Analytics Tool for Intelligent Clinical Trials

November 5, 2013
Lisa Henderson
Applied Clinical Trials

If you are in clinical research, you may read a headline such as "Thomson Reuters Previews Game-Changing New Solutions for Insights into Clinical Trials" with passing curiosity... along the lines of "what do they have to do with clinical trials?"

Thomson Reuters, as multinational media and information firms go, is big. Very big. Oddly enough, I’ve worked for Thomson twice in my life, but really didn’t know it. It seemed their history was to purchase smaller companies, though successful in their own right, but didn’t subsume them. This is only personal observation. And both times I left before the contract on the current management ran out…so maybe they were changed. Regardless, Thomson acquires brands --–and the ancillary products, databases and information that go along with that--and has a lot of them. “Some of Thomson’s brands are better known than the company itself,” says the Thomson Wikipedia page and goes on to list its pre-Reuters acquisition assets. 

I’m just trying to give you a sense of Thomson Reuters. Because if you are in clinical research, you may read a headline such as “Thomson Reuters Previews Game-Changing New Solutions for Insights into Clinical Trials” with passing curiosity…. along the lines of “what do they have to do with clinical trials?”

This is what they have to do with clinical trials, via Wikipedia and an interview with Larissa Comis-Tis, Director Product Strategy, Clinical Solutions at Thomson Reuters. Comis-Tis came to her position seven months ago with a true belief in the capabilities of its new Cortellis Clinical Trials Intelligence product.

In 2011, Thomson Reuters announced a new organizational structure of five divisions, Financial and Risk; Legal; Intellectual Property and Science; Tax and Accounting; and Global Growth. Under Intellectual Property were the previous Thomson Healthcare and Thomson Science brands. Cortellis is a move from these legacy IP brands and products into a new platform. A brand of its own, made of different offerings, which include Competitive Intelligence, Regulatory Intelligence and Opportunity Monitor, as well as Clinical Trials Intelligence. The difference with Cortellis Clinical Trials Intelligence is that there were no legacy data from which to populate, it was built from the ground up.

So since it’s difficult for me to imagine what the Cortellis Clinical Trials Intelligence was and what it did from the written description, Comis-Tis was kind enough to webex a walk-through demo for me.

And it is so robust, it’s difficult to explain the amount of detail and drill down provided. The database contains information on 142,000 current clinical trials, with 45% of those from clinicaltrials.gov. Cortellis content people around the globe sift through clinical trial information from many country registries; news; medical journals; company press releases; analyst reports and investor releases to put the information into the Cortellis solution. The information is de-duped and tagged to the appropriate search terms or etymology.

For example, you can choose a therapeutic area, drill down to how many trials are currently being conducted; in what countries; and how long it took to enroll. It allows you to drill down by the biomarker being used in a trial. And all of the outputs feature their source, so you know where the information came from. A company’s own data can be integrated into the dashboard via API to broaden its specific criteria. The information is displayed as text, or in a visualization dashboard.

Comis-Tis mentions but a few of the uses for Cortellis Clinical Trials Intelligence, and these include protocol design, feasibility and portfolio strategy. She mentioned companies that have saved tissue that could in fact determine a biomarker use for that tissue in the form of a new trial. More uses are for analyzing and predicting trial timelines, especially in regard to global recruitment or regulatory concerns.

Comis-Tis says the information in the database is updated daily.

From the standpoint of making a new brand and a product that could resonate with an audience, Cortellis was two years in the making, says Comis-Tis. “It is an enterprise product to unite clinical trials, business development, and regulatory and connects all of those parts of the process.”