Opyl Ltd (ASX:OPL) is a new generation Australian company that provides leading biopharma and health organisations with the access to emerging AI-assisted technologies and real-world data insights to understand and improve healthcare design, development and delivery.
The company works at the intersection of clinical trials, artificial intelligence (AI) and social media with key offerings for biopharma, medtech, government and healthcare organisations including:
- Clinical trial recumbent and retention solutions;
- Clinical trial predictive analytics; and
- Deep social media insights.
Board strengthened with new commerical executive
Opyl has strengthened its board with the appointment of experienced financial and commercial executive Mark Ziirsen as a director and chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Ziirsen replaces Damon Rasheed who has stepped into an executive director role to leverage his expertise in the artificial intelligence space.
The new appointment is an experienced non-executive director and CFO of ASX-listed companies, having served as non-executive director and chair of Respiri Limited (ASX:RSH), an eHealth SaaS company supporting respiratory health management.
His executive career includes senior finance leadership roles with major ASX-listed companies including Cochlear Limited, Aristocrat Leisure Limited, Coca-Cola Amatil Limited and Goodman Fielder Limited.
Chairman Julian Chick said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the board, as he brings a wealth of financial and commercial experience in the health sector.
“Mark’s expertise and networks will complement the Opyl leadership team, particularly as we extend our footprint.”
Artificial intelligence software
Opyl has developed a software that uses AI to make a probability of success prediction on the likelihood of a vaccine, drug, diagnostic or medical device succeeding in clinical trials.
Initial planning of the software platform began in the second half of 2018 and since then Opyl has been actively developing this platform, with it being internally tested and refined over this time.
The software platform will work with drug and device development companies to refine their clinical trial approaches to improve the outcomes of clinical studies, which reduces costs and accelerates the timeline to get new treatments to patients.
Uncertainty and delays around clinical trials remains a frustrating challenge and significant risk for biopharmaceutical companies, investors, clinical strategists and medical researchers who would value the ability to predict the outcome of an individual clinical trial and have the opportunity to adjust the variable to improve its chances of success.
Knowing the prediction probability score and having an opportunity before the trial begins to improve upon the trail design will save hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Goal to improve clinical trials process"
With hundreds of COVID-19 clinical trials being undertaken around the globe, the company has available data for its AI platform.
The AI platform uses current and historical global data and considers everything from the numbers of participants in each trial; the dropout rate from those trials; how long each trial will take; the end point for each trial relative to related studies, through to the mode of action such as type of protein or vector being employed in a program.
Chief executive officer Michelle Gallaher said: “Our approach is to use AI to not just predict the outcome, but to demonstrate that changing specific clinical trials variables can improve the probability of success.
“Although looking at the current pipeline of COVID-19 programs is an initial application of the AI platform, we are not limiting ourselves to just COVID-19 trials.
“The AI platform can be applied to all drugs, diagnostics, vaccines and medical devices about to begin or in clinical trials, and our goals is to improve the clinical trial process which will in turn save money, time and ensure patients can access treatment options sooner.”
Opyl is reaching out to governments and collaboration organisations that may have an interest in the findings from the COVID-19 work, as well as ongoing discussions with companies and partners on other applications of the technology.
Although the software is functional, the company will continue to further improve and refine the software with future upgrades and expansion of features, which the company anticipates will cost up to another $500,000 in development.
The tool is at stage two of four stages, having completed proof of concept and progressing to UX/UI design and reliability testing in stage three and progressing towards consulting/project revenue stage end 2020.
Looking forwards, the company expects continued new client acquisition and to achieve neutral/positive cash flow by quarter one of 2021.
On-track to hit target cash neautral position
In its latest investor update, Opyl said it remained on track for its target of a cash neutral position in the next quarter after COVID-19 conditions had stimulated a surge in new services enquires.
The company had a sales pipeline of around $1.5-2 million in estimated value over August for its social media intelligence and digital solutions for healthcare marketing.
Marketing expenditure for healthcare and big pharma sits at US$3.62 billion for 2020 so far, increasing at 20% with more digital pharma ad spend.
Around 86% of trials fail to meet recruitment targets within specified time periods, however, Opyl solves this issue with compliant, fast and accurate recruitment to clinical trials via social media as well as content design and community management to attract and retain participants.
A prime example is the clinical predictor tool implemented with Neuroscience Trials Australia with the objective to implement a full digital marketing communications strategic plan.
The company achieved the following outcomes:
- Neuroscience Trials Australia positioned as #1 in social media engagement in Australia and NZ in trial sector;
- Built an engaged community of sponsors, trialists, clinicians and patient advocates, and;
- Implementing social media as an integral asset in the business model.