A clinical trial transformation is currently underway at Eli Lilly & Company. Two years ago, it was taking the company an average of 10.5 years to go from first patient dosed to actual product launch. The time it took to simply enroll patients in trials was averaging four years. That means 40 percent of the time a drug was in development was spent simply recruiting patients. There is a set amount of time that is spent treating patients and analyzing data. Oftentimes that cannot be changed. But enrollment was one area where the company felt improvements could be made.
“The situation had to change,” says Anne White, Lilly’s VP of next generation development and project management. “We knew we had to find a way to get our medicines to patients faster.” CEO at the time, John Lechleiter, told his leadership team, “I want to change this dynamic. We need to be fast along with having a great portfolio. How do we make that happen?” According to White, for the past two years the company has worked toward turning his vision into reality.