Circle Case study

How Roche diversified international clinical trials through demographic & health variable data

Leveraging demographic & health variable data to bolster clinical trials in five European markets


For international pharmaceutical and diagnostics company, Roche, a core function of the organisation is the running of clinical trials for regulatory approval of new medications. In particular, the Insights and Analytics team is involved in supporting late-stage trials by identifying the most appropriate hospital locations and clinical trial patients for these trials across countries to enable the most effective recruitment process.

The Challenge:

  • Historically, clinical trial populations have often differed from the populations that use the medications, resulting in clinical trial patients being predominantly Caucasian and coming from more affluent socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Regulations are evolving and regulatory agencies are driving a new view on diversity and inclusion in clinical trials.
  • Lack of data availability, legal barriers, data collection and protection and privacy issues are all common hurdles in clinical trials, especially in Europe.

The Solution:

By working with CACI, Roche’s Insights and Analytics team has used a combination of demographic and health variable data within CACI’s analytical and mapping tool, InSite, to determine locations that would best suit the recruitment of more diverse populations for clinical trials in five European markets.

With diversifying clinical trials being the team’s goal, the key variables they needed to understand included ethnicity, deprivation, education attainment, economic status, rural versus urban, smoking, pollution and other disease risk factors. CACI developed bespoke models for these variables by combining key demographics such as age, income and gender with survey data on a country-by-country basis to generate models at a postcode level for each of the required countries.

The Results:

While still in its early days, Roche’s Insights and Analytics team has already tremendously benefitted from CACI’s bespoke model and expertise, delivering the model to the team and providing training on how to use it. The
team has since been able to use data-driven decision-making to tackle any clinical trial strategisation obstacles versus relying on assumption.

Having previously worked with CACI on smaller, UK focused projects, the ability to now take this bespoke model to scale so that it can be accessed across other countries has augmented Roche’s diversity strategy, with the team particularly pleased by CACI’s quick data generation and innovation in terms of modelled data from survey data sources.

The innovative approach with CACI was taking all that demographic data collected across Europe, tagging it with running surveys, and modelling it based on… geographic locations of different populations. That allowed us to come up with some numbers in those various locations, which was something we couldn’t find anywhere else.

Jonathan Wharton, Portfolio Analytics Manager at Roche

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