Read the press release below to find out more:
London, 24 January 2022 – Protas, an independent not-for-profit organisation, designing and delivering large, global randomized clinical trials of treatments for common and other life-threatening diseases, launches today and announces global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi as its first strategic partner. By combining smart randomized trial design with effective technology and a collaborative approach, like the one with Sanofi, Protas aims to encourage the development better treatments for conditions such as heart, lung and respiratory disease, arthritis, cancer, depression and dementia, and thereby improve patient care and public outcomes. Put simply – delivering smarter trials for better health.
Protas will be led by the epidemiologist and physician, Professor Sir Martin Landray, who has over 20 years’ experience of leading large, randomized clinical trials as part of a team at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health. Most recently, he has been leading the landmark RECOVERY clinical trial into treatments for COVID-19 which identified that treatment with the inexpensive steroid drug dexamethasone, improved the chances of survival for the most severe cases. Protas will design and deliver large, inclusive randomized clinical trials, working in collaboration with industry partners, medical charities, patient groups, academic researchers, and frontline clinical teams. By conducting high quality trials at a fraction of current costs, Protas will radically readjust the economics of late-stage randomized clinical trials. This will create opportunities for efficient clinical development of new treatments for common and other life-threatening diseases and provide benefits for patients and the health systems that care for them.
Sanofi, the global biopharmaceutical company, is today announced as the first strategic partner, and has committed up to £5 million to Protas. The collaboration with Sanofi signifies a considerable investment in the UK’s Life Sciences sector and, along with other future strategic partners, has the potential to increase the pipeline of potential treatment options for a wide range of common and other life-threatening diseases. Professor Sir Martin Landray, Chief Executive of Protas said: “We are delighted to be launching Protas today and announcing Sanofi as our first strategic partner. As we have seen during the recent pandemic, large randomized clinical trials are critical for the proper assessment of possible treatments.
The situation is not unique to the pandemic; there are many other common and other life-threatening diseases – for example heart, lung and respiratory disease, arthritis, cancer, depression and dementia – where better treatments are needed to reduce the huge burden on patients and the NHS. But these trials need to be large, involve a diverse range of individuals, and produce robust answers to the most important questions.” Dietmar Berger, Chief Medical Officer and Global Head of Development, Sanofi, said: “We are excited to be involved in the launch of Protas, as their first strategic partner. With this collaboration we are taking a bold step to significantly reduce the cost of some of our clinical trials, focusing on what matters the most for patients, doctors, regulators and payers. In addition to a proven expertise, Protas offers a unique opportunity to anchor clinical research at the heart of patient care across the NHS, making participation as easy as possible and ensuring all health and care staff feel empowered to support research. “
Why Protas and why now?
The rising health burden.
– Whilst global life-expectancy levels have improved in recent decades, the burden of common and other life threatening conditions on populations around the world continues to rise. Despite this trend, the development of treatments for the most common and other life-threatening conditions (e.g. heart, lung and respiratory disease, arthritis, cancer, depression and dementia) has dwindled.
– The economics for developing new treatments for these diseases are increasingly challenging and consequently, fewer therapies are being developed for the conditions that place the greatest burden on patients and the health systems which care for them.
A radical leap forward.
Protas represents a radical leap forward in the way that clinical trials can be conducted and will enable earlier access to better treatments for common and other life-threatening conditions. It will do this through:
– Unparalleled knowledge & expertise: The organisation is led by Professor Sir Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology at Oxford University and overseen by a highly respected Board, with a long track record in drug development, clinical trials, and the life sciences.
– A smarter approach in design and delivery: Protas will minimise complexity and cost by designing trials from scratch, focussing on the essential elements to care for the patients in the trial and those future patients whose care will be impacted by the results, and using technology to support the safe, trustworthy and efficient use of data. Protas will collaborate with clinicians and patients to ensure trials are designed to be practical, accessible and scalable.
– A business model that is aligned to public health benefit: Protas has been set-up as a non-profit organisation, making trials more affordable whilst simultaneously improving their quality.
Protas is supported by an initial grant from NHS England and today’s announcement of significant commitment Sanofi. Protas anticipates signing similar agreements with other major pharmaceutical companies over the coming months. These partners will help to build the foundations of Protas and support a new generation of trials tackling common and other life-threatening disease.
Protas will be building its organisation, technology and collaborations throughout 2022 and expects to begin designing its first clinical trials in 2023.
Sanctuary Counsel [email protected]
Ben Ullmann +44 7944 868288
Katie O’Brien +44 7767 11063