Tuesday, June 14, 2011
PatientsLikeMe, an online health platform, and BBK Worldwide, a healthcare marketing and patient recruitment firm, have formed an alliance to jointly offer their services to pharmaceutical companies and other industry stakeholders interested in enhancing patient recruitment and retention for ongoing and upcoming clinical research studies.
The companies, both based in Massachusetts, have a long-standing commitment to raising awareness of trials among patients.
“There’s great synergy in our two companies working together,” said Joan F. Bachenheimer, founder and CEO of BBK Worldwide. BBK’s clinical trial solutions and PatientsLikeMe’s patient engagement platform together will “be able to create a steady stream of interested and eligible clinical trial participants for clients with the greatest depth of members’ health information in the industry.”
David S. Williams, Chief Marketing Officer of PatientsLikeMe, said, “This is a crucial next step in bringing exposure of clinical trials to our members, beyond just giving them access to ClinicalTrials.gov listings on our site. We can now reach many more patients to let them know about potential clinical opportunities that address their specific, unmet medical needs.”
To help expand its targeted patient population for recruitment purposes, the two companies will launch national and regional multi-media campaigns to help drive patients to sign up for PatientsLikeMe, where there are currently 100,000+ patients with more than 500 conditions. BBK and PatientsLikeMe will offer industry partners tiered access to interested patient members who meet their trial criteria. Trial sponsors also will be able to leverage the PatientsLikeMe platform and BBK’s technology to establish retention programs.
Separately, PatientsLikeMe is expanding its role in clinical trial recruitment through a new feature designed to help patients find suitable studies and companies find patients who are right for their trials, according to PharmaTimes.
The online feature includes a daily update of all trial information on ClinicalTrials.gov, the public online registry that includes more than 100,000 studies. It will automatically match PatientsLikeMe members with every clinical trial they may be eligible for, based on the patients’ conditions and location.
In April, the site threw its platform open to patients with any condition, whereas previously membership had been limited to people with 22 chronic conditions, such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, depression and multiple sclerosis.
“It’s difficult for patients to find trials and for investigators to find patients,” said Jamie Heywood, co-founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe.
In parallel with the trial enrollment feature, PatientsLikeMe is improving its clinical trial awareness service for companies, nonprofits and academia. Investigators can now find their study listed on the website, search for eligible patients that match their criteria and buy enhanced listings that include the capacity to contact eligible patients anonymously through targeted emails.