Duke University Partners with Vivli to Engage in a New Era of Open Science

Thursday, July 19, 2018
By Lindsay Key
Adrian Hernandez, MD, vice dean of clinical research in the School of Medicine

Duke University School of Medicine has announced a partnership with Vivli, a nonprofit organization that today launched a new data-sharing and analytics platform. With the launch of the Vivli platform, researchers worldwide will have a simple yet secure way to discover, share and analyze data from clinical trials, regardless of who sponsored the research or where the research took place.  Vivli, Duke and other partners hope that sharing data from clinical trials will expedite the development of cures and treatments for diabetes, Alzheimer’s, malaria and other diseases.

“Duke University School of Medicine is pleased to partner with the Vivli organization to foster the principles of open science and data access from clinical studies,” said Adrian Hernandez, MD, vice dean of clinical research in the School of Medicine. “At Duke, we are committed to developing research polices, platforms and methods to provide appropriate access to research information, with the ultimate goal of expediting the development of new treatments to improve the health of patients around the world.” 

Hernandez added that during fiscal year 2017, Duke led 494 clinical trials that were conducted locally.

The new platform allows researchers to store and share clinical trial data across all diseases, nations and research entities. Vivli also allows researchers to freely combine and analyze data from multiple trials using state of the art tools. This means researchers can validate research findings—from confirming a treatment’s safety to identifying side effects—and avoid duplicative studies, thus reducing costs and shielding research participants from unnecessary risks. The data can also be combined to ask new research questions, such as how a disease evolves over time, and gain information to inform the design of future studies. 

Frank Rockhold, PhD, professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at Duke University School of Medicine and a member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, has worked with Vivli for more than four years as scientific advisor and as a member of its leadership team.  As part of this new partnership, he will be the representative for Duke on the Vivli steering committee and will continue as a senior academic advisor.

“The partnership between Duke and Vivli will combine the academic trial and data disclosure expertise of the Duke University School of Medicine with the passion and experience of Vivli and its other partners to provide a huge step forward in making clinical trial data available to researchers in a way that recognizes and respects the rights of patients and the contributions of the trialists,” said Rockhold.

The Vivli platform, powered by Microsoft, was built with grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.