Over the past ten years High-Performance Computing (HPC) has transformed medical research through advances in genomics, computational biology, cryo-electron microscopy, and numerous others forms of scanning, sequencing, and simulation. Yet there have been few reports of how computational power can affect the design and operations of clinical trials. A new whitepaper by Cytel highlights how revolutions in computing are now set to transform clinical studies, and how sponsors can remain competitive in this modern industry terrain by learning to harness the power of new technology.
Accessing Computing Power
For much of the past decade, computing power and HPC in particular has been associated with methods only accessible to scientists at elite institutions like the National Institutes of Health, or large pharmaceuticals. More and more small and mid-sized pharmaceuticals can access significant computing power though, particularly through partnerships with statistical consultants. Cytel recently helped a customer identify a clinical trial design in a matter of hours, and optimize it within a matter of days, a process that generally takes smaller sponsors several months. As more statistical consultants routinely use computing power, it will become easily accessible for all trial sponsors. The sheer ability to access computing power, will reshape the time it takes to implement a clinical trial.
New Decision Frameworks for Strategic Optimization
The ability to generate and compare millions of simulations and designs means that clinical development teams can begin to measure tradeoffs between speed, power and savings; and choose designs that fit specific commercial goals. As tools like Cytel’s Solara clarify tradeoffs for sponsors, new decision frameworks will enable CEOs and CMOs to align clinical, operational and commercial needs. These new frameworks will quantify tradeoffs, enabling concepts from finance and operations to better integrate with statistical design.
A New Role for Statisticians
As more non-statisticians seek statistical insight, statisticians will have to learn new ways to communicate their findings, offer strategic advice, and provide support to those less familiar with evidentiary decision-making. Technology that helps visualize and communicate statistical findings can be a helpful tool for statisticians seeking new ways to share their knowledge. Cytel’s Solara, for example, enables sponsors to visualize thousands of design options within a single graphic, instead of having to compare various tables and formulae. These visuals are then easily accessed by a Tradeoff Advisor to facilitate strategic decision-making.
For more insights about the transformative power of computing for clinical trial design, read the whitepaper below.