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PatientsLikeMe, the social networking site for more than 400,000 patients with rare and chronic diseases, in 2016 partnered with Duke’s ALS clinic to evaluate the potential of using the soy peptide Lunasin to reverse symptoms in patients with ALS. The trial design itself is innovative: It had a very liberal inclusion criteria, no placebo, and is largely virtual, with patients completing monthly check-ins on the PatientsLikeMe platform. The enrollment rate was the fastest-ever for ALS (9.5 patients per site per month, compared to the average ALS trial which enrolls 1 to 2 patients per site per month). The company also worked with pharmacy giant Walgreens to include patient reviews for thousands of medications on its website, so patients can learn from each other.

50 Most Innovative Companies 2017


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