional clinical lead for commercial research for the NIHR Local Clinical Research Network (NENC). His main interest is in improving access to clinical trials through community-based participation, consent for contact registries and a digital media platform. He has used innovative and collaborative strategies to develop and refine a multi-modality ‘recruitment engine’ and led one of the UK’s first ‘virtual’ interventional trials.

Trishna Bharadia, Health Advocate, Patient Engagement ConsultantTrishna Bharadia is a multi-award-winning health advocate and patient engagement consultant. She is based in the UK but works nationally and internationally to raise the patient voice throughout the healthcare journey. Her work includes collaboration with multiple stakeholders, including industry (pharma, CROs, digital health companies etc.), patient associations and charities, clinicians, industry associations, and public/academic institutions (such as the NHS and NIHR). Her work spans many areas including speaking at events and conferences, consultancy, co-creation of services and information, writing, content review and media outreach. Specific areas of interest include diversity issues in healthcare and good patient engagement practices. Among the awards she has received, she was recognised by the UK Prime Ministers' Office with a Points of Light Award for her work with patient communities in 2018 and she recently won the Healthcare Collaborator category in the international WEGO Health awards 2020.

Dominic-TyerDominic Tyer, interim managing editor, pharmaphorum [moderator] Dominic Tyer is a trained journalist and editor with over 20 years of pharmaceutical and healthcare publishing experience. He serves as interim managing editor at pharmaphorum media, which facilitates productive engagement for pharma, bringing healthcare together to drive medical innovation. He is also creative and editorial director at the company’s specialist healthcare content consultancy, pharmaphorum connect.

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