The Lancet published a Research Focus article on Protas, based on interviews with Protas CEO Sir Martin Landray as well as other industry experts for their perspectives on Protas’ aims and challenges.
The article looks at how RECOVERY, the trial into treatments for COVID-19, was a game-changer for large-scale randomised trials, citing its streamlined recruitment process as one of its key successes.
Megan Plowright, a clinical research fellow in infectious diseases at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, comments that the recruitment process for RECOVERY was significantly easier than for other trials she had experienced. The article notes that, using the lessons learned from recruitment during the pandemic, Protas will make trials far more accessible to patients and clinicians and improve the practicalities of being involved in a trial.
Protas’ trial design and delivery will prioritise efficiency over complexity, starting with a “blank piece of paper”, says Professor Martin Landray, and include only the aspects of a trial that are absolutely necessary. This in turn should help reduce the burdensome cost of clinical trials of treatments for common and life-threatening diseases such as heart, lung and respiratory disease, arthritis, cancer, depression and dementia.
“We cannot afford either in pure financial or in health or society terms to continue doing trials the way we’re doing them. With the common diseases, we need trials that really robustly answer whether a treatment might have a modest effect in something that affects a lot of people and that requires a new way of thinking.” Professor Sir Martin Landray, CEO, Protas
Charlotte Summers, professor of intensive care medicine at the University of Cambridge, goes on to say “this is exactly the approach we should be taking” to transform research into other diseases. We are extremely fortunate, she notes, that we have fantastic infrastructure in place which allowed the UK to succeed in COVID-19 research and will allow Protas to make a positive contribution. Read the full article here.