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24min

Real World Data Keeps the Research Cycle Moving With Jeff Allen


Summary

In this episode of the Real World Talk podcast, Andrew Belli welcomes Jeff Allen, the president and CEO of Friends of Cancer Research. Jeff talks about his organization and its work during the pandemic. He also talks about real-world data pilot projects and says the partnership was the main component of their success.

Highlights

[00:11] Introduction — Andrew Belli welcomes Jeff Allen, the president and CEO of Friends of Cancer Research.

[00:35] The 25th anniversary of Friends of Cancer Research — In the past 25 years, the organization was focused on FDA-related policy. How to accelerate the delivery of new medicines to patients as fast as possible is their ultimate goal.

[02:02] The origins of the accelerator — Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world dealt with a completely unfamiliar situation from a biological pathogen standpoint and a societal standpoint. Friends of Cancer, alongside their partners, including the FDA, worked on collecting valuable data. Evaluating evidence together was critical to sort through that information so that the best decisions could be made.

[05:46] Pilot projects in oncology — Partnership was the heart of the real-world evidence pilot projects. The partners’ expertise willing to come together, share data, and drop competitive barriers has been a critical component of success.

[10:22] The Biden administration might catalyze oncology research — According to Jeff, the new administration’s arrival is a unique opportunity to provide a vehicle to accelerate the progress that has already been made in the field of research.

[15:14] The 21st Century Cures Act — Bringing innovation and bio-sciences to a more regular conversation is one of the most significant aspects of the bill.

[18:11] The future of cancer research and cancer care — Allen predicts reduced mortality, advancements in precision oncology. He also hopes to see many positive changes on different fronts.

Key Points

  • In focus: FDA-related policy. The organization ”Friends of Cancer Research” celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The organization was focused on FDA-related policy for the better part of those years. ”Thinking about ways that we can bring together different collaborators to scientifically drive evidence-based to inform good policy, with the ultimate goal of thinking about how to accelerate the delivery of new medicines to patients as fast as we can.”
  • It was critical to sort through information to make the best decisions. The previous year has brought many uncertainties and shown the significance of unity and partnership. As Allen explains, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was a completely unknown situation from both a biological pathogen standpoint and a societal standpoint. Friends of Cancers Research partnered with many other organizations because, as Allen says: ”It was critical to try and sort through that information as rapidly as possible so the best decisions could be made.”
  • What could cancer care look like in 20 years? Allen predicts reduced mortality, advancements in precision oncology and hopes to see many positive changes on different fronts. ”I think it’s important to keep in mind that while there have been recent very notable successes in developing new cancer treatments, that still may be for, in some cases, a minority of patients. For some types of cancers, that type of progress hasn’t yet been made.”

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