Transparency Life Sciences (TLS), a biopharmaceutical development company based in the US, has marked its official launch by unveiling a prototype of the crowdsourced web platform it will use to design clinical trial protocols more in tune with the needs of patients, physicians, medical experts and other stakeholders.

It would be a stretch to call TLS entirely “new”: the LinkedIn entry for founding chief executive officer Dr Tomasz Sablinski – who is also managing director of drug development enterprise Celtic Therapeutics – lists him as having set up Transparency Life Sciences in 2010.

Nonetheless, the company is raising its public profile as a unique proposition that will harness 21st century information and communications technologies to improve the productivity of clinical development and the regulatory viability of resulting compounds, while significantly reducing timelines and costs.

Open innovation base

TLS calls itself “the world’s first drug development company based on open innovation”.

It will use this strategy to develop medicines for significant unmet medical needs, with an initial  focus on acquiring and repositioning compounds that have shown efficacy and a clean safety profile but have been left ‘on the shelf’ due to poor alignment with the owner’s corporate strategy, unsuitable properties for current indications of interest or for financial reasons.

The company will look to divest or partner these products once it has “substantially increased their value through mid-stage development”.

In the near term it does not intend to get involved in product commercialisation, although in some cases (e.g., orphan indications or where the cost of incremental development is low), TLS may consider advancing compounds into later development stages and registration activities.

Its “game-changing” approach is based on three core principles:

•    Collaborative intelligence, or crowdsourcing, will be employed in the design of clinical protocols, with participation from medical experts, front-line physicians, patients, researchers and others. The aim is to come up with protocols “focused on parameters most relevant to clinical decision-making and practice”.

•    TLS will leverage contemporary health information and communications technologies to implement “patient-centric clinical trials that will reduce burdens on subjects and sponsors”, as well as enhancing data quality.  

•    As its name suggests, TLS wants to take a leading role in demonstrating “how transparency throughout the clinical trial process can enhance drug development”.

Demonstrate platform