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PRA Health (PRAH) Enters Into Strategic Deal With Deep Lens

PRA Health Sciences, Inc. PRAH recently inked a strategic deal with Deep Lens, Inc. to expedite patient access and recruitment for oncology clinical trials. This deal will combine best-in-class technologies that can boost identification, screening and matching of cancer patients to precision-based clinical oncology trials globally. Interestingly, this combined solution has been deployed to Microsoft Azure.

Notably, this deal is likely to boost PRA Health’s Clinical Research segment, which covers a broad array of services across the spectrum of clinical development programs.

VIPER Patient Screening Platform at a Glance

Deep Lens’ breakthrough VIPER patient screening platform is deployed by cancer centers, integrated delivery networks, and community oncology networks to detect and match oncology patients to life saving clinical trials and best precision therapies.

Post qualification for trials, the VIPER system will refer these patients to PRA Health’s industry leading Mobile Health Platform that has also been deployed on Azure. This, in turn, will help providers with respect to end-to-end patient-centric screening and trial management expertise globally.

Significance of the Deal

Currently, more than 14,000 oncology trials are recruiting patients but estimates show that only 3-5% of eligible patients actually get to participate. Here comes the use of VIPER technology as it can simplify patient identification process by instantly analyzing data within electronic health records (EHR), pathology systems and genomic profiles. This will ultimately result in matching cancer patients with suitable clinical trials.

The deal between PRA Health Sciences and Deep Lens can bring significant advancement to clinical trial with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning through the VIPER platform.

Moreover, with the support of Microsoft Azure, this strategic relationship can build a game-changing model in cancer research that will not be limited to patient screening but also for the development of just-in-time networks and other new business models.

Recent Development

This month, PRA Health and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) collaborated to introduce a first-of-its-kind global clinical master trial in order to develop new treatments for children with relapsed acute leukemia. Notably, the new LLS PedAL (Pediatric Acute Leukemia) master clinical trial will concurrently test multiple targeted therapies for children who experience a relapse of their acute leukemia. In fact, the study will be held at over 200 sites (part of the National Cancer Institute-supported Children’s Oncology Group network of children’s hospitals) worldwide that include those in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Market Prospects

Per a report by Grand View Research, the global clinical trials market size was valued at $46.8 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to see a CAGR of 5.1% between the period of 2020 and 2027. Rising prevalence of chronic disease and growing demand for clinical trials in developing countries are driving this market. Hence, this strategic deal is well-timed.

Price Performance

Shares of the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has lost 2.5%, against the industry’s growth of 25% in a year’s time.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space include West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO and PerkinElmer, Inc. PKI. While PerkinElmer sports a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), both West Pharmaceuticals and Thermo Fisher carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

PerkinElmer has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 17.4%.

Thermo Fisher has an estimated long-term earnings growth rate of 15%.

West Pharmaceutical has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 17.4%.

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