Master Protocol Studies

overview icon Overview

Using Master Protocol Studies to Drive Medical Product Development


Enthusiasm for master protocol studies is growing, but the clinical research community needs more practical, detailed resources to support the design and conduct of such studies.


Working with stakeholders across the clinical trials ecosystem, CTTI is developing resources that will guide the appropriate use of master protocols, including nomenclature documents, lessons learned, and other useful materials for collaborating on, communicating about, and designing master protocol studies. 

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Master protocol studies offer innovative opportunities in the design and conduct of clinical trials. The term master protocol is generally used to describe clinical trials that use one overarching protocol to guide multiple, simultaneously occurring sub-studies. Master protocol studies can be used to study multiple diseases, multiple therapies, or both.


While enthusiasm for master protocol studies is growing, the number of organizations that have sufficient experience designing and implementing master protocol studies remains critically low. Several organizations have provided opportunities for stakeholders to learn general information about master protocol studies. Efforts are needed to build off this important work to create practical, detailed resources to support the design and conduct of master protocol studies.



Master Protocol Studies: Opportunities, Challenges, and Emerging Best Practices (“Master Protocol Studies”) (2019 – ongoing)



  • Compare and contrast the distinct design and operational features of basket, umbrella, and platform trials.
  • Identify emerging best practices for the design and conduct of master protocol studies.


CTTI’s work will increase the appropriate use of master protocol studies.



  • A landscape review – Expert interviews and a literature scan will be used to develop a high-level roadmap that details strategies to address common roadblocks that inhibit the development of master protocol studies at the pre-planning, planning, or execution stage.
  • An Expert Meeting series – This will be used to identify emerging best practices and prioritize the creation of tools to support stakeholders’ efforts to address common challenges related to the design and implementation of master protocol studies.


Project Team Members

Role Namesort descending Affiliation
Team Lead Abby Bronson Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
Team Member Alain Vuong GlaxoSmithKline
Team Member Amy Burd Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Team Member Angie Botto-van Bemden Arthritis Foundation
Team Member Antonia Valakas EMD Serono
Team Member Barbara LeStage Individual Patient/Caregiver
Team Lead Daniel Millar Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Team Member Debra Michaels DIA
Team Member Dionne Price Food and Drug Administration
Team Member Emma Healy Novartis
Team Member Gene Vinson Syneos Health
Team Member Greg Licholai Yale University
Team Member Hans-Juergen Fuelle Novartis
Team Member Jane Perlmutter Individual Patient/Caregiver
Team Member Karen Dimick Genentech - a member of the Roche Group
Team Member Kert Viele Berry Consultants
Project Manager Kim Fisher Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative
Team Member Kirsty Wydenback Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
Team Member Louise Brown University College London
Team Lead Marianne Chase Harvard University
Team Member Michelle Detry Berry Consultants
Team Member Natasha Phrsai Northwell Health
Team Member Nicholas Kenny Syneos Health
Team Lead Nicholas Richardson Food and Drug Administration
Team Member Paul Bycott Pfizer, Inc.
Team Member Paulina Selaru Pfizer, Inc.
Team Member Rajeshwari Sridhara Food and Drug Administration
Team Member Ritesh Jain EMD Serono
Team Member Roger Lewis UCLA/Berry Consultants
Team Member Sabrina Paganoni Harvard University
Team Member Sharon Love University College London
Team Member Sumithra Mandrekar Mayo Clinic