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How to Put the Patient First in Atopic Dermatitis Clinical Trials

Our indication champions take trial strategy to the next level by layering the lived patient experience into sponsors’ plans.

Lady scratching an itch on her hand

Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects millions, with a prevalence of 15-30% among children and 2-10% among adults. The symptoms patients experience — intense itching, eczema lesions, dry skin and skin thickening — can lead to quality-of-life issues like disrupted sleep and increased anxiety.

Although several corticosteroid treatments are available as first-line treatments, drug developers continue to seek more effective therapies to improve the wellbeing of those diagnosed with atopic dermatitis.

But developing treatments for atopic dermatitis is complex and competitive. Finding the right patients, connecting with the right sites and leveraging the right expertise present challenges.

To be competitive, drug developers must run their trials efficiently and within budget and timelines, while still maintaining quality to support authorization. And, on top of that, they need to understand the patient experience and continually seek patient input.

Partnership with an experienced contract research organization (CRO) is key to navigate and overcome these challenges — and a CRO that leans on lived therapeutic experiences will provide drug developers an even sharper edge.

A Personal Approach to Champion Dermatological Advancements

Our dermatology team has taken its dedication to patient advocacy a step further by creating a group of “indication champions” for conditions in which therapeutic area employees have expertise and a passionate interest.

I serve as an indication champion for atopic dermatitis — a condition I developed as an adult — and know all too well the challenges associated with using approved treatments. Treatments can be greasy, certain options must be kept out of the eyes, and routine hand-washing can lead to inadvertently washing off medications where treatment is needed. My personal experience drives my passion to enable drug developers in the quest for better treatments with less complicated compliance requirements.

My lived experience with eczema has given me a deep appreciation for our clients’ commitment to excellence in drug development and dedication to advancing treatments. When I partner with sponsors to run trials, I always think about how it is going to impact the patient — both those participating in the trial and the patients who will ultimately benefit from approved treatments.

How to Center the Patient Experience

Keeping the patient at the center of the study is critical to any drug developer’s success. In a recent study, the PPD clinical research business of Thermo Fisher Scientific partnered with a clinical trial sponsor to seek patient input throughout the planning process and built its programs with this input in mind. As a result, the customer maximized recruitment and retention success because their study protocol was responsive to the needs of patients and their caregivers.

The same study noted the invaluable assistance of patient advocacy groups and active patient communities as important sources of support, knowledge and understanding when recruiting for dermatology clinical trials. We encourage sponsors to leverage our deep relationships with patient advocacy groups, or to use patient connections in online communities and dedicated advocacy organizations.

These connections in clinical trials enable sponsors to:

  • Recruit an engaged and diverse patient population for trials
  • Build patient trust in clinical research
  • Mitigate hesitations and misconceptions
  • Lead patients to value their role in developing therapies for their conditions

The Benefit of Deep Dermatology Experience

With a deep understanding of the complexities of dermatology drug development, PPD clinical research services enable drug developers to accelerate clinical trials, stay on budget and deliver life-changing treatments to patients in need.

  • Over the past five years, the PPD dermatology team has performed trials for 28 pharmaceutical and biotech companies across all regions, including North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
  • Our experience in dermatological research is extensive, having performed more than 65 clinical trials with over 8,900 patients and more than 1,400 investigators worldwide.
  • Sponsors leverage e-consent, televisits and remote assessments to enable remote clinical trials without compromising efficiency. We complement technologies with the knowhow to conduct dermatology clinical trials across traditional brick-and-mortar, hybrid and fully decentralized models.

Sponsors regularly tap into our experience to complete dermatology studies quickly, successfully and with a high level of quality — drawing upon clinical trial expertise, a global network of sites and a large database of potential trial participants.

Whether you’re developing an oral, subcutaneous or topical treatment, we are committed to delivering the patient centricity that drives you toward success.

Put the patient perspective at the center of your study with our global dermatology expertise.