Every day, we’re learning more about how cutting-edge medicines work in people.
But for now, not all of that data ;is being put to use. According to a report published Thursday by the QuintilesIMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, there are some areas where big data can be used to benefit patients, but it is not being used to its fullest potential just yet. Clinical trials in particular could be more focused using existing data, the report suggests.
“There’s enough data out there already we could be doing a much better job at identifying investigators with patients who could be candidates,” QuintilesIMS Institute executive director Murray Aitken told Business Insider. Matching the right people with the right trials could speed up drug development.
Take, for example, cancer immunotherapy drugs where there’s been a lot of new drugs in development. These are a new type of cancer drugs — otherwise referred to as immuno-oncology — harness the body’s immune system to fight off cancer cells.
The report mapped out how many drugs are being developed in these areas, and an increasing amount of targeted drugs, which are used in patients with certain biological markers in tumours. Finding patients with these particular targets could set them up to do better on the treatment.
Pairing up patients with drugs that might benefit them the best could be critical to keeping costs down on the expensive drug development process, which can cost billions of dollars and often take more than a decade to complete. The report details additional ways data could be better used in the life sciences industry. Aitken said if that doesn’t happen, the industry could face a crisis.
“If we don’t use these approaches to establish the value of a breakthrough, we won’t get the economic return,” he said.
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