January 7, 2022
From Personalized Medicine to the Spirit of Collaboration - Why Teckro's Excited About 2022
Life Sciences Strategy LeaderGuest
Life Sciences ExpertGuest
Chief Marketing OfficerTeckro
In Totally Clinical’s first podcast of 2022, an all-female star lineup from Teckro’s leadership team discuss what they’re excited about in the year ahead. They talk about encouraging the spirit of collaboration among sites, and the appeal of a hybrid approach to trials. They also delve into the future of personalized medicine and the post-COVID landscape for conferences. Sounds like 2022 will be a bumper year!
"I'm interested to see how we define what a hybrid model is. It seems to be emerging as the preferred choice, so that things do not operate in the traditional way or don't go fully to a decentralized model, but somewhere in the middle." – Malian Lewin, Teckro Global Head of Strategy
Hello and welcome to the Totally Clinical podcast brought to you by tech guru, Totally Clinical is a deep dive into the freshest trends, big time challenges and most excellent triumphs of clinical trials. I'm Hannah, your host. Join me as I chat with industry experts, trailblazers, thought leaders and, most importantly, the people benefiting from clinical research. So tune in, settle back and don't touch that dial.
It's time to get Totally Clinical. As it's the first week of 2020, too, I've got something a little bit different lined up for you. I've been speaking with members of Ted Cruz, a leadership team, to see what they're most excited about for the year ahead. From personalized medicine to hybrid trials to change management, the team explains what's really going to move the needle this year?
I started by speaking with our head of global strategy, milea Lewin, who told me that she hopes that the spirit of collaboration continues post-covid in 2022. My hope is that we continue to benefit from collaboration to continue to drive innovation, even though the sense of urgency might wane. My hope is that the spirit of collaboration continues and that it becomes a regular part of everything that we do in clinical research. So that everybody has a voice.
And what technology they use and that to grow is a central part not only in being a preferred technology, but also in being part of that collaboration and really offering the ability for sites to communicate with sponsors to ease the availability of information between the various stakeholder groups and to really just benefit from the agility that collaboration itself can offer. Meslier also touched on decentralized trials. Now we've had so much discussion around the idea of trials being decentralized that's moving completely offline, but she believes the hybrid model is more realistic. One
of the big buzzwords is decentralized trial, and I had an opportunity to speak with a number of different people about decentralized trials and what that means from patient perspective, and I'm interested in 2022 to see how we define what a hybrid model is. It seems to be emerging as the preferred choice, right, so that things do not operate in the traditional way clinical trials have operated, and they don't go fully to a decentralized model, but they're somewhere in the middle. And I think in 2022 we're really going to see that middle develop. And I think part of it is going to have to do with the setting itself.
The very practical matter of how much can be done outside of a traditional research environment versus how much will require people to actually show up and interact directly with the health care provider. But I also think we'll see a stratification of options for different people, whether you're rural or in a city, whether you're a senior or a millennial or an even younger demographic. You know, I think we're really going to see the options for hybrid be defined in a number of different ways, and I'm interested to see how that plays out because I think what we know is that every patient is different.
Every patient is a human. Every person has a different comfort level with technology. Every person has a different desire in terms of how much they want to interact with another human. And I think we're really just going to see a lot of diversity in terms of the models that are adopted and how hybrid becomes defined.
Ted Cruz, director of sight strategy Silvana baldino agrees that the hybrid model seems more likely, but says we'll need to wait and see how well patients adapt. We are hopefully at the end of COVID and there have been so many changes during these last two years. There are a lot of conversation on implementation of decentralized clinical trials and hybrid models based on what we have learned from sites and from other stakeholders in clinical research. It seemed that hybrid model, so it's part of a decentralized based on the traditional piece.
Working together is what looks like a better option for everybody in the future. But we still have to see how it works out for clinical sites and but also for patients. So I am excited to see how the future will shape in terms of what is the best way to approach clinical trials. Probably there will be some clinical trials that can be completely decentralized, and maybe there will be still few clinical trials that are conducted in the tradition with the traditional model.
But I think that hybrid model is the one that will really grow in the upcoming year, but is still to be seen. As I've discussed with salvana on previous podcasts, one of her main goals is to encourage more sites to participate in clinical trials by creating a strong community of sites. I am excited about creating really a community of sites. I think that we are starting, but there is a lot of work to be done.
We are receiving feedback from sites in different parts of the world, but we want to have a larger footprint because it's important to incorporate feedback from all the countries or as many countries as we can. Different countries had different challenges. Different languages, we want to be sure that we address all these needs or as many as we can, and the only way to know if we are really helping sight is to hear from them. So we will continue our work.
We will continue to reach out to our users and prospective users to incorporate what they have to say and what we do, because at the end of the day, what we want is more simple and clinical trials. That is the only way that we will be able to get more patients into clinical trials and offer them clinical trials and an option for care. And this should be for everybody everywhere. And now to our chief marketing Officer Kelly brown, who also believes community will be a big part of 2020 to taking the angle of the pandemic.
So I think one of the things that I'm, I would say, cautiously optimistic about is the world returning, if we could say somewhat more back to normal. And by that, people moving around a bit more. And I think that's one of the things and it doesn't really matter what industry you're in. I think people have just generally lacked that sense of belonging to a community that isn't just faces on a screen.
So we're seeing more people going or planning to go back to conferences and more in-person types of things. Now, of course, we'll have to see how the latest variant of COVID rules around the world. But I still think that we've done a good job as most countries have done a good job of getting people vaccinated and just being prepared with masks and things of that sort that I think we are going to start to see more people moving around, which I think is going to be something exciting for a lot. A lot of folks that have either felt isolated or just felt a bit disconnected, just seeing faces on a screen and that being the only sense of sort of in-person or personal engagement.
Sonya Araujo, Ted, general manager of R&D products, also highlights the pandemic, believing that it offers an opportunity to show the world what's really possible in terms of drug development with tekrar. What I'm really looking forward to is growing my team, the R&D team, to add even more value to our customers. And I say this because I can see, my team is so excited and they really have the drive to disrupt the market that our industry and also provide value to our customers. And what this means really is we have a year where we are even more so working together across the different departments in the company and also with our customers and our users to things that we initiated this year have been the focus group for our sponsors, but also our site network so that we listen to the site staff really important to really get everyone's input so that we really can provide value across everyone and that will know the rules and kind of related to that.
One thing that we announced recently was our partnership with the University of Limerick. I think it's really important that not just tech, but all tech companies help bring up the talent pool in their region. So for us to be in Ireland, so really looking forward to working with investor of Limerick with their immersive software engineering program to really give students' hands on experiences at companies like ourselves. COVID 19 has made us all aware of how quickly our normal lives can change and how we had to adapt.
Back to Kelly now, who says the industry will need to embrace change management. She explains how tech crew is leading the way. The one thing that I think people find scary is change, but actually in 2022 and I know what tech where we're spending a lot of time looking at this. And it's this whole concept of change management with tech growth, for example, where really challenging status quo.
And you know, the way things have done for decades, where there is this idea of a safety blanket, right comfort in the old ways of doing things, which could be based on paper could be a more manual process. And so the pandemic, for all of the negative sides of it, you know, we've seen lots of small software companies jumping into the clinical trial space. They've got great visions of what their software can do. There's more to adopting and embracing technology than just flipping the switch as it were.
And there's a big piece in the middle, which is really connecting the stakeholders. And that's all users, you know, with what the value of that technology or what that vision is. And so when we consider with tech grow the, you know, the wide spectrum from sponsors to sites to cross, we've got a really broad group of people that use tech for different reasons, all towards the benefit of faster, safer, more efficient clinical trials. And how is carving a path.
With change management, one of the things that we're putting a lot of time and effort into is that whole element of customer success, which everybody uses as a buzzword, but it's really this idea of change management and everything from communication to, you know what the metrics are. That's, you know, shows that something is meeting objectives, right? What are those milestones? What is the end state that is going to delight everybody?
And how do you help with a change management program that is systematic and does consider all the different users? I think there's a really immense opportunity there. And finally, to Sonia again, who leaves us with her thoughts on team expansion, adding value and personalized medicine, I have to say what I'm really excited to see is what I think is potentially the only positive of the pandemic. And that is we went from approvals taking years.
And oftentimes 10 years or even 12 or 20 years. We went from that to medicines and treatments being available in as little as a year. Now I appreciate that quite a lot of the approvals by the regulators there have been emergency approvals and I understand all the caveats around that. But I think it's showing us all vendors, pharma and regulators what could be done and how we can accelerate.
And so I sense some breakthrough speaking to do people in pharm and regulators. I sense this is really moving and I'm looking forward to seeing some signs for that. I know it will take time, but I think we will see signs. Not only does it excite me for that kind of topline reasoned, but I'm also thinking, always thinking of patients and patient safety.
If we together as an industry can get treatments and medicines to market faster and likely cheaper because it is faster while still having the rigor of safety, then lives can be saved. That wouldn't otherwise. So I think this is no great news and I'm looking forward to that. I'm really excited about the possibilities of personalized medicine.
Now I know that we have got general medicine and treatments available, and they will be fine. They will continue to be fine for the vast majority of patients and cases. But I think there is a place for personalized medicine. So matching treatments and medicines to our genetic makeup and on a personal level, I'm really keen to see how it progresses and how it can add value to it to patients and their treatments.
And that's your dose of totally clinical, wishing you the very best for 2022. Here at tekrar, there's so much to look forward to and I'll be keeping you updated with my regular interviews with exciting people doing exciting things in the world of clinical trials. You can follow tekrar on Twitter. The handle is tekrar official LinkedIn and Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
And, of course, download the Totally Clinical podcast on apple, Spotify and Google. See you on your next visit and remember to bring your friends. Thanks for listening! Goodbye!