Martin was featured on BBC Inside Health this week, a BBC Radio 4 show that discusses topical health issues which people struggle to understand.
Interviewed by James Gallagher, a Health and Science Correspondent for BBC News, Martin discussed Protas and the importance of large-scale randomised clinical trials. The discussion referenced RECOVERY, the landmark trial into treatments for COVID-19, and the lessons learned which will be brought forward in Protas’ work.
Martin spoke about the current landscape of clinical trials and the “billion-dollar price tag” which prevents the development of so many new drugs. If Protas can use the model of RECOVERY, Martin said, minimising complexity of trials and focussing on only including the essential elements, there is huge potential to cuts costs and enable the development of better treatments for common and other life-threatening conditions.
Martin explained to James how Protas’ approach will be different from other CROs:
- Focus on smart and robust design – starting from scratch with a blank piece of paper and being clear about the question that needs answering.
- Delivery – working with patients and clinicians to enable easy involvement in trials
- Technology – simplifying and making processes more efficient and effectively using data available in the NHS
- The non-profit model – Martin said, “the objective here is to improve health and that is our entire focus”
The point of large-scale randomised trials, Martin explained, is to help answer some of the standout questions that medical research isn’t able to answer currently. These include: Should patients wear elasticated stockings for preventing clots? Would Vitamin D prevent people getting serious infection? How long should a course of antibiotics be for a UTI or ear infection?
All of these questions and more could be answered by Protas.
You can listen to the full podcast episode here. Martin’s segment starts from 19 minutes.