Allucent selected for new BARDA decentralized trial initiative for pandemic preparedness

Contract research organization Allucent has been chosen as a partner for the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority’s new five-year program that aims to scale up the capacity for decentralized clinical trials in preparation for future pandemics.

The Decentralized Clinical Operations for Healthcare and Research initiative (D-COHRe) will see partners like Allucent build out their decentralized trial capabilities so they can be used to help test FDA-regulated “medical countermeasures,” like vaccines and drugs, in the case of a public health emergency. The program offers up to $2 million in so-called “capability funding” to make these enhancements, according to the program’s website

While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of telehealth services, it also magnified problems with conducting clinical trials for medical countermeasures, the D-COHRe website points out. Recruiting, enrolling and retaining patients outside the hospital was difficult. The new initiative will take advantage of the move toward remote care and decentralized models to close those gaps in preparation for the next crisis. 

Allucent’s participation in the program will include product development that allows it to deploy both partly and fully decentralized trials, the CRO announced in a July 9 release. It will boost its capabilities to run trials via home health, mobile, telehealth and what it described as “alternative” research sites, which will be supported by secure data collection tech, engagement tools for trial subjects and services designed to enroll and retain dispersed and diverse participants.

In addition to CROs that focus on decentralized trials, the program is open to clinics, standalone ERs, telehealth providers and virtual health service providers. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until Dec. 9.