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Timing is Everything: Why Prospective Biospecimen Collection Is Important

Scientists today are increasingly focused on delivering medical innovations tailored to real-world patients. Developing these therapies can be costly, however, and part of the cost can be connected to identifying the right patient sub-population too late in the development process. At Novaseek Research, we aim to drastically reduce the time required to identify the right patient cohorts with well-categorized and detailed clinical phenotypes and help clinical researchers prospectively obtain biospecimens
enriched with EMR-sourced, fully consented patient data. Identifying the right patient cohorts early on increases clinical researchers’ success and saves a lot of time and money in the process.

When our Novaseek team came together, obtaining biospecimens prospectively was key to our innovative approach. We knew that our biggest impact would be made by getting the right biospecimens to clinical researchers with as much information about the patients as possible. Rather than looking through freezers of existing biospecimens to meet researchers’ needs, we enable
researchers to identify the types of patients from whom they would need to collect biospecimens. Based upon criteria set by the researchers, our Clinical Data Network for Research (CDNR) platform would then identify patients who met those criteria within our network of hospital partners, and further identify
biospecimens remaining from the patients’ clinical testing, allowing those specimens to be repurposed for research, rather than being discarded by the hospitals’ labs. Of course, the patients’ information is coded within CDNR, fully consented and HIPAA-compliant.

CDNR enables biomedical and clinical researchers to define criteria for patients and biospecimens based on detailed clinical needs, including primary disease, co-morbidities, medications prescribed, and medical events within a certain timeframe and more. This data is accessible via a user-friendly interface and allows researchers to request highly specialized biospecimens, as well as to follow patients over time and collect medical data updates and biospecimens as disease or treatment progresses. There are several advantages to this approach:

  • Identifying specific groups of patients early in the development process allows clinical researchers to test and tweak responses in different patient sub-populations through observational studies, helping inform the next steps. It’s an extremely flexible approach that can accommodate the latest scientific and medical needs.
  • We can track patients longitudinally and prospectively. For example, one Novaseek customer needed to evaluate the performance of a novel biomarker in patients with life-threatening acute conditions, such as heart attack, stroke and organ failure, requiring the collection of biospecimens shortly after an acute event and at multiple timepoints during patient recovery. We were able to set up the project within a few days and provide consented biospecimens and data at the right points in time, from shortly after the acute event and over the course of patient recovery.

The system we’ve built and our approach fills an unmet need by researchers and hospitals alike. While CDNR allows clinical researchers to easily identify patient cohorts and obtain biospecimens in a speedy manner, CDNR also enables hospitals and large practices to easily participate in research. Most of all, we
are thrilled to play a role in getting better medicines to patients faster.