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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
ARM Innovation Hub
28 May, 2020 - 22:08 By Tony Quested

Over £1m in new contracts for brain health innovator

Cambridge Cognition, which develops and markets digital solutions to assess brain health, has won several new contracts to support pharmaceutical clients in delivering virtual clinical trials – including two deals collectively worth over £1 million.

The AIM-quoted company says the majority of the new revenues are expected to be recognised this financial year.

Traditionally, clinical trials build a comprehensive profile of the patient population from thorough, but infrequent, assessments in clinics. 

However, in efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission rates, the pharmaceutical industry has reduced site visits for their clinical trials and in some cases temporarily suspended patient recruitment. 

The broad expectation in the sector is that clinical trials are likely to resume in late Q2 or early Q3 2020. However, in search for an immediate solution and to reduce the chances of similar delays in the future, pharmaceutical companies are shifting from the traditional model of in-clinic assessments to, where possible, technology-driven solutions that support testing subjects remotely without the need for people to travel so frequently to clinical trial centres.  

Having delivered almost 50,000 assessments online, Cambridge Cognition has been supporting virtual clinical trials since the launch of its cloud-based platform in 2017. 

With pharmaceutical companies searching for options to continue trials outside of the clinic, the company has seen increased interest in virtual or part-virtual assessments since COVID-19 driven lockdowns began. 

Cambridge Cognition has re-designed several ongoing studies for its customers so that they can continue virtually, with assessments now being completed in patients’ homes rather than in clinics. 

With its robust record of collecting data remotely across 10 clinical trials globally, the company has been awarded several new contracts - including the £1 million-plus wins.

The first of these larger trials leverages the company’s digital health capabilities in a new clinical field for the business. The trial is entirely virtual: patients will complete electronic diaries on an Apple WatchTM and iPhoneTM, as well as wearing passive sensors to monitor electrodermal activity and heart rate. 

By combining real-world data from both active and passive sources, the pharmaceutical client hopes to gain a better understanding of the disease-burden for the patient. This reinforces Cambridge Cognition’s position as an innovative provider of cutting-edge, integrated solutions.

The second is a Phase II study investigating the cognitive impact of a new drug for a neurodegenerative disorder. Cambridge Cognition will remotely collect patients’ experiences, particularly regarding motion and sleep. 

Some assessments will be conducted in traditional clinical trial centres, however the majority of data will be collected virtually from the patients’ homes in order to enable high-frequency testing.

In using smartphones to conduct brief daily assessments, data will be collected at a rate that can capture the natural daily variations and week-by-week disease progression and also be linked to the real world patient experience from their daily diaries.

CEO Matthew Stork said: “We are pleased to be able to offer virtual solutions for clinical trials to help drug development continue during this difficult time. There is a great interest being shown in moving to virtual trials and we expect this to be a fast growth segment of the market for years to come, even once the COVID-19 crisis has eased. 

“During the pandemic many businesses have learnt to adapt working practices. Virtual clinical trials have been considered for a long time, but the current crisis may be a catalyst towards change. 

“The combination of our technological solutions for virtual trials, our regulatory compliant platforms and experienced study management team have made us ideally placed to meet the evolving demands of the industry.”  

• Image courtesy  – Josh Riemer at Unsplash

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