Vice President of Patient Engagement
Optimizing Clinical Trial Referrals
Michael Wenger is passionate about expanding patient access to clinical trials. Why? Several years ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor with an unclear prognosis. In a follow-up scan, he learned that the tumor was benign and he would not require treatment. While he felt incredibly fortunate, he also recognized that many others would not receive such good news. Their futures would be tied to available treatments and a search for a cure.
That’s when he decided to use his skills as a software developer to help patients find clinical trials relevant to their condition. Despite the importance of clinical trials in bringing therapies and cures to patients, 85% of trials are delayed or cancelled due to lack of participation—leading to frustration for patients and additional costs to sponsors.
At The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Mike improved statistics for Parkinson’s trials by developing a clinical trial matching platform that educates patients about trials and helps them locate trials best suited to their needs. He then developed a sophisticated trial-matching algorithm that led to the creation of Clinical Trial Connect, an online platform that partners with patient advocacy and disease organization to broaden access to clinical trials.
Last fall, TrialScope acquired Clinical Trial Connect and hired Mike as Vice President of Patient Engagement. He is now spearheading TrialScope Connect, an initiative that is shifting the paradigm for clinical trial recruitment. Together, along with sponsors, recruitment companies, and advocacy organizations, they are forming a patient referral collective based on an industry-first model that focuses on collaboration, not competition.
To date, more than 50 referral partners have joined the network. Now, sponsors will find and enroll more qualified participants, advocacy/patient groups will offer broader access to their constituents, recruitment companies will have a larger pool of data to draw from, and more patients will ultimately be matched correctly with trials.
As an industry “insider” who also brings the patient perspective into play, Mike is poised to make a difference in clinical trial recruitment—and in the lives of thousands of patients worldwide.