The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and Verana Health announced that they are now facilitating no-cost genetic testing and counseling for patients with certain inherited retinal diseases through Verana Trial Connect, a powerful cloud-based application that facilitates physician and patient awareness of clinical trial opportunities. Leveraging the information found in the largest specialty clinical database in medicine—the American Academy of Ophthalmology IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research In Sight), Verana Trial Connect aims to accelerate trial enrollment and, with the addition of genetic screening and counseling, now has the potential to open up new options to patients for whom limited or no treatments exist. Verana Trial Connect will initially enable genetic screening and counseling at no cost for select conditions, and later will expand to include patients with other inherited retinal conditions.
Patients with inherited retinal diseases—approximately 200,000 individuals in the United States—are often significantly visually impaired and lack treatment options. Currently, there are more than 50 novel therapies in development for these patients; however, patient trial recruitment remains the greatest barrier to drug development. Genetic testing and counseling may open up access to clinical trials and promising new therapies for this underserved population.
“Through this new offering, the Academy and Verana are providing new opportunities for physicians to not only better serve their patients, but to engage in research that may ultimately lead to groundbreaking therapies for rare and sight-threatening ophthalmic diseases,” David W. Parke, II, MD, CEO, of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said in a company news release. “This is a very challenging area where disease prevalence is low and awareness of clinical trials and available treatment options is limited among physicians and patients alike. By enabling ophthalmologists to provide access to genetic screening and counseling at no cost, we can help physicians identify patients who could benefit from participation in a clinical trial.”
“We’re excited to continue to collaborate with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to advance care for patients through the Academy’s IRIS Registry,” Miki Kapoor, CEO of Verana Health, said in the news release. “Just last month, we launched Verana Practice Insights, an important tool that empowers physicians to advance patient care through critical data insights. Now through this new program, we will be able to enhance the IRIS Registry with genetic information using Verana Trial Connect, while facilitating study enrollment opportunities for patients who traditionally have been difficult to identify.”
Academy member physicians who are interested in Verana Trial Connect can learn more and gain access by visiting https://www.veranahealth.com/verana-trial-network-signup/. Here, physicians can also learn about opportunities to connect with clinical trial sponsors and potentially participate as trial investigators for upcoming studies.
Physicians can also learn more about Verana Trial Connect and Verana Practice Insights at AAO 2019, which is being held October 11-15 in San Francisco, by visiting Verana booth #2047, registering for the AAO course “Member Value Tools From the IRIS Registry and Verana Health: How to Improve Your Practice,” or attending the Technology Pavilion presentation “Big Data, Better Insights: How the IRIS Registry and Verana are Transforming Practice Intelligence.”