About Martin Knight BSc

Author: Martin Knight, BSc (Hons), Dip Clinical Sci Senior Director, Strategy & Planning Inflammation, Infectious Disease & General Medicine (iiGM)

Minimizing Placebo Effect in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Studies

With 93 Crohn’s Disease (CD) and 168 Ulcerative Colitis (UC) Phase I-III industry-sponsored studies planned and open to enrollment, there is a significant focus on research into new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)1.

Remission is the main aim of IBD therapy, but IBD studies often face challenges with minimizing the placebo effect2,3,4. Placebo effect can be categorized into placebo response/benefit (patients demonstrating an improvement) or placebo remission (patients achieving remission). Factors believed to impact the level of placebo effect can be contradictory depending upon whether a study’s focus is upon placebo response/benefit or placebo remission5.

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Finding the Other 90%: Attracting Naïve Patients to RA Studies

A recent study by Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, based on a survey of 2,000 physicians and nurses primarily in the United States and Europe, found that 91% of physicians feel ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ comfortable discussing the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial with patients, but actually refer less than 0.2% of their patients into clinical trials.1 In conjunction, more than 80% of patients Attracting Naïve Patients to RA Clinical Studies say they are willing to participate in clinical research studies, but only around 10% actually do so.2 It is further reported that while 85% of patients are generally comfortable presenting any clinical research information they find to their doctor, only 17% have actually done so.3 And what of those patients that are interested in participating in a clinical study only to find they are ineligible? When queried on next steps after finding out he/she did not qualify, 36% stopped looking for a clinical research study to participate in.3 This latter fact is a staggering waste of potential when you consider that there are currently >130 planned or ongoing industry-sponsored Phase II-III rheumatoid arthritis (RA) studies to choose from (>210 when you consider any type of study sponsor).4
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