March 15, 2013 | By Márcio Barra
Last month, the PtCRIN, part of the ECRIN network, published a report on clinical research in Portugal. I only came across it now and thus the admittedly late news post. For those that don’t know, ECRIN is the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network, a pan-European infrastructure that has been supporting clinical trials in Europe for a while now, since 2004 to be precise.
It is part of the FP7-ESFRI initiative (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures), and it has applied for ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) status in 2011. Every European country has an ECRIN “office”, and Portugal is no exception. Dubbed the PtCRIN, they wish to increase the number of clinical trials conducted in Portugal within five years. A lofty goal when you considerer that for the last six years it has been a downward slope for Portugal and everyone is just outsourcing clinical trials from Europe to India and Brazil, amongst others.
As for the published report, entitled “ASSESSING THE EXISTING CAPACITIES AND CURRENT PRACTICES OF ECRIN NEW NETWORKS”, its filled with some good information on the state of Portuguese clinical trials in 2012, obtained from the surveys they conducted to 77 Portuguese health institutions, and data crossing with Infarmed. The English used is a bit bad unfortunately, but nonetheless this report brings some new numbers to the ongoing talks.
Some highlights from the data collected from the surveys:
- The type of medicinal product who had most clinical trials conducted is biologics. No clinical trials were conducted for gene therapy products.
- As for non-interventional trials, drug products are number one, followed closely by medical devices and surgery. These three account for 50% of the non-interventional trials conducted in Portugal. As for the therapeutic areas, Neurosciences, cardiovascular, cancer, surgery/medical devices dominate.
- The number of ongoing solely national clinical and non-interventional trials is 64, versus 430 ongoing international clinical and non-interventional trials. Looking at Infarmed data, the national trials are mostly non-interventional.
- There is one physician per clinical trial. 99% of them are working not exclusively.