By eCliniqua Staff
July 18, 2011 | The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has launched a Web-based solution to connect patients with Parkinson's Disease clinical trials. The beta version of the Fox Trial Finder (www.foxtrialfinder.org) compares volunteer information such as location and medical history with trial eligibility requirements to find the best potential matches at study sites nearby. The service matches both people with Parkinson's and control volunteers with the trials that need them.
"Today, as many as 80 percent of clinical trials face recruitment challenges—significantly increasing costs and delaying progress toward breakthroughs," said Todd Sherer, Ph.D., CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation in a press release. "Fox Trial Finder harnesses state-of-the-art technology to meet these challenges head-on by making it easier for volunteers and research coordinators to find each other. By streamlining the flow of participants into trials, Fox Trial Finder will play a role in reducing the length and cost of Parkinson's clinical trials, helping bring new treatments to patients faster."
The site also includes a secure messaging system that allows volunteers to connect directly with trial coordinators (or vice versa) without the volunteers' revealing their identities. Contact information for trial coordinators is posted within the online community for those who prefer to contact a site directly. Volunteers can also create a personal profile to receive email alerts when a new trial begins recruiting individuals with their characteristics.
Volunteers' privacy is protected by industry-standard security protocols. Only de-identified profiles are viewable on the site itself. Names and contact information remain private unless volunteers choose to share this information with a trial team.
Both interventional trials that test new therapeutic approaches, and observational studies that help scientists learn more about the nature of Parkinson's, are included in the Fox Trial Finder database.
"The Parkinson's patient community is highly motivated to play a proactive role in finding the cure for Parkinson's disease. Fox Trial Finder is designed to help translate that motivation into action," said Israel Robledo, a member of the PD community from Midland, Texas, in a press release. "The site is user-friendly, but the cutting-edge technology it employs to specifically match individuals to clinical trials is what we need to get results. It's exciting to see the advent of a tool like this to help address the longstanding challenges that stand in the way of everyday people getting involved to speed vital research toward better treatments for Parkinson's disease."