Clinical trial research is not limited to the North America and the United Kingdom. From Austria to Zimbabwe, universities and pharmaceutical companies are running their own clinical trials. Some of these drug studies and other types of research trials have exciting applications in the treatment of cancer and other dangerous diseases.
Interesting Clinical Trials Around the World
1. Certain cancer cells, especially renal and bowel cancers, can mutate and lose the protection of a gene, called SETD2. Astra Zeneca has developed an experimental drug called AZD1775 with the quality of "synthetic lethality." The drug works on the mutated cancer cells' weaknesses, resulting in the death of the cancer cells with very few toxic side effects.
2. Multiple myeloma is a bone marrow cancer, specifically of plasma cells, which produce antibodies. Pembroluzimab is a monoclonal antibody that can identify multiple myeloma cells so that the patient's T cells can attack and destroy them. The drug is used in concert with an immunomodulatory drug. Together the drugs have excellent kill rates on myeloma cells.
3. VC-01 is a revolutionary idea that may actually provide a cure for type I diabetes. Pancreatic progenitor cells, derived from adult human tissue, are placed in a semipermeable membrane system and implanted in diabetic patients. The cells have the potential to produce insulin and other hormones naturally. Early results have shown blood glucose control to be very good.
4. International clinical trials allow researchers to investigate rare diseases such as Prader-Willi syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Single-center trials would be impossible because of insufficient numbers of patients. Dravet syndrome usually presents in the first year of life with frequent, prolonged seizures, developmental delays and problems with the autonomic nervous system. Early results from international trials showed statistically significant reductions in seizures using an experimental drug, ZX008.
5. ONX-0801 is a drug that was tested in the UK for ovarian cancer treatment which showed impressive clinical results in the Phase I trials by reducing tumor size. ONX-0801 enters cancer cells by resembling folic acid. Ovarian cancer cells have numerous folic acid receptors on the surface, making it easy for the drug to gain access to the malignant cells. This means the patient's normal cells are not affected and the patient experiences very few side effects.
Making Clinical Trials Better
A highly networked system of clinical trials enables scientific and medical breakthroughs to benefit people by delivering new and approved therapies to market more quickly than was once imagined possible.
The global medical research community is also broadening the reach of their clinical trials by offering remote microsampling to study volunteers who might not otherwise be able to participate in a clinical trial.
By using remote sampling kits and virtual healthcare tools for remote communication and follow-up, pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) can make clinical trials accessible to more diverse and distant communities.
Easier and more convenient access to clinical trials — via remote or decentralized clinical trials — can help to improve the lives of people everywhere.
Learn more about microsampling for decentralized clinical trials here: