Applied Clinical Trials
Castor, a health-tech company that enables medical researchers to capture machine readable data for medical decision making, announced the launch of its global COVID-19 monitoring and research platform to facilitate the deployment of trials to test Coronavirus vaccines and COVID-19 treatments. After offering free access to their platform for all COVID-19 research projects in mid-February, Castor is now supporting over 50 studies.
Castor’s platform includes an online enrollment portal for patients, an eConsent module, and a Symptom Tracker app, all integrated with Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system. This platform is freely available for everyone fighting COVID-19, including biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Following easy online enrollment and eConsent, patients are randomized in the EDC. Depending on country protocols, vaccines can then be shipped to enrolled subjects and administered in their homes. In addition, real-time dashboards enable study personnel to monitor the population and proactively reach out to patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. These patients could then be enrolled in further interventional studies or triaged in a hospital.
Launching the platform, Castor CEO Derk Arts, PhD, said, “High-quality data and real-time access are critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to support the global research effort by launching a mobile-enabled solution that allows decentralized patient participation and remote monitoring of study participants. This will help reduce hospital crowding, protect staff, and prioritize patients that need to be hospitalized.”
Craig Serra, Global Head of Strategy and Innovation, Data Operations at Novartis, and Castor Advisory Board member, added, “With increased disruption to clinical trials, it is essential for medical research to adopt methods for remote engagement and monitoring, outside of a clinical setting. Now is the time, more than ever, to stop talking about solutions and take action on them."
Alongside this platform, Castor is supporting research into the disease by providing free access to their research data platform for all COVID-19 studies. By enabling large-scale decentralized trials, Castor aims to accelerate the work of researchers who are trying to combat the disease. Castor is currently supporting more than 50 COVID-19 studies across nine countries. This includes research projects at the University Hospital Southampton in the UK, Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli in Italy, Vall d'Hebron Research Institute in Spain, and UMC Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Denise Van Hout, MD, an Epidemiologist and member of the team at UMC Utrecht using Castor to study COVID-19 preparedness of healthcare workers, added, “In the race to understand and develop treatments and vaccines for this disease, Castor’s platform is making a difference by supporting free research projects that can be rapidly built and deployed.”