Now more than ever, clinical trials have an important role to play in improving healthcare in the UK and around the world.
It’s a hugely exciting moment for the opportunities that large-scale clinical trials bring to be heralded in Lord O’Shaughnessy’s new report.
The report gives many examples of the great strides the UK has made in clinical trials in recent years, most notably in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, the RECOVERY Trial, co-led by our Chief Executive, Prof Sir Martin Landray, showed the enormous benefit of cross-sector partnership.
The trial was funded by UK government, designed by academia, conducted in the NHS, and studied generic, patented and novel treatments donated by industry, leading to worldwide regulatory approvals and saving an estimated one million lives.
But it is not all good news. The report reveals the UK is seen by many in the pharmaceutical industry as “an unreliable and unpredictable partner” by those trying to establish clinical trials in the UK.
Recent trials of exciting new treatments are being held back by delays in initial regulatory approval and contracting, alongside overly complex and bureaucratic processes, leading to a dramatic nosedive in patient recruitment.
Lord O’Shaughnessy’s report correctly identifies the key stumbling blocks and makes a series of strong recommendations which, if enacted promptly and thoughtfully, will transform the underlying UK ecosystem and allow innovative clinical trials of novel healthcare products to flourish.
We are delighted that Protas was highlighted in the report as an organisation that is focused on showing how clinical trials can be done differently. We were set up to build on the headway gained during COVID-19, which showed that speed, simplicity, technology and collaborative partnerships are not just possible, but are the future for clinical trials.
As a not-for-profit, Protas exists to apply these learnings across the board, in support of systemic change.
We work with partners in pharma, philanthropy and academia to design and deliver clinical trials in a way that prioritises efficiency and quality over complexity. We engage with regulators, payers, patients and clinicians to ensure that each trial achieves the best possible outcomes for those set to benefit from it. This is underpinned by a unique technology platform that enables the smooth-running of trials from start to finish.
We believe in the UK clinical trial sector’s ability to shed its skin, and become fast, lean and effective.
Protas stands ready to turn this promise into a reality and to make the exceptional clinical trial achievements seen in the pandemic the norm as we address the health challenges of the future.