22_John Yee

Prescribe Change

When it comes to developing new medicines, time is money. Veritas creates Web sites that make quick connections between companies looking for patients for clinical trials and people suffering from the relevant diseases.


John Yee
Chief medical officer, Veritas Medicine
Cambridge, Massachusetts


What specific issue are you trying to address?
Clinical trial recruitment is a serious source of delay in drug development. Nearly 80% of trials miss their enrollment deadlines, costing pharmaceutical companies $1 million in lost in revenue for each day of delay. Traditional approaches of recruitment are failing and the need for a solution is clear. 60 million Americans went online for health information last year. Over 70% reported that the health information they found influenced their treatment decision. With this increase in Web-savvy, health-conscious Americans, the Internet offers an effective means of communication about clinical trials and serves as an online resource on cutting-edge research.

What business principle applied?
In order to bridge the gap that exists between the pharmaceutical/biotech companies looking to enroll patients in their clinical trials and patients suffering from diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Veritas Medicine created an online exchange. Here, patients can pre-qualify for clinical trials and can research their options based on geographic location and the course of treatment/stage of their disease. To be effective, Veritas Medicine needed a site rich in editorial content, number of clinical trials and number of diseases. The company also needed to ensure that the most relevant patient populations would find the site trustworthy and accessible.

How did you put it into practice?
As Chief Medical Officer and VP for Clinical Affairs, I’ve lead planning and development of medical information for the 50 diseases covered by the site. Created by a team of 25+ physician-scientists, the site contains over 6,000 pages of original information and provides an interactive clinical trials database where patients can pre-screen themselves for trial online. As part of deliberate branding, we’ve forged partnerships with credible entities such as The American Diabetes Foundation, American Liver Foundation, Radiant Research and AOL. I lead corporate initiatives for protecting patient privacy, including serving on the board of directors of Hi-Ethics (Health Internet Ethics).

How have you seen results?
In the past year, we launched our Website and currently help over 185,000 unique visitors per month review their treatment options and find appropriate clinical trials. We now provide access to 1300 clinical trials for more than 100 diseases and conditions being conducted by researchers from over 25 biopharmaceutical companies or government-sponsored research centers. These people reach Veritas Medicine through our partnerships with over 60 non-profit disease advocacy groups, health care provider and payer organizations, health Web sites, and search engines. Our medical information is written by our panel of 25 physician-scientists from leading academic medical centers across the U.S.