What You Should Know:
– Co-founded by former Gerson Lehrman Group CEO Alexander Saint-Amand, Topography is making it possible for your family doctor to offer clinical drug trials as part of their practice. Not just for potentially terminal illnesses, but also for moderate chronic illnesses, where the standard of care lags. Their goal is for your family doc to be part of a national network of hundreds of thousands of community physicians with the money, equipment, and staff to make local drug trials as accessible as getting a COVID test.
Why It Matters
Clinical trial access barriers are a chronic issue for Americans. Patients with intractable health conditions might qualify for existing drug trials, but in many cases aren’t screened or don’t receive advanced biomarker testing. If patients do access state-of-the-art screening and become trial-eligible, they must afford travel or relocation to trial sites found in a handful of major metros. For patients with chronic health conditions, such as fatty liver disease, the lack of available drug trials means that when standard approaches like weight loss and diet fail, a liver transplant becomes the only treatment option (standard of care).
Potentially life-saving and life-improving therapeutics also wait years to make it into clinical trials. 86% of trial sites fail to enroll the necessary patients, and 50% never enroll a single patient. Trial patient populations fall woefully short of a representative view of the American population.
“Lack of patient diversity in clinical trials is a huge bottleneck in the drug development process, and Topography solves for this by focusing on empowering physicians to efficiently build clinical research and investigative capabilities into their core practice operations,” said Julie Yoo, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “With the boom in pharma and biotech funding, demand for new investigators also continues to outstrip supply, creating large opportunities to unlock novel research capacity across physicians and their patients.”
Empower Community Physicians to Run Clinical Drug Trials
Emerging from 18 months in stealth, Topography looks to harness local patient-physician trust to reduce historic drug trial participation barriers, unlock drug development supply & demand challenges, and bring exponentially more therapeutics to market. Topography is a full-stack, white-glove clinical trials product and service experience that identifies, trains, and supports community physicians in expanding their clinical research capabilities and scaling clinical trials in their communities.
Reducing the administrative and business management burden placed on the physician, Topography helps medical practices better understand their patient populations, recommends which studies have high odds of uptake and impact, recruits patients, and hires, manages and supports research staff. Topography’s digital workflow technology allows physicians to reduce process friction and manage all clinical data in one place. Its data science platform analyzes patient records to help physicians across diverse communities recommend and personalize research for their patients, many of whom may have historically been excluded from or overlooked by promising drug trials.
Topography is currently in beta with several community physicians, with an initial focus on metabolic disease. It is actively recruiting community physicians nationally to apply for physician investigator roles.