After reaching the final three of the Open Science Prize, and being judged by an expert panel, we can announce that our project, OpenTrialsFDA was placed as a runner-up alongside MyGene2, with Real-Time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation being declared the winner of the grand prize of $230,000. As you may know, OpenTrialsFDA is designed to make clinical trial data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more easily accessible and searchable. Congratulations to all the finalists – it’s been great to see such a range of projects dedicated to innovating and advancing areas of biomedicine and health through open science, content, and data.
Although OpenTrialsFDA didn’t win the grand prize, we were very grateful for all the public votes which took us from the original shortlist of six to the final three. A number of the public also chose to give comments along with their vote – there were many fantastic ones and we wanted to share a selection:
“I made OpenTrialsFDA my first choice because patients have suffered and died because information from research which should be available to health professionals and patients has not been accessible. This project addresses this important problem.”
“I am particularly keen on projects that get data out in there open where it can be subjected to independent analysis.”
“As a professional technologist, I have found the APIs produced by the folks at OpenTrials are of extremely high quality; making integrating with and using the data straightforward yet powerful. If all open science projects had as technically competent and sophisticated people involved then huge opportunities for knowledge growth would open up to us all very quickly.”
“OpenTrialsFDA project will be relevant to a wide range of clinical research fields, with important potential impacts on patients, clinicians, researchers, and health decision makers.”
“It’s great to see a clinical science entry in the Open Science Award. Easier access to the full FDA data for approved indications for approved drugs will assist clinical practitioners, biomedical scientists and educated citizens in making more informed choices on medical and research choices.”
“Improving transparency of clinical data will literally save and transform lives”
“Drugs affect peoples’ lives and all too frequently patients and physicians do not have the data and evidence they need to make truly informed decisions about treatments. Access to data on effectiveness and harms is becoming even more critical with rapidly rising drug prices. Shining a light on what we know and don’t know about treatments will hopefully move us in a direction of making better individual and population-based decisions about treatments.”
Thanks so much for all the kind words – it means a lot to the entire team and we strongly believe in the power of the project to facilitate positive change!
What’s next for OpenTrialsFDA?
The search engine will continue to exist at fda.opentrials.net – it currently indexes over 55,000 FDA approval documents and where possible links to clinical trials on OpenTrials (a few examples). While development on OpenTrialsFDA has stopped for the moment (we’re focusing on the main OpenTrials explorer) there are a number of ways you can help support the project:
- Help get access to important drug information by asking the FDA for specific documents
- Help improve the code that runs OpenTrialsFDA – all the code is in our public repository
- We need help updating our FDA collector – details here
- Financial support – get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about a grant to continue improving OpenTrialsFDA
- Support in kind – are you working on a similar project and/or have expertise in processing unstructured documents/data (e.g. NLP) to extract structured data? Please get in touch