CNS Summit a Rousing Success
By: Amir Kalali, MD | January 14, 2016
The sixth annual CNS Summit, which took place in October, 2015, serves as a platform for innovation in drug development. The event brought together forward thinking drug development professionals and experts in technology and other industries outside drug development.
Driven by the principles of collaboration, innovation and technology, the CNS Summit is the place where industry leaders can jointly shape the future of drug development, and that is exactly what this year’s participants set out to do. One significant aspect of the CNS Summit is the diversity of participants. The event draws representatives from pharma, biotech, service companies, site leaders, investors, and patient advocacy groups. Each participant brings their own perspective on clinical research challenges, creating a rich environment for collaboration and problem-solving in a pre-competitive space. It gives everyone a place to talk through the issues they face, understand the challenges from the perspective of other sectors, and actively work together on solutions.
To support the collaboration goals, the event features a multiple one-to-one networking sessions, prearranged via the CNS Summit meeting app.
Innovation and collaboration steal the spotlight
This year, the keynote session was "What will be the Impact of Silicon Valley on Drug Development?", which featured experts from both pharma and the digital technology world, including, Vijay Gurbaxani from the Center for Digital Transformation at UC -Irvine, John Reites, from Quintiles and Don Jones from Scripps Translational Science Institute. Panelists talked about how technology companies will be disrupting drug development, and how biopharma needs to integrate digital technology into their development programs.
The Innovation Showcase was another highlight at the CNS Summit, where each day five emerging companies pursuing technology-based solutions were featured. These included Healthrhythms, which showcased it’s new app that can track social activity, mood, and social media interactions as a way to gauge a patient’s mental health status rather than relying on interview questions; Cluepoints, which presented an analytics platform to identify anomalous data and site errors to improve clinical data quality; and InSilico Biosciences, which discussed it’s work using virtual patient simulations to improve clinical trial outcomes. All of the companies showcased were exciting, and it was a valuable opportunity to learn about innovative research from companies that the clinical trial industry might otherwise not be aware of. The CNS Summit has a track record of showcasing companies that go on to form partnerships with pharma.
The Clinical Trials of the Future Initiative
The Clinical Trials of the Future initiative brings together experts in clinical trials, technology and other relevant disciplines to shape the future of how clinical trials are conducted. The aim is to leverage upcoming trends to enable more efficient and successful drug development resulting in the acceleration of new treatments reaching patients
Currently, the CTF initiative has five Domains:
Each domain has produced an executive summary of the trends they have identified in their domain that need to be focused on. At this year’s CNS Summit each domain has identified the challenge they will address first.
Overall, the CNS Summit provided actionable insights for participants and reinforced the value of breaking down silos and working together towards common goals. This will help the entire industry more efficiently address obstacles to clinical research, and jointly identify and develop innovations that could fundamentally change the way we develop drugs for our patients.