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CTTI to Support NIH Workgroup in Developing Evaluation Plan for Single IRB Policy

The NIH has selected CTTI to support a workgroup that will develop a comprehensive plan for assessing the NIH’s new single institutional review board (sIRB) policy. The policy, which became effective in January, requires U.S. sites participating in nonexempt multicenter human subjects research funded by the NIH to use a sIRB for ethical review, with the goal of improving the quality and efficiency of clinical research.


“For nearly a decade, CTTI has championed the adoption of sIRBs for multicenter clinical trials,” said Pamela Tenaerts, executive director at CTTI. “We are excited to use our expertise to craft an evaluation plan for the NIH policy, and to design standard evaluation methods that can be used by academic organizations, research sponsors, and others who are interested in implementing sIRBs.”


Sites in multicenter clinical trials have typically relied on their own IRBs to conduct required ethical reviews, often leading to needless repetition across sites. The goal of the NIH’s new sIRB policy is to enhance and streamline the review process for multicenter studies so that research can proceed as quickly as possible and research oversight may be improved.


CTTI has developed a number of recommendations and resources to support sIRB adoption, and the NIH referenced CTTI’s work in a 2014 draft policy recommending the use of sIRBs. Currently, CTTI is gathering information from sponsors, investigators, IRB members, and research and regulatory coordinators to determine actions that the NIH, the FDA, and the Office for Human Research Protections can take to help the research community adopt sIRB review.