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Published On: 6/17/2022

Target RWE Leads Industry Discussion of Fusion Designs and Teaching Advanced Epidemiologic Methods at SER 2022

Target RWE participated in several panels at this year’s Society for Epidemiological Research (SER) annual meeting that will help define the landscape of real-world data collection and analysis for years to come.

When gathering and analyzing large amounts of epidemiological data, researchers are often challenged with how to bring together different datasets in a way that yields meaningful and accurate results. Alexander Breskin, PhD, Senior Director of Statistics at Target RWE, presented research conducted with colleagues at UNC and UCLA during a symposium titled New Epidemiology of Fusion Designs, which introduced novel approaches that challenge conventional thinking about the limitations of how epidemiological studies are currently performed by highlighting principled approaches for combining data from different sources.

In his talk, Fusion Designs for Indirect Treatment Effects, Dr. Breskin demonstrated a new study design and analytic approach that allows researchers to compare treatments that were originally studied in separate clinical trials, thus expanding the range questions can be answered from existing, already collected data. This theoretically grounded approach combines data obtained from multiple sources and appropriately accounts for key factors that differ between their underlying populations, such as factors impacting a patient’s risk of adverse outcomes and adherence to medications.

“Often, studies that attempt to compare treatments used in different populations, such network meta-analyses, fail to account for important differences in the populations that impact the effects of the treatments. Here, we introduce a design and analytic approach, that we refer to as a ‘fusion design’, that is built on a strong theoretical foundation and is shown to provide valid estimates of these so-called ‘indirect treatment comparisons,’” said Dr. Breskin.

Lydia Feinstein, PhD, Senior Director of Epidemiology, is participating in the panel On Teaching Advanced Epidemiologic Methods, an important session that explores the content and tools used to teach epidemiology courses at leading academic institutions. Providing an essential industry perspective, Dr. Feinstein will join with experts in academia and government to weigh in on the importance of preparing students with the skills and thinking necessary to succeed in a competitive and rapidly evolving field.

Dr. Feinstein and Julia Ward, PhD, MPH, Senior Epidemiologist, will also be presenting findings from an important real-world analysis Disparities in Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence among a Nationally Representative Sample of Men, 2005-2016: Findings from the Urologic Diseases in America Project. The study found a high prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) among a nationally representative population of men in the United States, with a disproportionate burden and a greater daily impact experienced by older men, those of a lower socioeconomic status, and Black men.

“This research contributes to a growing body of disparities research for men across racial and socioeconomic groups,” said Dr. Ward.

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About Target RWE

Target RWE is a leading health evidence solutions company that generates innovative real-world evidence (RWE) and provides scientific intelligence tools and solutions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other healthcare partners. Specifically designed to address the complexities of the natural history of disease, the drug development process and treatments in real-world settings, Target RWE builds regulatory-grade clinical data sets and applies state of the science epidemiologic methods to produce RWE about patients with specific conditions, symptoms, and therapies used in usual clinical practice.

Target RWE's regulatory-grade data sets and evidence, modern epidemiological methods, and sound scientific principles rendered as software can be utilized to better health outcomes, inform patient health guidelines, and improve overall quality of care. For more information, visit


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