November 16, 2022 – Protas, the non-profit organisation delivering smarter clinical trials for better health, today announced a strategic, long-term collaboration with Regeneron, a leading biotechnology company. This important collaboration will support Protas’ efforts to radically alter the way clinical trials are created and delivered to better meet the needs of patients and society. This follows a similar agreement with global pharmaceutical company Sanofi announced earlier this year. Protas has also received significant funding grants from venture capital firm GV, Flu Lab, a charitable organisation fuelling bold approaches to defeat influenza, and Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt.
Regeneron has a nearly 35-year track record of inventing life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases, with nine FDA or EMA-approved medicines and dozens of clinical-stage drug candidates. The strategic collaboration will enable Protas to continue building its operational capacity and IT platform, ready to start running trials for its partners in 2024. In addition, Protas and Regeneron will work together to identify and design a large-scale clinical trial for one of Regeneron’s pipeline products, to be identified at a later date. By combining smart randomized trial design with effective technology and a collaborative approach, 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.
Protas is 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.
Professor Sir Martin Landray, Chief Executive of Protas, said: “We’re very pleased to have signed this strategic collaboration with Regeneron, who share our ambition to bring better medicines to patients and which has proven success in developing life-saving treatments for some of most serious illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infectious diseases. To deliver smarter clinical trials we need support from partners but also new treatments for us evaluate, both of which Regeneron offers. We are rapidly building a broad base of strategic partners and philanthropic funders who see the huge benefit of the Protas model. Over the next 12 to 18 months, we will build the necessary capacity to start delivering high quality trials at a fraction of the usual cost. This approach has the capacity to improve health outcomes from common diseases affecting diverse populations. “
David Weinreich, M.D., Executive Vice President, Global Clinical Development of Regeneron, said: “Regeneron has long been committed to accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process, advancing a large and diversified portfolio of investigational clinical-stage medicines that were discovered in our own laboratories. We’re pleased to collaborate with Protas to more efficiently conduct certain clinical trials with the goal of improving the speed at which our medicines are developed and ultimately delivered to patients.”
Protas will combine smart randomized trial design with effective technology and a collaborative approach, aiming to encourage the development of better treatments for conditions which affect a large proportion of the population and place huge pressure on the health services that support them and on wider society. It will do this at a fraction of the cost of current trials, by minimising complexity and designing trials that focus on the elements that matter most to the participants in the trial and to those future patients whose care will be impacted by the results. Protas will also use an integrated technology system to support the safe, trustworthy and efficient use of data to deliver its trials and generate the evidence needed to bring treatments to patients.