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Boehringer Ingelheim adds to virtual clinical trials capabilities

NORA Nets Virtual Expansion

Boehringer Ingelheim is enhancing its virtual clinical trial capabilities by means of an agreement with the mobile technology company, Science 37, of Playa Vista, California, reported Maggie Lynch in Outsourcing-Pharma.com. The new collaboration marries Science 37’s technology for running remote clinical trials and Boehringer Ingelheim’s capabilities in drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments.

The pharma giant based in Ingelheim, Germany, will work with Science 37, an industry leader in virtual clinical trials, in a technology enterprise collaboration agreement to support Boehringer Ingelheim in running remote clinical trials. Science 37 is licensing access to its proprietary software platform, NORA® (Network Oriented Research Assistant). NORA uses mobile technology and telemedicine capabilities to enable patients to participate in clinical research studies regardless of their geographical location.

According to Thor Voigt, MD/PhD, chief medical officer of Boehringer Ingelheim, “Patient centricity is a key driver for our pipeline and portfolio. Our mission is to bring novel value-added therapies to patients. By leveraging a platform such as NORA®, we will be able to allow patients to participate in clinical trials on their schedule and timetable. This is pivotal in ensuring patients feel they are invaluable partners in helping us to develop and deliver novel therapies worldwide.”

The NORA® platform allows for end-to-end virtual or remote clinical trials and adheres to the highest industry quality and regulatory standards. Science 37’s remote clinical trial model, the Metasite™ , helps researchers to engage directly with trial participants through every stage of the trial, from screening and recruitment to telemedicine-based patient care to data lock. This direct connection online enables greater retention of patients, increased diversity across trials, and significantly faster recruitment. Patient data are sent securely via NORA® to researchers who can immediately access information that would otherwise have to be collected by medical personnel through face-to-face interactions at study centers. The platform can also remind patients to take study medications at the proper time and tell researchers whether participants are adhering to the study requirements.

As Chris Ceppi, Science 37’s chief product officer, said, “We’ve designed NORA® as a platform that provides researchers flexible options for how and where to collect evidence. Our collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim allows us to do even more virtual trials on a larger scale, which is great news for both patients and scientists.”

Science 37’s NORA® technology will allow Boehringer Ingelheim to accelerate enrollment and improve the participant experience with decreased patient burden, better patient retention and reduced total trial time. In addition to providing access to NORA®, Science 37 will advise on study design, protocol development, and regulatory strategy based on its unique experience in running remote clinical trials. Boehringer Ingelheim will be able to use Science 37’s teams to provide a variety of Metasite™ trial services, including principal investigators, clinical research coordinators, and patient recruitment strategies.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s technology enterprise collaboration agreement with Science 37 covers use of its NORA® technology across the U.S. with plans to expand internationally in the future.


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