University of Rochester's Center for Health + Technology (CHeT) has received $2.9 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop new research instruments to use in therapeutic studies involving chronic diseases.
“Patient reported outcomes instruments improve clinical trial efficiency, detect early changes in patient health, focus on the symptomatic areas that are most important to specific populations, ensure the relevance of future treatments to patients, and provide a mechanism for patients to provide direct input into a treatment’s effectiveness,” said Dr. Chad Heatwole, principal investigator of the new grant, director of CHeT, and a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).
The study, “Longitudinal Endpoint Optimization to Provide Assessments of Relevant Drugs (LEOPARD),” aims to create instruments for mitochondrial disease, cardiomyopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, and dystonia – diseases that have few effective treatments available.
The study – funded by the Defense Department’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program – will use patient interviews with military personnel and civilians, data from large studies, and other resources to determine what symptoms are most important to patients.
LEOPARD also seeks to identify which demographics are at risk of increased symptomatic burden and identify potential opportunities for early intervention in high-risk populations.
For this endeavor, URMC is partnering with The Uniformed Services University and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“The state-of-the-art patient reported outcomes measures developed through this research will expedite therapy development for military personnel, veterans, civilians, and families affected by these four common and undertreated diseases,” said Heatwole.