Trialflow enables faster planning and completion of clinical trials

Katharina Kittelberger

Startup Stories

Clinical trials need to be faster, smarter and more efficient so that millions of people can receive urgently needed treatments more quickly. Münster-based startup Trialflow, founded in 2020, ensures this by creating the basis for clinical trials to be planned and conducted more efficiently with its digital platform. In this context, transparency about the planning and study progress as well as clear communication channels with clear contact persons are just some of the aspects that enable smooth flow through the study.

Leona Turner, Co-Founder of Trialflow, explains in more detail: "Instead of developing further digital stand-alone solutions for a wide variety of tasks in study execution, we want to create the basis for a more productive working environment for all involved. Our advanced matching algorithms and SaaS modules bring together the most suitable sponsors, trial sites and service providers in a data-driven way and streamline their work further down the line."

In an interview with 5-HT, Leona provides exciting insights into Trialflow's motivation and work, the resulting opportunities for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and what the startup expects from its collaboration with 5-HT.

Leona Turner, Co-Founder of Trialflow

Motivation for the founding of Trialflow

From a company builder, in cooperation with a market expert, Trialflow initially developed a product in 2020 that uses data-driven processes to connect sites with sponsors and thus existing patients with suitable studies. "For the time being, our product was thus primarily designed to broker suitable trial sites and their feasibility testing. In discussions with our first customers, we quickly discovered that not only the identification of suitable trial sites, but also the further coordination of the collaboration posed challenges. Thus, it is not only necessary to bring the appropriate players together, but also to create a more productive working environment for them afterwards, as well as to efficiently manage the selection and collaboration of and with additional service providers."

Trialflow: A platform for clinical trials

While previous platforms for clinical trials often only start when the trial is underway, Trialflow enables the creation of a productive working environment in advance: "With Trialflow, we offer a platform that first identifies the right partners for a study and then automates administrative efforts as much as possible. Through clear communication channels as well as the integration of tools in the execution, we facilitate the collaboration of all participants as a single-point-of-contact." 

Trialflow's mission - to reduce the duration of clinical trials  

"Our objective is to reduce the duration of clinical trials by 50% and minimize any overhead costs," Leona emphasizes. "In doing so, we strongly believe that administrative relief for trial sites is absolutely necessary. With our platform, we relieve trial sites of the multitude of individual organizational arrangements and repetitive administrative tasks. This helps counteract study delays by allowing study teams to focus on the heart of their work: optimal patient recruitment and care." 

The guiding principle of Trialflow

Piloting with Trialflow

Leona explains why pharma companies, biotechs, medical device companies and health startups or other potential clients should exactly set up a pilot with Trialflow as follows, "With our services so far, two entry points can be chosen. We can be engaged in the initial startup phase as well as for post-recruitment of sites during implementation. The integration of Trialflow is deliberately kept low-threshold: The study sponsor provides his study protocol as input to Trialflow and receives a complete export of the necessary study site documents for submission to ethics committees after completion of our feasibility process. The fee is based on the success of the study. Only the centers that the sponsor actually wants to include need to be paid," says Leona.  

She adds: "In the next step, we will develop further services that make it easier for study sponsors to select service providers and manage contracts with study centers and service providers. To do this, we like to actively work with our customers to better understand challenges and take advantage of opportunities." 

Who exactly are the current, but also potential, customers? 

"Our already existing offering, the trial center acquisition and feasibility service, can be used by pretty much all research-based pharmaceutical companies due to the very low-threshold integration mentioned earlier," Leona explains. "So far, we have been able to successfully refer studies in dermatology, angiology, gynecology, oncology, as well as diabetology in our network of over 50 trial sites. 

The other services we are developing with Trialflow focus, for example, on mapping and planning the startup phases and are accordingly of particular interest to biotechs and smaller pharmaceutical companies that have no in-house developments in this area."

Trialflow's future plans

In this regard, Leona summarizes how the function of Trialflow should ultimately be, but also what role the topic of expansion plays for the young startup: "Ultimately, we would like to map everything in our platform from the finished study design to the execution and the final close-out.

The expansion of our test center network is currently still focused on Germany. The next logical step will then be to expand the network throughout Europe."

Contacts and networking: expectations of the cooperation with 5-HT  

"5-HT connects many of our different target groups in one network. As part of this network, we look forward to learning about challenges faced by companies in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, discussing possible solutions with them, and being able to support these potential customers in the digitization of clinical research," concludes Leona. 

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