By Ram Jagannath
At Blackstone, our healthcare investments focus on scientific and technological innovations transforming the entire ecosystem, from improving patient experiences to creating new efficiencies. One area where we look for opportunities is the drug development process, where promising companies and products are helping reduce the time and cost of getting therapies to patients. Currently, the total cost for an approved new drug amounts to an estimated $2.6 billion, with clinical trials among the most time- and resource-intensive parts of the development process.
Traditionally, participants have had to travel multiple times to a physical location where the trial is taking place. Seventy percent of patients live more than two hours away from their study site, research shows. Absenteeism is common, and 30% of patients on average drop out of clinical trials before they end. Data integrity issues are also pervasive in traditional clinical trials, 89% of which generate incomplete patient data because of poor engagement.
That’s why we saw opportunity in Medable, which uses platform technology to enable decentralized clinical trials where patients participate virtually. Medable’s technology meets the often-complex set of requirements and protocols necessary for complying with clinical trial regulations while keeping patients’ data secure.
"By removing one of the main barriers to participation–traveling to a site–Medable helps pharmaceutical companies reach and retain a more diverse pool of participants."
Medable is a leader among decentralized trial platforms, supporting over 150 decentralized and hybrid trials in 60 countries to date. Results demonstrate the effectiveness of the decentralized approach: compared with traditional trials, Medable reduces costs by 50% while increasing enrollment speed by 200%. This is critical as trial delays can cost developers hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per day. Medable’s data integration and collection capabilities are also more advanced than those of a traditional clinical trial, offering companies a comprehensive view of patient health and outcomes in real-time .
Medable’s technology is helping address another important pain point in clinical drug development. While 85% of people say they wish to participate in research, less than 5% of eligible patients actually do and racial minorities are consistently underrepresented, according to the American Medical Association. By removing one of the main barriers to participation—traveling to a site—Medable helps pharmaceutical companies reach and retain a more diverse pool of participants. The retention rate for Medable’s trials is 90%, well above that of traditional trials. The company also announced a recent collaboration with CVS to enhance access to underserved populations.
Blackstone is excited to advance Medable’s mission to get effective therapies to patients faster. We’re leveraging resources and expertise across our firm—from our life sciences business to our data science group—to offer strategic guidance to Medable’s leadership team, including Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. Michelle Longmire, MD. We’re also pleased to tap into our network of industry leaders and senior advisors to facilitate introductions and help Medable grow its customer base. We’re thrilled to apply our experience helping companies scale to Medable and look forward to our continued partnership.