innovating care pathways

Healthcare leaders tackled some tough questions at the latest inspiring webinar ‘New medicines, new access, new frontiers’, by impatient health (1st June 2022).

The panel did not shy away from some of the biggest issues in healthcare today, examining:

– Critical differences between therapy areas and response from Regulators

-The need to better understand chronic remitting disorders and stop defining them based on the (in)adequacy of current treatments

-Our duty to effectively collaborate and transfer innovation into care pathways so we can deliver the real product: improved patient outcomes

Here are some of our key takeaways from the webinar…

On responses from Regulators…

The panel highlighted important differences between therapy areas (TAs) and the response from Regulators. Those associated with life-and-death scenarios, such as in the field of oncology, may get a different response compared with immunology. The devastating impact of immune-mediated disease is harder to convey because these patients die over many years.

Yet it is critically important to address with the same speed and rigour as cancer.

In general, the panel were pleased with their interactions with Regulators across disease states and modalities – especially on progress / approvals during the pandemic. It seems that Regulators do have a different mindset across TAs.


On defining chronic remitting disorders…

Compass Pathways are pioneering novel partnership models to help transfer innovation into clinical care pathways, with a focus on mental health. Its CEO, George Goldsmith, highlighted why this is critically important:

“Every 40 seconds someone dies of suicide and 20 people attempt it … Each one has family members, friends … The cascade is quite brutal!”

As innovations in mental wellbeing emerge, it begs the question:

“Is depression a chronic remitting disorder because we don’t have better treatments that actually prevent it from being so; the way cancer used to be a unified death sentence? Innovation enabled us to redefine cancer!”

It’s clear that we need to get to a point where we understand these diseases differently and don’t simply define them based on the current state of care.

Christi Shaw, CEO of Kite Pharma , added:

“It resonates in mental health and also in oncology … How many treatments must the patient fail before they get to try something new? Our system works by starting at the back end and working our way up, losing patients along the way … Could some of those innovations at the end of the line work better if given sooner … ?”. 


On improved patient outcomes...

Christi also mentioned that making cell therapies available across the globe is a heroic effort, with many companies such as Kite depending on staff to work through the pandemic (65% of Kites workforce are in Technical Operations) to ensure therapy availability.

Thomas Lönngren, former Executive Director at EMA added the need to learn from the collaborative approach of medical devices companies who are in the hospitals and at the bedside, as many companies working in niche TAs, such as cell therapy, have people in hospitals ensuring cell therapies are available.

The final word…

The panel agreed that effective transfer of innovation into clinical care pathways is essential but requires collaboration and new ways of working. The industry needs to act with urgency to ensure disease definitions are adapted and not defined on the current standard of care.

Products are no longer a shrink-wrapped pill – they should be regarded as improved patient outcomes.