The importance of clinical trials has been there for everyone to see over the last year. The acceleration of the production of COVID-19 vaccines has been crucial to helping the world get back to normality.
This has all been possible because efficiency has been put first.
Those in the research and development (R&D) sector have seen how crucial this is and a lot of this can be put down to digitalisation.
One company helping implement this across the entire industry is Veeva.
Its online platform allows all those involved in the R&D process to better share data, collaborate more accurately and speed up drug development.
Speaking at the Veeva R&D and Quality Summit Connect EU Rik Van Mol, SVP at Veeva, spoke more about the overall purpose of the software.
“Clinical trials are really screaming for sustainable innovation,” he said. “As the majority of the interaction outside of the sponsor is still conducted using paper and typically with a poor patient experience.
“Veeva’s vision is to dramatically improve trial performance by delivering scalable, paperless and patient-centric trials.
“If we do this the right way, together, we want to increase the speed of trials by at least 25 per cent and reduce the costs of conducting these, not just for a single trial, but across the whole portfolio.”
This holistic approach to improving these studies is something the company is striving for with its services applicable across the full industry, from allowing scientists to better process data to assisting with admin procedures.
To do this the firm has created a number of independent software, all designed with the ultimate goal of being used in harmony.
One of the main components of this is the Veeva Vault Clinical Suite which transforms clinical operations, particularly data management.
This software includes multiple elements to it – known as ‘Vaults’ – such as the Vault EDC which accelerates trial times through its easy-to-use system.
Vault Study Startup also contributes to this by reducing the time taken to get trials started, while the Vault Payments furthers the financial side.
AstraZeneca is one company that has adopted this system, with its chief medical officer Dr Ann Taylor also speaking at the summit about the gains the firm has made through it.
“I think Veeva has a lot of experience with change management,” she said. “That can help us with best practices for change management and what your learnings are about how to get companies comfortable with the next steps and the new ways of working.
“Veeva can help us with harmonisation across the health authorities we have, helping us think about more standard ways of working to simplify our processes.
“That also led to our ability to talk to the health authorities and I think Veeva may be able to help us think about compound sharing and combination trials as we think about more complex concepts going forward.
“If we all are using similar standards, then combining them in a trial is less difficult because it’s fewer round holes to fit into square pegs.”
With over one million monthly logins in Europe alone Veeva is certainly making its mark on the industry.
350 companies are now using its clinical suite, with 650 engaged with at least one of its Vaults.
Veeva SiteVault is the firm’s newest product designed to make the admin process seamless, reducing efforts and making the whole process paperless.
Van Mol discussed why this automation is so crucial in every part of a business.
“We’ve been working diligently on our solution to meet the needs of research sites,” he said. “Bringing the power of the Vault platform to research sites for free.
“Our goal is to empower sites with Veeva SiteVault to become the solution of choice to manage all of their clinical trial activities.
“Since the release of Veeva SiteVault early last year, we’re now over 1,000 active sites using SiteVault across 5,000 studies and in 50 countries globally.”
However it is not just corporations that the company is helping, with the MyVeeva application directly assisting patients involved in the process.
Another system aiming to be paperless, the software digitally connects people to clinicians and researchers, allowing for greater flexibility during trials.
“With MyVeeva for Patients, we’ll address all the aspects of the patient engagements,” Van Mol said. “From virtual trials, patients reported outcomes, education, and eConsent.
“eConsent is the first application that went live in MyVeeva for Patients, and that will help drive more patient comprehension study documents and protocols. The connectivity shows the power of the Veeva Clinical Network.”
This is one of the main priorities for Veeva – the patient.
Not just those involved in trials but those waiting for the latest drugs to treat their conditions. This automation can only be seen as a good thing for them.
Those speaking at the Veeva R&D and Quality Summit were keen to emphasise this, with improved efficiency leading to quicker outcomes.
The faster these outcomes the sooner companies can process the next life-changing trial, with digitalisation like Veeva one of the driving forces for this.