17 Nov Increasing Speed – Yendou Keynote at CMPRR Summit, November 23, 2022
On November 23, Zina Sarif, Founder and CEO of Yendou in the fifth cohort of Vision Health Pioneers Incubator, is delivering a keynote address on study startUp and how to accelerate clinical trials delivery to sites. We recently caught up with the healthcare startup founder to explore some of the content she is going to deliver which includes the current setup, speed and need for change in the process.
The CMPRR Summit (Clinical Monitoring & Patient Recruitment Retention Summit) is focused on bringing pharmaceutical executives together to discuss changes in clinical trials. Zina has previously spoken at the Summit in March this year and has been invited back to share more of her vision on the future of this world. “There is a huge focus on patient centricity, in the form of tools to interact with patients and this is misleading. Patients want a cure and our job is to accelerate the race for this. Sadly, there is not enough focus on speed.”
The need for speed
Zina is excited by the chance to speak once again and will be on stage at 13:00 in the fifth session of the day on November 23. She explains the reasoning behind her need to open up an important conversation. “It takes up to 18 months to deliver clinical trials to sites. This is longer than the average survival rate of a stage 4 triple negative breast cancer patient. Patients can only profit from medical innovations, offered by pharmaceuticals, at clinics. I will share why we need to accelerate the delivery and allow patients to participate as soon as possible.”
The passion is clear from Zina as she shares her belief in why this area is important to feature on the agenda for all of the pharmaceutical industry to consider. “Speed has been neglected for the last 60 years. We need to refocus on what matters.” Imagine if patients have access to therapeutics at sites 12 months earlier than we do today – what a difference that would make.”
The cost involved
It isn’t just a focus on the patient that Zina is considering, but also the financial implications. “The cost for oncology trials is huge. When the amounts are high, those involved naturally become adverse to risk. This industry is becoming more and more focused on low risk, high reward. For context, last year around 20 million people died from cardiovascular diseases and 10 million died from cancer. But the R&D investment in oncology is 45%, whereas it’s only 5% for cardiovascular diseases. I believe that through the acceleration of the process, we will decrease the monthly costs for trials. More capital to invest in medical innovation.”
Building from experience
Zina’s background includes working as a clinical research expert and through this experience, she grew a deep understanding of why clinical trial star-Up is an important but slow system. “I relate the process to that of Ikea. They build stores in locations where their customers can easily visit and purchase items on sale. They make strategic decisions on where to place their stores and in turn influence the number of visitors and customers. In clinical trials, our patients recruitment issue is a big part of the site allocation problem. I see my role at the summit in raising awareness to the site allocation issue and how it affects the clinical trial down the road.” These points are very important.
Zina goes on to share how only 8% of patients around the globe are actually part of clinical trials and yet experts agree that oncology trials are the best form of cancer therapy. “Equally only 3% of clinics around the globe are part of clinical trials. So the number of participants and the number of locations must be increased. Unless they have a connection to a pharmaceutical company, there is little chance at the moment for sites to be involved in clinical research.”
Yendou – accelerating the race to Cancer Cure
Zina’s startup Yendou is a clinical trials delivery system. Their mission is to accelerate clinical research and make it universally accessible to patients, clinicians and scientists around the globe. Zina shares, “Pharmaceutical companies distribute clinical trials through site identification and selection which takes an average of 18 months. We want to simplify that process and complete it in four months.”
As of today, clinical trials start-Up is performed manually and rely heavily on paper-based processes, requiring multiple approvals and hand-offs between the sponsor and the sites, as well as, between individual team members both at the site and within/between the sponsor. The process consumes both time and costs and due to its complexity, it is often vulnerable to delays.
I always wondered, “Is it possible to build an infrastructure to streamline collaboration and minimize costs, all while offering both sponsors and sites a better customer experience? Similar to AirBnB – Two parties connect, match, contract and agree on a financial transaction in minutes!”
Zina’s vision is to unite all stakeholders in one place and make it easier for them to bring great therapies to patients in weeks instead of months. Raising the mentioned areas and questions in the area of clinical trials is an important part of that journey. We wish Zina and the team the best of luck at the summit in Barcelona.
Time: 13:00 Session Five
Date: November 23, 2022
Topic: Study startUp: How to accelerate clinical trials delivery to sites?
Location: Hotel Barcelona Condal Mar Affiliated by Meliá