Improving access to rare disease trials by incorporating DCT elements

3 February 2023

Welcome to the February 2023 Labcorp Drug Development Decentralized Clinical Trial (DCT) blog. With Rare Disease Day coming soon on February 28, we are going to focus on how patients, sites and investigators can benefit by improving the design and execution of rare disease trials.

What is Rare Disease Day?

Rare Disease Day is observed annually on the last day of February and intended to raise awareness of the more than 7,000 rare diseases that impact over 300 million people globally. At Labcorp, we are proud to join the rare disease community in sharing support for these patients  and their loved ones. In fact, Labcorp is hosting a live symposium on February 22, providing multiple stakeholder perspectives, ranging from investigators to patients. Topics will include:

•   The personal journey of a rare disease patient

•   Ways to boost collaboration with patients, families and advocacy groups

•   Supporting patient diagnosis and clinical trial recruitment

•   How trial data can support regulatory and commercial decisions

Register for this event today!

Do DCTs apply to rare disease trials?

Absolutely! In fact, many features of DCTs are well-suited to overcoming many of the special challenges present in rare disease trials—challenges like travel burden and difficulty finding and enrolling patients.  Here are just a few ways DCT approaches can apply to rare disease trials:

What are some examples of DCT services improving outcomes for rare disease trials?

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, our mobile clinicians assisted a rare pediatric neuromuscular trial in 20 countries, performing services such as medication administration and performing sample collections, all in the patients’ homes. Read about it here
  • A rare genetic disease study in Singapore for adolescent and adult populations was supported by in-home specimen collections, vital sign measurements, ECG monitoring and more. Read about it here
  • In another study, our Mobile Clinical Services team handled central pharmacy services, cold chain monitoring, infusion support at patient homes and provided other support for patient retention across a six-study effort spread across 14 countries

What does the future hold?

While the global pandemic created a sudden, urgent need for many studies to quickly incorporate DCT design elements, the industry has been for years trending towards greater acceptance of these new, more patient-centric models.

Now that DCTs have been proven effective and much of the world is recovering from the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to prove the value of DCTs. In fact, Labcorp is hosting a panel at the upcoming SCOPE Summit, in which forecasting, budgeting and contracting issues will be discussed in light of patient-centric trial models. We hope you will join the conversation there.

That’s all the time we have for this edition. Stay tuned for our next blog, where we will give a preview of our upcoming talk at the Dynamic Global Events conference on Decentralized and Hybrid Clinical Trials.