Why this bou­tique biotech agency is the fu­ture of clin­i­cal re­cruit­ment

Key Take­aways:

  • Us­ing be­hav­ioral da­ta sci­ence and so­cial al­go­rithms, this bou­tique biotech agency cre­ates dis­ease-spe­cif­ic, hu­man-fo­cused con­tent that’s de­liv­er­ing un­prece­dent­ed pa­tient re­cruit­ment re­sults.
  • From Cog­ni­tive Im­pair­ment to Skin Can­cer, this so­cial-first re­cruit­ment agency has demon­strat­ed ther­a­peu­tic-area and clin­i­cal site lo­ca­tion ag­nos­tic suc­cess. 
  • Clin­i­cal En­roll­ment’s nov­el ap­proach re­duces ran­dom­iza­tion time­lines, and screen fail rates by in­tro­duc­ing clin­i­cal tri­als to pa­tients while they are re­search­ing their dis­ease and qual­i­fies them with both on­line and US-based phone screen­ing pro­grams.
  • In its most re­cent clin­i­cal tri­al, CE reached a 32% un­der­rep­re­sent­ed pop­u­la­tion par­tic­i­pa­tion rate.
  • Founder Bryan Man­ning, who has a rare dis­ease him­self, “A drug should nev­er fail be­cause it can­not find the pa­tients it can help the most and Spon­sors should not pay for pa­tients they can’t help. That is why our pric­ing mod­el is ex­clu­sive­ly ICF and ran­dom­iza­tion based.”

Ask any­one in the biotech space and they’ll tell you that a drug is on­ly as good as its abil­i­ty to ac­tu­al­ly reach the peo­ple it’s in­tend­ed to help. And yet more than 70 per­cent of clin­i­cal tri­als miss mile­stones be­cause they can’t re­cruit pa­tients. Lay­er on­to that the fact that de­mand for pa­tients has more than quadru­pled since 2017, and we’re not just talk­ing about it be­ing a whole dif­fer­ent are­na these days, it’s an en­tire­ly dif­fer­ent zip code. But while many in the in­dus­try are left scratch­ing their heads at why con­ven­tion­al meth­ods of pa­tient re­cruit­ment con­tin­ue to fall woe­ful­ly short, one com­pa­ny seems to have un­locked the moth­er lode of clin­i­cal tri­al par­tic­i­pants just by do­ing what they’ve (dig­i­tal­ly) done be­fore.

And it’s work­ing so well, spon­sors are try­ing to keep it a se­cret from each oth­er.

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Pa­tient re­cruit­ment agency Clin­i­cal En­roll­ment (CE) has al­ready made waves in the Alzheimer’s and skin can­cer world by uti­liz­ing a high­ly strate­gic — if not re­fresh­ing­ly com­mon sense — ap­proach to clin­i­cal re­cruit­ment: meet­ing the pool of po­ten­tial pa­tients where they al­ready are (on­line) and in­ter­act­ing with them the way that they’re al­ready in­ter­act­ing (so­cial­ly). This strat­e­gy has been so ef­fec­tive that those lucky enough to have been tipped off to CE’s skills are — much like one would with the hottest new restau­rant in town — try­ing to keep this in­sid­er knowl­edge to them­selves. If you’re won­der­ing why you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s be­cause your com­peti­tors don’t want you to, lest the line to work with them be­comes too long. In fact, they’re al­ready ex­pand­ing to sup­port the de­mand and can af­ford to be se­lec­tive in their spon­sor re­la­tion­ships. Ac­cord­ing to Founder Bryan Man­ning,

Bryan Man­ning

“The de­mand and our growth have been ex­tra­or­di­nary, and be­cause of it we can fo­cus our ef­forts on part­ner­ing with spon­sors and treat­ments about which we’re tru­ly pas­sion­ate.”

This so­cial-for­ward tac­tic may feel like a piv­ot for tra­di­tion­al drug spon­sors and CRO’s, but for the cre­ator of CE, it’s more of a lean­ing to­wards what has al­ready proven high­ly suc­cess­ful for him in the past as co-founder of one of the fastest grow­ing cause-dri­ven com­pa­nies in the coun­try, Two Blind Broth­ers.

Born with a rare ge­net­ic eye dis­ease called Star­gardt’s, Bryan Man­ning knows the im­por­tance of giv­ing pa­tients what they de­serve: ac­cess to po­ten­tial­ly life-chang­ing sci­en­tif­ic dis­cov­er­ies. Up­on learn­ing that a clin­i­cal tri­al that could have cured his reti­nal eye dis­ease failed be­cause it could not find enough pa­tients, Man­ning found that road­block un­ac­cept­able — and en­tire­ly avoid­able. He be­came res­olute in his mis­sion to nev­er al­low a tri­al to fail be­cause it couldn’t find the pa­tients for whom that treat­ment could ben­e­fit the most. Mo­ti­va­tion alone is not enough how­ev­er, and Man­ning re­al­ized that he al­ready had the tools in his belt to af­fect change, in the form of his team of best-in-class con­tent cre­ators from Two Blind Broth­ers.

To­geth­er they’ve al­tered the land­scape of clin­i­cal tri­al re­cruit­ment by lever­ag­ing the great­est pa­tient out­reach tool ever cre­at­ed: so­cial me­dia. In a short time, his hunch has changed the land­scape of re­cruit­ment by help­ing clients en­sure that they meet drug mile­stones and main­tain suf­fi­cient par­tic­i­pant pools. CE has had re­mark­able suc­cess dri­ving clin­i­cal en­roll­ment, even when con­tract­ed more than ⅔ of the way through the tri­al process when re­cruit­ment num­bers typ­i­cal­ly stall out. CE uti­lizes a more nu­anced, tar­get­ed ap­proach that pri­or­i­tizes sto­ry­telling and mes­sag­ing that res­onates with po­ten­tial can­di­dates, rather than the his­tor­i­cal­ly ster­ile ads pro­duced by biotech and phar­ma com­pa­nies. Re­gard­less of ther­a­peu­tic in­di­ca­tion, that con­di­tion af­fects the every­day lives of these po­ten­tial par­tic­i­pants, and where they are most like­ly to talk about that — so­cial me­dia — is al­so an ide­al plat­form for them to lis­ten and to seek so­lu­tions. CE has demon­strat­ed an in­nate un­der­stand­ing of this hu­man­i­ty-meets-an­a­lyt­ics ap­proach, which has con­tributed heav­i­ly to their word-of-mouth suc­cess amongst spon­sors in such a short time.

An­oth­er lever they ex­cel at uti­liz­ing is their in­nate un­der­stand­ing of how im­por­tant pa­tient di­ver­si­ty is, es­pe­cial­ly in the face of im­pend­ing FDA over­sight and a chang­ing reg­u­la­to­ry land­scape. Ob­tain­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tive par­tic­i­pant base is cen­tral to CE’s mis­sion, gar­ner­ing as high as 32% un­der­rep­re­sent­ed pop­u­la­tion en­roll­ment in a re­cent clin­i­cal tri­al, a num­ber which has earned them even more buzz and in­creased their stealth, al­most myth­i­cal sta­tus.

In an in­dus­try where in­vest­ment is para­mount, be­ing able to cast a de­lib­er­ate, ed­u­ca­tion­al, and high­ly ef­fec­tive net means that CE has been able to mit­i­gate screen fail rates in their clients’ clin­i­cal tri­als, over­com­ing a no­to­ri­ous­ly cost­ly hur­dle. By on­ly mov­ing po­ten­tial pa­tients down the fun­nel who are strong can­di­dates, these drugs are left with a more vi­able sam­ple au­di­ence, and ul­ti­mate­ly a greater chance to ob­tain ap­proval and reach the mar­ket.

Clin­i­cal En­roll­ment’s strat­e­gy may not sound like rock­et sci­ence, but it is da­ta-based on­line be­hav­ioral sci­ence, and in an in­dus­try that val­ues in­for­ma­tion and con­fir­ma­tion, it’s stand­ing up to the test. Learn more about how to ap­ply their in­no­v­a­tive ap­proach to your spon­sor­ship here.