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Use of an Online Portal to Facilitate Clinical Trial Recruitment: A Preliminary Analysis of Fox Trial Finder


Background: As in other therapeutic areas, clinical studies in Parkinson's disease (PD) face significant recruitment challenges. However, qualitative surveys suggest that individuals with PD are willing to participate in clinical research. The Michael J. Fox Foundation therefore established Fox Trial Finder in 2011 to facilitate connection between PD research teams and volunteers. Objective: Characterize the research volunteers (with and without PD) registered on Fox Trial Finder as of June 2014, and the published, recruiting studies to identify trends and highlight gaps between research requirements and available volunteers. Methods: Profiles of volunteers with and without PD were analyzed to explore trends in geography, demographics, family history and, for those volunteers with PD, disease progression and treatment history. Clinical study profiles were analyzed to determine study type, phase, sponsor, focus, location and eligibility criteria. The analysis focused on volunteers and studies based in the United States. Results: The database contained 26,261 US-based volunteers, including 19,243 volunteers (73%) with PD and 7,018 (27%) controls without PD. The average time since diagnosis for PD volunteers was 5.7 years and the average age at diagnosis was 58 years. Control volunteers were more likely than volunteers with PD to be female (67% vs. 35%) and to have a family history of PD (49% vs. 12%). Conclusions: Fox Trial Finder's registration history to date demonstrates the high level of willingness among individuals affected by PD to participate in clinical research and provide a significant amount of personal health information to facilitate that participation.