We enable therapy developers to conduct ‘smarter’ clinical trials
Interpretation of clinical trial results can often be clouded by trial design flaws - unanticipated variance, insufficient power, poor translation of insights from natural history.

“Smarter” clinical trials are trials designed to leverage natural history and real world data to yield clear, unambiguous understanding of the efficacy of a new therapy.

Why cTAP Matters

The high rate of pivotal trial failures in Duchenne leaves most of the 300,000 boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy without the right treatment.

Each patient with Duchenne has his own distinctive longitudinal trajectory of disease progression. Some patients progress rapidly, while others may only reach the same clinical milestones a decade or more later.

The core challenge in designing and analyzing clinical trial and post-marketing data in Duchenne is how to take into account these different rates of disease progression– how can one discern whether a patient is doing well because of a drug, or simply because his disease is slowly progressing and he was going to do well anyway.

cTAP’s Mission

To understand – and account for – heterogeneity in longitudinal progression of disease

  • Engage regulators, clinical experts, drug developers and patient groups in collaborative learning from patient data
  • Create tools and insights for drug development and evaluation
  • Share broadly with the entire Duchenne community
  • Deliver near-term impact for clinical trials

Smarter trials, therapies to patients sooner

cTAP has established collaborations to access patient level clinical data from large clinical centers treating patients with Duchenne, clinical registries that curate data across multiple centers, and the drug companies who have conducted clinical trials in patients with Duchenne.

graphs and images showing patient data in cTAP

This large and growing database of patient outcomes in Duchenne enables cTAP to:

  • Conduct Individual patient level analyses as well as analyses on cohorts
  • Analyze longitudinal trajectories as well as cross-sectional data
  • Compare analytic results across geographies, clinical practice versus clinical studies, natural history versus placebo
  • Develop consensus models from aggregated, pooled data
Deeper Insights

cTAP has:

  • characterized and quantified the heterogeneity in longitudinal disease progression that historically has undermined clinical trials in Duchenne
  • identified prognostic factors to more than double prognostic accuracy in outcomes over the period of a clinical trial
  • established the consistency of progression of outcomes between natural history and placebo arms
  • defined quantitative relationships between near term changes in outcomes versus time to longer term clinical milestones.

cTAP Pipeline

Trajectories of disease progression
Meaningful clinical change
Real world outcomes
1 year change in ambulatory outcomes
Longer term change
Portal Analyses
3rd party neutral analyses
Consistency of natural history and placebo
Matching to Real World Data

*With primary target group – academic, regulators, payors/health authorities – dependent on program status by leading outcome measure

A growing track record of discovery and insight

Less than two years after it was founded, cTAP had published two significant and influential peer-reviewed articles, and a third is now in press. cTAP collaborators have presented at least 5 abstracts each year describing new findings at the premier conferences in neuromuscular and pediatric rare disease forums, including the World Muscle Society. Read below for examples of research questions addressed or work underway.

Characterizing heterogeneity of disease progression

Quantitative evidence of underlying structure to differences in disease progression – Clustering of longitudinal trajectories of natural history halves variance.

graphs showing data points

Mercuri EM, Signorovitch JE, Swallow E, Song J, Ward SJ for DMD Italian Group and CollaborativeTrajectory Analysis Project (cTAP) (2016)..Categorizing natural history trajectories of ambulatory function measured by the 6-minute walk distance in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neuromuscular Disorders; (26): 576-583


Translation to drug development

cTAP research is highly ‘applied’; the research plan embraces studies addressing key questions posed by regulators, answers to which can be deployed broadly by all cTAP members.

blue arrow graphic showing outcomes of cTAP model

Prognostic factors identified and prognostic models built – more than doubles prognostic power, marked reduction in ‘n’ to power a clinical trial.

Total sample sizes required to detect a 30 m change in 6MWD

blue and green graph showing clinical trial data

Goemans N, vanden Hauwe M, Signorovitch J, Swallow E, Song J, CollaborativeTrajectory Analysis Project (cTAP) (2016). Individualized Prediction of Changes in 6-MinuteWalk Distance for Patients with Duchenne. Muscular Dystrophy. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0164684

Tools to pressure test clinical trial design

cTAP Portal collage of software screenshots and data

Harmonized data

Dynamic analytics

Rapidly testing hypotheses

Timely replication and extension