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Wilmington Health Launches New Venture, Partners With QuintilesIMS

By Cece Nunn, posted Sep 5, 2017
A venture created by Wilmington Health and a clinic in Illinois has launched a partnership with the world's largest contract research organization, QuintilesIMS, to begin clinical trials through a nationwide network, officials said this week.

Innovo Research, founded by Wilmington-based Wilmington Health and Christie Clinic of Champaign, Illinois, will enable the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) involved in the venture to help those ACOs more quickly and efficiently identify and recruit patients, based on demographics, health status and other criteria, who are suitable for particular areas of clinical research, said Jeff James, CEO of Wilmington Health.

Innovo Research's partnership with QuintilesIMS then provides the on-site management part of the equation for each of the pharmaceutical studies that engage the Innovo Research network. 

"To our knowledge it's the first of its kind where there's a network of ACOs that will actively pursue clinical trials for the benefit of their patients as a care option as well as assisting pharma in reducing the cost of development," said James of Innovo Research. "We'll be able to provide both insurance companies and pharma information that they've not had before related to outcomes and costs. They'll be able to use the information we have to better value their products in both directions because of the speed and versatility of our ability to recruit patients into the studies."

James and other Innovo Research officials are working on partnering with more ACOs, he said.

“Through our association with Christie Clinic and the new relationships we are building across the country with extraordinary provider groups, Innovo Research will be able to provide a geographically and demographically diverse population to drug companies as they evaluate the efficacy of new therapies,” James said in a news release about the venture and partnership.

Wilmington Health and Christie Clinic had previously worked with PMG Research on managing studies conducted in Wilmington and elsewhere. QuintilesIMS, a publicly traded company (NYSE:Q), resulted from the merger last year of Durham-based Quintiles Transitional and health care data and consulting firm IMS Health. 

The release said for Innovo Research, QuintilesIMS can ensure each piece of data is collected consistently for better study results.
 
“Having a partner like QuintilesIMS was critical as we began this journey to providing greater value to the clinical trial system for our study sponsors,” said Kenny Bilger, CEO of Christie Clinic, in the release. “With Innovo Research’s ability to access patients and the data confidence that QuintilesIMS provides, we give the pharmaceutical industry the best of both worlds.”
 
The patient data is gathered through consent, de-identification, data-use agreements and other HIPPA-compliant methods, James said.

“By combining our efforts, and bringing new ACOs into our network, we can ensure many study sponsors access to the patients that they need to collect this valuable data. In addition, we will be able to identify quickly any gaps in care across the entire network and find the types of studies that would most benefit our patient population,” James said in the release.

Wilmington Health was the first local organization to set up an ACO, teaming with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in 2012, and has been in the midst of helping other providers set up ACOs, according to previous Greater Wilmington Business Journal stories.

Because Innovo Research is founded by two medical groups, the release said, continued emphasis will be placed on three main goals: improving health care outcomes for patients, reducing the cost of health care to patients and across the system and improving patient engagement and satisfaction with their healthcare experience, the release said.
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