The Next Practices Group Launches “CTRx PATHWAYS” to Power Clinical Trials

by | Feb 25, 2022

The Next Practices Group announces the launch of “CTRx Pathways,” a new service designed to accelerate and diversify clinical trial enrollment. CTRx Pathways represents a series of new media models created during the most intense moments of the Covid-19 pandemic, as The Next Practices team worked closely with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Department of Defense as part of Operation Warp Speed. Each model combines the best available thinking from a mathematical, PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned) media and marketing standpoint, all designed to build agile media models that avoid the typical enrollment problems of clinical trials.

It will now be available to industry and clinical researchers across the United States.

Each trial is treated as a special operation by The Next Practices team with an emphasis on agility; enrollment speed; automation, when possible; effective use of analytics and related statistical models; and a significant focus on the diversification of patient pools for each study.

“It’s time for the old media models to be retired in the world of clinical trials,” said Bob Pearson, Chair of The Next Practices Group and CEO of The Bliss Group. “Our version of ‘Warp Speed’ was to create a series of new models, based on media, marketing and math, that greatly improves the effectiveness of how we enroll trials and builds a system that gets more intelligent with time.”

As The Next Practices Group built its bespoke team to support Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to enroll for two Covid-19 focused trials, the collective realized that the industry norm was not acceptable. It is The Next Practices Group’s view that an industry built to improve and save lives must meet its deadlines, select the right investigators on day one, attract the right patients to consider participation and remove all obstacles to achieve the goals of the trial. Utilizing leading-edge media models centered on unique algorithms allow the team to identify typical obstacles before a campaign is started and to reshape a media approach within hours or days.

“Enrollment in clinical trials has fundamentally been upended. Misinformation, competing trials and strict regulatory requirements collide to make it extremely difficult to stand out and grab the attention of potential enrollees,” said Dan Hanley, MD, Deputy Director, ICTR Support and Innovation in Multi-center Trials, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “We partnered with The Bliss Group and Next Practices to systematically address our clinical trial needs. Our trial closed with over 90% enrolled.”

The accelerated enrollment initiative and partnership with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Department of Defense was led by Michael Roth at The Bliss Group and Colin Foster at The Next Practice, who were both listed along with primary researchers as authors on the study Randomized Controlled Trial of Early Outpatient Treatment with High Titer Convalescent Plasma. Michael and Colin will be leading and building teams for the CTRx Pathways initiative across the nine firms within The Next Practices Group.

CTRx Pathways models can all be additive to existing efforts of biopharmaceutical companies, CROs, academic centers and trial sites. Pearson added, “Our only ‘competitor’ is the disease we are fighting together, so we built our offering to fit in and power the work of existing teams.”

The offering initially features five new models, which include:

  • A New Disease-Based Media Model – We shift from the traditional Designated Market Area (DMA) approach to a new analytics-driven model where we build algorithms that factor where people with a disease or disorder live, where specific people live who potentially fit the criteria for the trial and what channels, and what language and content they prefer. This type of modeling allows for a precise focus and makes it easier to see what is working (or not), so a media plan can be adjusted within the same day and nuances are embraced on a local level.
  • A New Community Influencer Model – We identify who will have the most influence on participants at the city/town level, where potential participants turn for trustworthy information from local experts and build specific media plans by city/town that match the recruitment goals of each trial site. Community models are then tied in, as are all models, with the overall media plan for the full trial.
  • A New Decision-Making Engine – We combine data from the media (paid, earned, shared, and owned media) with proprietary study data (enrollment data, other related trial information) to understand what is working and what is not, so we can adjust our style of outreach, timing and media placement in real time. Our insights inform a new media creation platform that can create ads, for example, in 350+ languages or create dozens of personalized videos in a single day.
  • A New Technology Platform – We built our own enrollment software platform, The Trial Tracker, from the ground up. This platform is the missing link bringing candidates to trial sites. It fully supports sites in managing process from candidacy through to consent and enables direct visibility to the full recruitment team across all trial sites in a way that is both PHI and HIPAA compliant. This platform aligns with access to a call center team led by the MedicAlert Foundation to handle incoming and outgoing calls of potential trial participants.
  • New Storytizing Software Solutions – We created a new content platform to provide the full story of a trial directly to a potential participant in their preferred channel, further improving decision-making, and a new paid ad unit that also provides a full story vs. a single piece of content at the first point of contact. All solutions are geared to provide the full story at the earliest stage to the potential participant vs. a single piece of content, as is traditionally done.

The service offering is backed by teams with expertise in communications, marketing, technology solutions, analytics, performance media, search, and other key disciplines important to a trial.

To learn more about CTRx Pathways, visit https://nextpracticegroup.com/whats-next/ctrx-pathways-strategic-solutions-to-advance-science-improve-health for details and to contact a team member.

About The Next Practices Group

The Next Practices Group is a founder-driven collective of firms that work together creatively to solve problems, effectively use emerging technologies, and craft the right solution for each client. Firms within the collective specialize in communications, marketing, public affairs, security, software, analytics, social purpose and digital media. For more information, please visit nextpracticegroup.com.

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.


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