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In game-changer for medical world, Israeli researchers develop novel way to streamline clinical trials

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This new technique, developed by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, aims to lower the costs and increase the efficiency and success rate of the drug or medical device’s development process

By ILANIT CHERNICK

In what could be a game-changer for the medical world, researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed a new way of streamlining clinical trials.

This novel technique aims to lower the costs and increase the efficiency and success rate of the drug or medical device’s development process. 

This technology has been licensed for further development and commercialization to Panacea, a new company founded by BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of BGU.

According to Prof. Boaz Lerner of the BGU Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, “clinical trials haven’t fundamentally changed in the past two decades.”

He explained that clinical trials “are extremely costly, and the probability of success for new drugs is in the single-digit.” 

Lerner, who is also Panacea’s scientific founder, said that their new platform leverages machine learning to optimize a clinical trial’s chances of success, analyzing patient population recruitment and dropout rate, as well as identifying and prioritizing monitored markers. 

“The technology offers efficient pre-trial recommendations, in-trial interim analysis, and post-trial insights in preparation for the next trial, as well as potential salvage in case of failure,” he pointed out. “Our platform is highly beneficial for pharma and biotech companies, enabling them to increase efficiency and the chances of success by streamlining the trial and selecting the optimal participants and markers.”

Lerner stressed that through this new streamlined platform “we can also help in understanding when to terminate a trial and what lessons can be derived from a failed trial.”

In a statement, BGU and BGN Technologies said that the technology has already been used in clinical studies of several neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, and has demonstrated high performance in the stratification of patients into homogenous, statistically distinct, sub-groups. 

It’s also been used for the “identification of factors and their interrelations with the disease state,” and “predictive analysis of progression rate and pattern, as well as the disease state.”

CEO of BGN Technologies Josh Peleg highlighted that in “the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it seems only natural that drug development should benefit from these sophisticated tools. 

He highlighted that such tools “can take into account large amounts of data, and integrate and analyze numerous parameters in order to optimize clinical trials and increase their probability of success.”

“We are happy to see that the technology has already received interest from several biopharma companies who have begun collaborating with Panacea on improving their ongoing clinical studies,” he concluded. 

Panacea is a portfolio company of the Oazis accelerator, formed by the Yazamut360 entrepreneurship center of BGU. 

*Featured Image: Prof. Boaz Lerner of Ben-Gurion University and Panacea. (Photo Credit: Dani Machlis)

 

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