An Interview with Radek Wasiak, Head of Real World and Advanced Analytics at Cytel
Cytel’s HEOR and RWE Expertise has grown quite significantly in the past year. Could you speak a little bit about the rationale for this growth and what new capabilities it will bring?
Adding HEOR and RWE capabilities was a natural extension of Cytel’s commitment to using data to glean scientific insights about clinical research. First, we wanted to ensure that we complement our clinical trial expertise by adding real-world data applications for regulatory purposes. Secondly, we wanted to expand our analytical capabilities for methods used to understand the humanistic and economic burden of illness, showing the power of new medical interventions to alleviate these burdens through rigorous comparative effectiveness research. This expanded our stakeholders to include payers and health technology assessment agencies who want to understand now how new medicines and new interventions are supporting and improving patient outcomes, and if there is value in bringing these new medicines to the market.
What should customers now expect from Cytel?
Let me start by pointing out our size and geographic presence, as we expanded rather quickly. We have over 160 researchers and consultants specializing in HEOR and RWE, and they are based across Europe, North America, and Asia.
While these are necessary elements for a strong consultancy, they are not sufficient. We have also worked hard at creating clear differentiators between our consultancy and others, ensuring that customers receive expertise that they would not find elsewhere. There are three capabilities that differentiate Cytel in this space. Firstly, our experts used advanced methods to provide comparisons across treatments at any point during drug development. Secondly, we deliver the results of our literature reviews using a LiveSLR platform, which enables our clients to take full advantage of the synthesized evidence. Finally, due to our unique data access, we can deliver the results of advanced RWE projects in half the time that it takes most others.
Could you talk a bit about Cytel’s presence at ISPOR? Cytel has over 20 presentations. How does this reflect on Cytel’s research portfolio?
We are very proud of our publication record. Over the past year we have published in journals like JAMA and Nature. At ISPOR we are showcasing some of this work through a new resource hub and in our virtual conference presentations. Our presentations are in numerous therapeutic areas, and demonstrate a vast range of methods and techniques. This includes a workshop and pre-release session on Quantitative Bias Analysis. The workshop will be on using QBA to account for unmeasured confounders when estimating treatment effects in real world data. The pre-release session will highlight QBA for comparative effectiveness in non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
There will also be a Cytel pre-release session on ‘A Comparative Analysis of Recommendations for the Post-Reimbursement Collection of Real World Data’ focused on oncology appraisals. This second session will feature Anna Forsythe, one of the founders of Purple Squirrel Economics.
This will be the first time that PSE attends ISPOR as a Cytel company, adding to capabilities built earlier in 2020 through the acquisition of Ingress Health.
What are some of the more innovative methods that Cytel has been working on?
We focused on causal inference this past year, working closely with leading academic expert in the field, Miguel Hernan. This approach, which we call head-to-head comparisons using real world data, allows clients to compare treatments without resorting to expensive Phase 4 trials. We reported the results of two head-to-head studies last year: one in oncology and one in cardiovascular health, but the applications are much broader and include real world outcome simulation pre-launch, something we are focusing on right now.
We also continue our leadership in the field of synthetic control arms - we had a great privilege to work on a regulatory submission which used an external control and identified the necessary data and then performed all the necessary analyses. I am glad to report that our research contributed to the approval of this new drug.
Are there any projects moving forward that you are particularly excited about, which you can share?
Cytel creates an environment for researchers and consultants to push the boundaries of clinical development at every stage of the product journey. We also understand that part of our offering must involve helping clients make strategic decisions using the complex evidence base they encounter. We have recently launched Solara and I am looking forward to integrating RWE to inform clinical trial strategy.
We also continue to develop our LiveSLR software as clients face larger and larger volumes of literature to synthesize. These products, together with our consulting expertise, will help our clients to get their drugs launched faster and more effectively, while providing patients with new and innovative treatment options.
Click below to download our full list of sessions at Virtual ISPOR.
About Radek Wasiak:
Radek Wasiak, PhD is Chief Data Officer & Head of Europe at Cytel. As Chief Data Officer, he is in charge of developing and implementing Cytel’s informatics strategy for identifying and using a continuum of data assets to support the Cytel business, from clinical trial to e-health data and deploying these data via Cytel’s product portfolio. As Head of Europe, he provides strategic oversight and executive leadership to European business including input into communication, compensation, hiring, retention, facilities and benefits.
About the interviewer:
Dr. Esha Senchaudhuri is a research and communications specialist, committed to helping scholars and scientists translate their research findings to public and private sector executives. At Cytel Esha leads content strategy and content production across the company's five business units. She received a doctorate from the London School of Economics in philosophy, and is a former early-career policy fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has taught medical ethics at the Harvard School of Public Health (TH Chan School), and sits on the Steering Committee of the Society for Women in Philosophy's Eastern Division, which is responsible for awarding the Distinguished Woman in Philosophy Award.