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Six health systems form consortium to expand access to clinical trials, brings access to clinical trials closer to home

April 17, 2018 Research News

On April 16, six regional health systems announced the founding of a nonprofit clinical research consortium—Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research (PIER Consortium™)—a streamlined clinical trial system that will span New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The founding members of PIER Consortium™ include Atlantic Health System, Drexel University, Einstein Healthcare Network, Geisinger including AtlantiCare, Main Line Health and Thomas Jefferson University.

Clinical trials have traditionally been offered at academic medical centers and through affiliated hospitals to ensure patients are treated safely and effectively with the best standard of care. Unfortunately for patients, this can mean traveling many miles, sometimes across the country, for novel treatment. The PIER Consortium™ will bring clinical trial sites to larger numbers of patients, while also bringing new treatments to market faster.

“The concept for creating a world-class, collaborative, clinical research network of regional health institutions began in 2013 with the arrival of Steve Klasko, as Jefferson’s President and CEO,” said David Whellan, MD, Senior Associate Provost for Clinical Research at Jefferson and Chief Operating Officer of PIER. “Our vision is to advance patient care in the moment and improve quality of life and outcomes in the future.”

“Main Line Health is proud to be a founding member of the Consortium,” said Jack Lynch, FACHE, President and CEO of Main Line Health. “Since 1927, Main Line Health has been conducting research that has brought innovative new treatments, diagnostic tools and medical devices to patients. We look forward to collaborating with our health care partners in PIER to continue that drive to advance breakthroughs and help our patients stay well and live longer, healthier lives.”

The goal of having a broad network of physician-researchers is to speed up the clinical trial process and deliver effective therapies to patients sooner. “It can take decades to prove a medication or other treatment is safe and effective for a particular disease, which can be too late for many patients seeking treatment,” said Dr. Whellan.

An estimated 80 percent of clinical trials fail to finish on time. Having contracts in place and physicians identified could allow trials to both start and reach participation capacity more quickly. The expertise shared across sites through PIER will allow clinical researchers to enroll patients in trials more quickly, and streamline the clinical trial process across institutions. This will create a more effective process for patients, trial sponsors, and researchers.

“PIER offers turn-key solutions with one contract and a single Institutional Review Board (IRB). With physician champions at each site, start-up activities will be coordinated to help each site hit the ground running,” said Dr. Whellan.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

Contact

Mary Kate Coghlan
Communications Specialist
Office: 484.580.1028
Cell: 610.308.6675
coghlanm@mlhs.org