IT, oncology  

England's cancer research network chooses Medidata data-management system for clinical trials

12 December 2005

The National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) has selected US-based Medidata Solutions' Rave software to manage and streamline data for clinical trials across England. NCRN will pilot the software for eight clinical trials, with the potential to include more than 250 trials within NCRN's portfolio. IT support and project management will be provided by British Telecom (BT).

The NCRN was established by the UK Department of Health in 2001 to provide a national infrastructure in England to support research into cancer treatments and to integrate and support research undertaken by cancer charities. The ultimate aim is to improve patient care. There are currently 34 cancer research networks across the country. Funding is allocated to networks to appoint research staff and to access pharmacy, pathology, radiology and support services.

The NRCN sought to replace paper-based clinical trials with an electronic solution. Its technology group spent a year evaluating a wide range of electronic data-capture (EDC) vendors. Rave was chosen from a group of five vendors for the pilot phase of the project for its browser-independence and zero-client architecture, which will enable easy deployment within the heterogeneous NHS infrastructure for study build, data entry and data-management activities.

"Because the NCRN will eventually roll out this technology on a national basis, involving thousands of users and multiple locations in the UK, we needed a web-enabled, 21st century solution that allows users to log on from any system and easily manage online study development," said Monica Jones, information systems manager for the NCRN. "Medidata Rave is a user-friendly, integrated system that also allows us to conduct academic clinical trials more efficiently within a regulatory environment."

To assist the NCRN's IT staff, Medidata's European office will be providing a range of professional services to ensure a successful roll-out. BT will provide a resilient, secure managed hosted environment along with program management of the delivery using Prince 2 methodology. Post-deployment, BT will provide Single Point of Contact (SPoC) and ongoing contract management and technical assistance.

"We believe that BT, in partnership with the NCRN, has chosen the right application in Medidata Rave for this important pilot phase, as it will drive major efficiencies in the collection of clinical trial data. This is done through secure end-to-end connection over N3, the BT Managed NHS National Network, to the BT hosted application," said Anthony Raisbury, client manager for BT Health National Accounts.

It is hoped that, following a successful pilot, Medidata Solutions and BT would have the opportunity to replicate the NCRN model across five additional therapeutic areas for the Department of Health, including diabetes, stroke, mental health, medicines for children and dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, as part of the UK Clinical Research Network (UKCRN).

"The NCRN stands at the forefront of organizations incorporating clinical trial technology with the goal of positively impacting patient care," said Tarek Sherif, CEO and co-founder of Medidata Solutions. "Together with BT, Medidata Solutions can provide the NCRN with the infrastructure to advance the speed, quality and integration of cancer clinical studies and look forward to expanding into additional therapeutic areas with the UK Clinical Research Network."


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