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News

United BioSource partners CogState to offer cognitive testing in clinical trials

United BioSource : 06 August, 2008  (Company News)
United BioSource has entered into a strategic partnership with CogState to increase the ability for pharmaceutical and life sciences companies to conduct cognitive testing in clinical trials.
Customers will be able to use the companies' scientific resources, software capabilities and global operations to support full-scale clinical development programmes.

Cognitive impairment is a defining aspect of many psychiatric and neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, ADHD, depression and stroke. Consequently, improving cognition has become an important outcome for new treatment strategies in these conditions and there is a need for sensitive measures, assays and analyses that can be used to guide decisions about cognition. Furthermore there is also a need for systems that can be used to cost-effectively manage the use of cognitive assessments in multi-national clinical trials.

Within this context, UBC and CogState have partnered to advance the field of cognitive assessment in clinical trials through provision of an integrated cognitive testing solution for use in Phase I through IV clinical trials internationally. The comprehensive cognitive service solution offered by the partnership will provide new opportunities for sponsor companies seeking the global, operational depth of UBC coupled with the power of CogState's industry-leading cognitive testing expertise.

CogState has earned a solid reputation in scientific research for its standard and customised test batteries, as well as its reliable computerised testing systems and methods of analysis of cognitive data. It has proven itself as a leader in cognition testing and offers sponsor companies the most innovative and appropriate cognitive assessment strategies, including computerised testing, traditional paper and pencil batteries, such as the Neuropsychological Test Battery (NTB) developed by Dr John Harrison, principal scientist for CogState. CogState clinical trials systems also include real-time data reporting programs which provide investigators with new opportunities for both immediate data read-out and monitoring data quality.

In response to the increasing focus on cognitive assessment within clinical trials, CogState sought out an established, global pharmaceutical services company with a proven methodology for ensuring data quality in clinical trials. 'UBC's customised, hands-on approach to rater training, assessment and ongoing rater surveillance is a perfect fit with CogState's portfolio of evidence-based cognitive testing capabilities,' said Brad O'Connor, chief executive officer of CogState.

UBC's leading Ratings Services group is focused on standardizing the administration and scoring of clinically subjective outcome measures used as pivotal endpoints in clinical trials. Its data collection, data monitoring and training services are designed to reduce data variance and maximise inter-site reliability across countries. UBC has trained, certified and monitored more than 20,000 raters, testers and investigators in more than 60 countries encompassing over 400 protocols.

Catherine Spear, senior vice-president of UBC's Ratings Services group stated, 'UBC and CogState have demonstrated an unsurpassed commitment to ensuring measurement precision and data quality within clinical research. Our combined offering will provide customers with a comprehensive solution for cognitive testing that addresses both the operational and scientific challenges associated with clinical research. Sponsor companies will be better equipped to select the most appropriate cognitive tests; train, certify and support raters and testers administering the batteries; centrally monitor test data; and interpret test results. Ultimately, companies will be able to improve the timeliness, effectiveness and precision of their trials that include cognitive testing.'

Enthusiasm for this new partnership is felt by the scientific leaders at both organizations. 'We are excited about offering comprehensive global training and operational services from UBC to our customers and we look forward to supporting UBC customers with our innovative cognitive testing tools. The UBC global project delivery capabilities are unmatched in the pharmaceutical services industry,' said CogState principal scientist Paul Maruff, PhD.

David Miller, MD, a UBC practice leader with a specialty in dementia trials and other neurological disorders, said, 'CogState's validated, evidence-based platform for cognitive testing together with UBC's proven training, certification and data monitoring methodology will provide sponsor companies with unparalleled support.'

'The growing importance of cognition as a pivotal endpoint in clinical development has increased the need for scalable, evidence-based cognitive testing solutions,' stated Professor Peter Snyder, a leading international researcher in Alzheimer's disease, professor of clinical neuroscience at Brown University and scientific consultant to CogState. 'By seamlessly integrating science, technology and client service, the combination of UBC and CogState will be able to offer the most complete and integrated cognitive testing approach to pharmaceutical and life sciences companies,' added Professor Snyder.

CogState and UBC will remain independent legal entities and will maintain their respective company names. Likewise, the executive management will also remain the same for both companies. The partnership will allow CogState to more efficiently deliver training and site support, thereby further assuring the quality of data. UBC and CogState will immediately begin to work together to support sponsor companies with the assessment of cognition in clinical trials.
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