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Four Key Areas Where CTTI Has Transformed Clinical Trials

This year, CTTI marks its 10th year of working with a variety of stakeholders to positively change clinical trials, making them more streamlined, efficient, and patient-focused. To commemorate this milestone, we will #CelebrateCTTI throughout the month of January. Join us for the celebration—visit this blog, follow us on Twitter, and register to attend our 10 Year Anniversary Symposium on Tues., Feb. 6.

Since its inception in 2007, CTTI has made transformational shifts in the design and conduct of clinical research. Let’s take a look at the evolution of clinical trials in four key areas, among many, in which CTTI has played a critical role in moving the industry toward more efficient, high-quality, and patient-centric trials:

Trial Quality

Regulators have long acknowledged a need to change how industry approaches clinical trial quality in order to focus on reducing errors that undermine data integrity and patient safety. Drawing on the expertise of key stakeholders, CTTI issued recommendations on effective and efficient trial monitoring in 2012. The following year, FDA issued final guidance on a risk-based approach to monitoring, reflecting principles from CTTI’s work. CTTI also developed the concept of Quality by Design, taking the focus from a reactive approach using audits to a proactive approach that builds quality into clinical trials at the outset. CTTI released its Quality by Design recommendations and toolkit in 2015, and its work in this area has been cited in FDA guidance and incorporated into GCP guidelines.

Patient Engagement

CTTI has been a pioneer in patient engagement, involving patient representatives in its organizational leadership and throughout its project teams. Spurred by the FDA’s Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, CTTI initiated the Patient Groups & Clinical Trials Project to establish best practices for engaging patients in clinical research. In 2014, CTTI released landmark recommendations that are currently used by multiple stakeholders to facilitate productive relationships with patient groups around clinical trials. In 2017, CTTI and FDA announced a partnership on a new initiative, the Patient Engagement Collaborative, to improve patient engagement across the FDA.

Central IRB

Although U.S. regulators are enthusiastic about the use of a central IRB to promote more efficient multi-site clinical trials, enterprise-wide implementation has lagged. CTTI initiated the Central IRB Project in 2010, creating recommendations and resources to help organizations identify and address barriers to the adoption of a central IRB. The NIH issued a draft policy in 2014 referencing CTTI’s recommendations and a final policy in 2016 requiring all NIH-funded multi-site clinical trials to use a central IRB effective in 2018.

Real-World Evidence

Since its inception, CTTI has recognized that “real-world evidence” from electronic health records, mobile devices, and other sources can provide unique insights into important clinical questions and could improve the efficiency of clinical trials. The FDA Amendments Act of 2007, which mandated FDA to develop a system to link safety data from multiple sources, paved the way for the use of connected datasets in clinical trials. After partnering with the FDA and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute to assess the feasibility of using the Sentinel database for clinical research, CTTI supported the first trial using Sentinel. CTTI also launched a program in 2016 to support the use of mobile technology in clinical trials, issued recommendations in 2017 on how to use registries as reusable platforms for trials, and announced a Real-World Evidence Project in 2017.