"Today, as many as 80 percent of clinical trials face recruitment challenges — significantly increasing costs and delaying progress toward breakthroughs," said Todd Sherer, Ph.D., CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "Fox Trial Finder harnesses state-of-the-art technology to meet these challenges head-on by making it easier for volunteers and research coordinators to find each other. By streamlining the flow of participants into trials, Fox Trial Finder will play a role in reducing the length and cost of Parkinson's clinical trials, helping bring new treatments to patients faster."
Using state-of-the-art technology, Fox Trial Finder compares volunteer information such as location and medical history with trial eligibility requirements to find the best potential matches at study sites nearby. The service matches both people with Parkinson's and control volunteers with the trials that need them. In addition to personalized matching, Fox Trial Finder streamlines communication between volunteers and trial teams:
A secure messaging system allows volunteers to connect directly with trial coordinators (or vice versa) without the volunteers' revealing their identities.
Contact information for trial coordinators is posted within the online community for those who prefer to contact a site directly.
Volunteers can also create a personal profile. Once this profile is saved, even if there are no current trial matches, they can receive email alerts when a new trial begins recruiting individuals with their characteristics.
Volunteers' privacy is protected by industry-standard security protocols. Only de-identified profiles are viewable on the site itself. Names and contact information remain private unless volunteers choose to share this information with a trial team.
Both interventional trials that test new therapeutic approaches, and observational studies that help scientists learn more about the nature of Parkinson's, are included in the Fox Trial Finder database.
"The Parkinson's patient community is highly motivated to play a proactive role in finding the cure for Parkinson's disease. Fox Trial Finder is designed to help translate that motivation into action," said Israel Robledo, a member of the PD community from Midland, Texas. "The site is user-friendly, but the cutting-edge technology it employs to specifically match individuals to clinical trials is what we need to get results. It's exciting to see the advent of a tool like this to help address the longstanding challenges that stand in the way of everyday people getting involved to speed vital research toward better treatments for Parkinson's disease."
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest private funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $240 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.