Antidote.ME: A Clinical Trial Search Platform

Antidote.ME: A Clinical Trial Search Platform

Clinical trials are clinical experiments and studies done on patients. They serve to answer specific questions about clinical interventions. Primarily, clinical trials help researchers and drug companies improve medical treatments. Not to mention that diseases can then be more precisely diagnosed and prevented.

But doing clinical trials is hard. And just finding the right participants for the study can be a huge obstacle to overcome.   

But, what if there was a platform that connects patients with clinical researchers?

Well, that’s what Antidote.ME is all about.

We have already discussed this company on our blog five years ago. What has changed since then? And what are their plans for the future? Let’s find out!

Patient Recruitment: A Major Challenge For Clinical Trials

Pablo Gavier founded Antidote.ME. Formerly, he was the Vice President of Business Development at Kayak, an online airfare aggregator. 

One day, Gravier had dinner with a friend, a heart surgeon. He told Gravier that the biggest problem in healthcare was clinical trials. 

And statistics, really, told the same story.

The number of registered clinical trials has skyrocketed in recent years. In September 2021, there were 390.000 clinical studies registered globally. A significant increase compared to merely 2.119 clinical studies in 2000. However, most clinical trials are likely to never get off the ground. 

Why? Because they do not enroll enough patients. Approximately 80% of clinical trials are delayed or closed because of recruitment issues, statistics warn.

Most patients do not even know this or that clinical trial exists. And others still do not know what steps to take to participate.

So, where are the patients interested in these clinical trials? Well, to start with, most of them do not even know this or that clinical trial exists. And others still do not know what steps to take to participate. 

You see, the government keeps the information about clinical trials public in a national registry. But navigating the mountains of clinical studies can be a true nightmare for anyone. Let alone an average patient.

So where does Antidote.ME fit into all of this? Let’s see!

Where Does Antidote.ME Fit In?

So, clinical studies are virtually unavailable for patients. And vice versa. This inspired Gravier and his team to launch the first clinical trial aggregator. 

The company was founded in 2010 as TrialReach. In 2016, it was rebranded to Antidote. It represents a central database that gives patients free and unlimited access to clinical trials around the world.

Antidote.ME specializes in facilitating medical research. With proprietary technologies, data, and proven business models, it transforms the relationship between patients and researchers. 

Its collaboration with pharma giants, such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Novartis, proves its supremacy in the industry. These companies collaborated on the conversion of their clinical trial data into the machine-readable format. Since they planned to grow the consortium in 2015, they decided to hire an unbiased company to take care of their data. Unsurprisingly, Antidote was their first choice. 

How Does Antidote Work?

Antidote uses natural language processing (NLP). With NLP, Antidote makes it easier for patients to find clinical trials. At the same time, it gives researchers a tool that simplifies the creation of study pages that patients can understand.

Whether a patient is selected for a clinical trial depends on eligibility (inclusion and exclusion) criteria. Those could be, for example, factors like gender, age, current health status, geolocation, or prior therapies. 

When a biopharma company shares clinical trial details on ClinicalTrials.gov, eligibility criteria are often there in the free-form text format. This unstructured data is difficult to manage and analyze. It’s difficult for machines to understand how certain clinical trials relate or compare to another. 

Structured data, on the other hand, can be coded for semantics. Simply put, it is understandable by machines.

That is where platforms, such as Antidote.ME, step in.

“Fundamentally, it’s just a question of structuring information, which is something the tech world is great at. I was shocked no one had done it already,” Gravier emphasized. 

Antidote collects clinical studies from the WHO and ClinicalTrials.gov. The company has hired clinical experts to manually translate trial information into structured data. Data readable by machines. Their Antidote Match is the first trial-matching engine that uses AI and structured data to determine a patient’s eligibility for each clinical trial. That way, it identifies and categorizes studies according to their relevance.

“Fundamentally, it’s just a question of structuring information, which is something the tech world is great at. I was shocked no one had done it already,” Gravier emphasized. 

That way it helps researchers by increasing the visibility of their clinical treatment to their target patients. On the other hand, patients and their families can find thousands of relevant medical studies, without having to do any additional research.

The Benefits For Clinical Research Providers

Antidote.ME increases the visibility of clinical studies through precision recruitment. It represents a strategic, highly optimized method of identifying, engaging, and recruiting eligible individuals for clinical research. 

Since its launch 12 years ago, Antidote has developed more than 300 meaningful partnerships. They partner with health nonprofits, patient bloggers, publishers, patient technology companies, and others dedicated to improving medical research.

By closely collaborating with its partners, Antidote meets patients where they are.

Some of their partners are the American Kidney Fund, the American Liver Foundation, the BrightFocus Foundation, the Caregiver Action Network, the Foundation for Lung Cancer, etc.

By closely collaborating with its partners, Antidote meets patients where they are. That is how they increase the efficiency of the clinical trial program.

Here are some of its benefits for clinical trial providers:

  • Antidote prescreens all patients before referring them to research companies. You use time and resources optimally, targeting only the eligible individuals.
  • Antidote helps researchers increase the visibility of their programs by reaching patients others cannot.
  • The platform helps you track and optimize patient engagement.

A Patient-Centered And Free Platform

Participating in clinical research is one of the most significant decisions in a patient’s life.

For some with neglected or rare diseases, that is the opportunity to finally see an innovative therapy that shows results. Others may want to contribute to the prevention of a disease that has been running in their family for decades. And for healthy individuals, volunteering in clinical research may be a chance to help scientists accelerate medical research.

However, finding the clinical trial you are eligible for can be a challenge. That is where Antidote.ME helps.

Antidote is 100% patient-centered, which is probably its greatest benefit

The website interface is simple and user-friendly. Once a patient lands on the Antidote.ME website, the platform will ask them a few questions about their gender, age, location, and condition. 

To provide them with more relevant results, the platform then asks additional questions, such as:

  • For whom are you looking to find a trial?
  • How far are they willing to travel?
  • What best describes you/them?
  • Do they currently have a cancerous solid tumor?

The platform also asks patients several questions related to the disease they entered in the beginning. 

And then the search starts. For example, a 55-year old man from London, suffering from lung disease, would find more than 4770 clinical trials on Antidote.ME.

Antidote.ME also asks users to leave their email addresses so they can update them on new trials they may be a match for.

For suffering patients and their families, that is the opportunity to find the right clinical research faster. And this without having to visit multiple websites or filter the results manually.

Accelerating Growth Through Strategic Funding 

Five lead investors have funded Antidote. Octopus Ventures, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, LBO France, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Smedvig Capital. 

Looking at the numbers, Antidote.ME increased its annual revenue by 66% in 2020. The number of its projects has grown by 158%. Moreover, the company exceeded its entire 2020 revenue in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

Since its founding, Antidote.ME has raised a total of $52.1M in funding over six rounds. 

In the last round in 2021, it raised $23.2 million in funding. The funding was ignited by the rising need for clinical research amid the Coronavirus pandemic. It was led by LBO France, which invested $10 million. Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Smedvig Capital, and Octopus Ventures joined and invested an additional $13.2 million in the company.

Since its founding, Antidote.ME has raised a total of $52.1M in funding over six rounds.

The importance of clinical research has never been more clear than in the past year, as the industry stepped up to develop treatments and vaccines faster than could ever have been imagined. But despite the speed of response to Covid-19, some 80% of clinical trials are still delayed or closed due to a lack of participants. We welcome LBO France as a partner to help us achieve our mission of transforming the way that researchers and patients connect in an effort to accelerate medical research,” said Laurent Schockmel, CEO of Antidote.

Wrapping Up

Clinical research is a fundamental part of the healthcare industry. As such, it requires continuous innovation, as well as closer collaboration between patients and trial providers. 

That is where Antidote steps in by tackling the recruitment issue. Its goal is to connect patients with clinical research in a single platform. Patients can contribute to clinical advancements, researchers can come up with better treatments, and the whole world wins. 

And .ME wins too, by having Antidote as one of the members of the .ME community.

Author:

Goran Bogunovic

Now, you're probably wondering how I got here! Running a marketing agency, educating people about branding, and helping you to develop your own presence online. To understand, you’ll need to follow me @Domain.Me

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