The Ritz Herald
Clinical research studies need human volunteers. © MJFF

Fox Trial Finder Connects Volunteers To Hundreds Of Actively Recruiting Parkinson’s Clinical Studies


More than 91,000 participants -- people with and without Parkinson's disease (PD) -- have used the online matching tool since it launched in July 2011

Published on February 25, 2020

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has unveiled the redesign of Fox Trial Finder — the Foundation’s online tool to match patients and families to Parkinson’s clinical studies that need them. Originally launched in July 2011, Fox Trial Finder now aims to provide users — the more than 91,000 patient and family participants to date — with a simplified experience to more easily find opportunities to advance breakthroughs in Parkinson’s treatments and ultimately a cure.

Across all research, 85 percent of trials face delays and 30 percent never get off the ground due to a lack of volunteers. Fox Trial Finder lists all actively recruiting Parkinson’s and atypical parkinsonism studies — both interventional trials that test new therapies and observational studies that examine health and disease. Using an intuitive, customizable search feature, prospective participants can use the tool to perform a guided search to find studies they may be eligible to join in their area. With no registration or fees required, participants then instantly and directly connect with research teams via phone or email.

“Whether you’re new to clinical trials or you’ve been participating in them for years, the new Fox Trial Finder is here to help better connect patients and families to research,” said MJFF Deputy CEO Sohini Chowdhury. “We heard our community’s feedback and redesigned the tool to better fit their needs. Using state-of-the-art technology, Fox Trial Finder will create onramps for people to connect with trials that urgently need them. In doing so, we can reduce the burden of recruitment and help bring new treatments to patients faster.”

As part of its commitment to increase the flow of participants into clinical studies, The Michael J. Fox Foundation continues to build practical, user-friendly resources to help more people get involved. The new Fox Trial Finder currently houses more than 500 actively recruiting studies from 40 countries. And since the platform’s original launch nearly a decade ago, more than 1,600 research teams have used the tool to expand outreach and connect with potential volunteers. By using the Fox Trial Finder platform, the Phase III STEADY-PD trial — a National Institutes of Health-funded study to evaluate the potential of repurposing isradipine for Parkinson’s — completed recruitment of newly diagnosed individuals six months ahead of schedule.

“When I was newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was in search of a way to get involved with research. Simply put, I wanted to help find a cure,” said MJFF Patient Council member Claudia Revilla of Peoria, Illinois. “Fox Trial Finder provided me with an accessible and user-friendly resource to take that first step toward research. If thousands of more people volunteer for clinical studies, we can get closer to the answers that we’re seeking about how to cure the disease.”

New features of Fox Trial Finder include:

  • Intuitive design for desktop, tablet and mobile devices — allowing users to navigate and browse clinical studies
  • Simplified guided search for eligible studies based on willingness to travel, health history, diagnosis, etc.
  • No registration or profile creation required to take part
  • Easy-to-use experience directly connecting interested participants to research teams
  • Optional email signup for alerts about new studies
  • Increasing ease-of-use for multiple languages powered by Google Translate. To date, languages available include Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish

Fox Trial Finder‘s new technology is provided by WCG iConnect, the world’s leading provider of solutions that measurably improve the quality and efficiency of clinical research to support thousands of trials worldwide.

SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research