Brussels, 04 Nov 2004
The European Commission is providing 225,000 euro for a new one-year project aimed at harmonising pan-European clinical research.
Funded under the Priority I 'Life Science and Health' of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), ECRIN (European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) has two aims. The first is to develop an infrastructure promoting a harmonised implementation of the EU directives dealing with clinical research. The second aim is to facilitate multinational clinical studies and trials by providing a number of 'à la carte' services to public or private sponsors.
'Based on the interconnection of national networks of clinical research centres (CRCs) and clinical trial units (CTUs), the ECRIN programme is designed to develop an infrastructure allowing for bottom-up harmonisation of support, training and practice of clinical research,' explained Jacques Demotes-Mainard, the project coordinator.
'ECRIN aims at providing public or private biotechnology small and medium sized enterprises [SMEs] with support for translational research and multicentre clinical studies in Europe,' added Professor Demotes-Mainard.
The ECRIN consortium involves eight networks from six EU countries, as well as the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP). Together they represent 112 medical centres and hospitals currently conducting 1500 clinical studies.
ECRIN also hopes to encourage and facilitate the creation of CRCs and national networks in the new EU Member States so as to integrate them later on in the European network.
Connecting these national networks in a pan-European network will contribute to the critical mass at European level needed for the implementation of European standards and training for clinical trials, explained Professor Demotes-Mainard.