Clinical Trial Platform “Puzz” Brings Clinical Trials Closer to Patients

Buzzreach Co., Ltd. (Head office: Meguro-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Takateru Inokawa), who is currently developing clinical trial information infrastructure for patients is pleased to announce that the clinical trial information platform “puzz” has been released on March 5, 2019 allowing access to approximately 2.5 million clinical trial applicant database from partner companies, healthcare media, etc. We will also announce that we have raised approximately 50 million yen in seed round funding led by KLab Venture Partners Co., Ltd. for the purpose of further development of this service.

  1. 1. The clinical trial dissemination platform “Puzz” for pharmaceutical companies/ medical institutions
  2. 2. Information matching platform Smt (Search My Trial) for general consumers
  3. 3. Major Issue in the Industry: Low Availability of Clinical Trial Information
  4. 4. Comments from Takateru Inokawa, Representative Director, Buzzreach Co., Ltd.
  5. 5. Fundings
  6. 6. Future Business Developments
  7. 7. Contact us

The clinical trial dissemination platform “puzz” for pharmaceutical companies/ medical institutions

Puzz is a clinical trial information dissemination platform for pharmaceutical companies and medical institutions to publish and disseminate clinical trial information to the general consumers as well as enquiring patients allowing them to apply for clinical studies. On puzz, clinical trials information can be registered not only at the medical institution level but also at a project level, enabling detailed settings and information deployment. By posting clinical trial information on puzz, information can be disseminated to a patient database, healthcare media, patient’s association etc. The registration fee for puzz is free of charge however there is a paid plan option where we can support multiple projects of different duration. In addition, the clinical trial information posted on puzz links with the clinical trial matching platform smt (Search My Trial * beta version) operated by our company hence enabling the matching of trial information to patients seeking new treatments. This will allow us to provide an infrastructure for managing patient information in clinical trials. The process of drug development is costly, and this is usually due to the extension of enrollment period therefore, pharmaceutical companies are constantly aiming to finish development in the shortest possible time. By introducing puzz (beta version), several pharmaceutical companies have shortened enrollment period by two months, reducing costs by about 45 million yen.

Information matching platform smt (Search My Trial) for general consumers

Smt is a service that matches patients, families and general consumers seeking information on new treatments and drugs on the web with all clinical trial information in Japan. You can not only specify on clinical trial information that is appropriate for your own or your family’s situation but also the neighbourhood in which the relevant clinical trials are conducted (*The name of the medical institution is usually masked and only area information is available). This will open a new pathway for patients in the sense that they could participate in “clinical trials” as a new option other than the treatments they are getting from a general doctor.

Major Issue in the Industry: Low Availability of Clinical Trial Information

Clinical trials play an essential part in ensuring that new drugs are safe and effective. However, with only limited sites providing information on ongoing trials, it proves to be a challenging task for patients who are not satisfied with their current treatments to look up new trials that may be lifechanging for their conditions. The number of clinical trials conducted in Japan is increasing annually and 693 clinical trial plans were notified in 2017 (National Institute of Health and Medical Technology Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency https://www.pmda.go.jp/review-services/trials/0014.html). Among them, 136 are undergoing clinical trial plan submissions showing that many new drugs have reached the clinical trial phase every year. Furthermore, there has been a shift of trends for drug development for treatments towards untreatable diseases such as cancer, dementia, psychiatric diseases, childhood diseases, rare diseases, gynaecological diseases, etc. These drugs may be the only chance for some patients in later stages of diseases and without efficient conveyance of information to these patients, they may just miss their chance to treating the disease and prolonging their life. Therefore, based on the current situation, we have released trial matching platforms smt and puzz in order to eliminate the information gap between patients, pharmaceutical companies and medical institutions. Not only will patients receive the information on new drugs efficiently, but the drug development cost will also be lowered due to the participant referring.

Comments from Takateru Inokawa, CEO, Buzzreach Co., Ltd.

At the moment, relaying information on clinical trials to patients accelerates development leading to a reduction in development costs, and more than anything else, new options and hope to patients. Patients are also given full transparency of new drug development status that pharmaceutical companies are working on. We provide puzz and smt (Search My Trial) to connect as many new clinical trial information to people suffering from illnesses. Although there are several companies specializing in recruiting patients for clinical trials and most of them have registered members, those registered members are just awaiting clinical trials for their particular disease since most information on clinical trials is not open to the public. On the other hand, most trials are delayed due to the lack of participants. In order to close this gap, we will open clinical trial information registered on our platform to various companies, media and organizations to improve the availability of this information to the people. Clinical trials are an essential part of the future development of healthcare in Japan. Patients who participate in the trials are representatives of the disease. There are hundreds and thousands of people who suffer from similar conditions who have no clue about clinical trials. We hope that more people will learn about clinical trials, participate in them and contribute to the further development of healthcare as much as possible.

Fundings

In December 2018, approximately 50 million yen was raised by third-party allotment, led by KLab Venture Partners Co., Ltd. With this funding, we will focus on other services that focus on patients seeking a better environment than the current IT-based environment, as well as expanding the current puzz and smt services we have released this time.

Future Business Developments

In order to provide patients with better treatment options, we will develop a service that delivers optimal information for each patient with the provision of clinical trial information. In the spring of 2019, we plan to connect investigators and participating patients, release a patient management app that solves various problems, and start creating a community where patients and pharmaceutical companies connect with each other based on “clinical trials.”

Contact us

Please feel free to inquire using the form below. We will respond as soon as possible between 9:30 and 18:30 (Monday – Friday Japan Tokyo time).