As clinical trials continue to become too costly and complex, The Economist interviewed Protas’ Chief Executive, Prof Sir Martin Landray, about what can be done to remedy the situation.
Large-scale, randomised clinical trials are the solution to developing new, more effective treatments for the most common diseases, such as heart and kidney disease, diabetes and stroke.
However, there has been a substantial shift in treatment development away from common diseases to those which are more commercially attractive, including rare diseases. Worldwide, the burden of common diseases continues to grow.
The Economist’s Health Editor, Natasha Loder, spoke to Prof Sir Martin Landray for its science and technology podcast, Babbage.
They discuss how the landmark RECOVERY Trial, which is estimated to have saved over a million lives through the COVID-19 pandemic, is a blueprint for future trials.
It showed how large-scale clinical trials can be done faster and effectively, while at the same time improving the quality of the results so that informed decisions can be made quickly – which is a legacy we’re building on at Protas.
As Prof Sir Martin Landray puts it: “If you don’t know [the answer], find out. Trials [allow you to] do that. And once you’ve found out, act on the results.
“If it’s a good trial, it’s very clear and obvious what you should do to act.”