The Irish Government has given Icon €4 million ($4.6 million) to boost its decentralized clinical trial and technology business.
Icon will use the money to invest in its “technology and data solutions architecture” needed to support decentralized trials according to Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency that is providing the funding.
The organization said “Trial participants should also have the choice to utilize virtual visits with their care teams, file eConsent forms, and report outcomes on mobile and wearable devices as part of their clinical trial experience.
“These options, combined with real-time data availability and analysis, improve participant retention, and reduce the timelines and costs for trial sponsors.”
The CRO also plans to use the funding to bolster its ability to provide customers with real-time access to study data.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar cited the disruption caused to traditional, site-based clinical trials by the COVID-19 pandemic as a prompt for the award.
“This funding will go into research and development in digital health technology and data analytics. The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of both areas.”
Icon CEO Steve Cutler voiced a similar opinion, explaining “the importance of expanding patient access to clinical research by decentralizing many components through technology and data insights was never more apparent than in the last 18 months.
“We have to accelerate the adoption of decentralized and hybrid clinical trials to meet participants wherever they are – on their mobile devices and in their homes – while also protecting data security, ensuring the integrity of all trial data, and adhering to regulatory requirements.”
The comments are in keeping with what Icon said during its second quarter results presentation in June, when it revealed it planned to leverage both its own capabilities and those of recent acquisition PRA to build its decentralized trials business.
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