News roundup

Published:

International Clinical Trials Day 2022: HRB investment of €155 million for a world class clinical trials ecosystem in Ireland – an overview

Since 2010, the HRB has taken a lead role in developing patient-focused clinical trials infrastructure in Ireland, placing us at the forefront of this important area of health research.

Graphic of HRB investment in clinical trials infrastructure

This strategic HRB investment supports research that tests new treatments and interventions to enhance the care and outcomes of many illnesses. It also creates greater opportunities for people in Ireland to participate in clinical trials. 2021 was an especially significant year for this, with HRB investment of €55 million further enhancing Ireland’s position as an attractive location for high quality clinical trials.

Speaking about this on International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) 2022, HRB Chief Executive, Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, said:

“As we mark ICTD, we should remember the transformation in care and many other benefits that high-quality clinical trials deliver, not just for individuals, but for society and the economy too. At the HRB, we are proud of our leadership in clinical trials. Our significant investments in Ireland’s capacity enhances our reputation as a location for high quality, efficient and well-regulated trials. It also aims to realise our ambition of an Irish healthcare system where patient access to clinical trials is routine to standard care.”

The HRB has investments in five key infrastructures that work together to support a coordinated and integrated national clinical trials ecosystem. They are:

1. Clinical Research Facilities/Centres (CRF/Cs)

CRF/Cs provide dedicated space, facilities, governance, services and supports, including the skills and expertise, necessary to enable high-quality, safe, and compliant trials. In 2021, HRB investment of €22 million extended our funding to two additional CRF/C’s, so we now support five in total. These are:

  1. UCD Clinical Research Centre, a HRB centre supporting clinical trials to improve health and care
  2. Clinical Research Facility UCC, a HRB centre supporting clinical trials to improve health and care
  3. Wellcome-HRB Clinical Research Facility, St James Hospital, a HRB centre supporting clinical trials to improve health and care
  4. Children’s Health Ireland Clinical Research Centre, a HRB centre supporting clinical trials to improve health and care
  5. Clinical Research Facility Galway, a HRB centre supporting clinical trials to improve health and care

Read more about HRB investment in CRF/Cs.

2. Cancer clinical trials

In 2021, we invested €22 million to support six cancer Clinical Trials Groups to deliver high quality cancer trials. The work of these groups is complemented by an overarching National Cancer Clinical Trials Network (led by Professor Ray McDermott, Chief Scientifc Investigator, Cancer Trials Ireland and hosted by RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences), which provides them with strategic and coordinated support. The six Groups are:

  1. Children’s Health Ireland Cancer Trials Group, a HRB partnership supporting cancer clinical trials to improve health and care
  2. Beaumont Hospital – Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland University of Medicine and Health Sciences Cancer Trials Group, a HRB partnership supporting cancer clinical trials to improve health and care
  3. Irish Research Radiation Oncology Trials Group, a HRB partnership supporting cancer clinical trials to improve health and care
  4. UCC Cancer Trials Group, a HRB partnership supporting cancer clinical trials to improve health and care
  5. Ireland East Hospital Cancer Trials Group, a HRB partnership supporting cancer clinical trials to improve health and care
  6. Trinity Academic Cancer Trials Group, a HRB partnership supporting cancer clinical trials to improve health and care

Read more about HRB investment in cancer clinical trials.

3. Clinical Trial Networks (CTNs)

Clinical Trial Networks support a strategic approach to developing trials in specific disease areas, and provide the critical mass needed to conduct multi-centre trials. The HRB funds seven CTNs as follows:

  1. Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, a HRB research network to enhance primary care and outcomes
  2. Dementia Trials Ireland, a HRB research network to enhance dementia care and outcomes
  3. Diabetes Collaborative Clinical Trials Network Ireland, a HRB research network to enhance diabetes care and outcomes
  4. Irish Network for Children’s Clinical Trials (In4kids), a HRB research network to enhance children’s care and outcomes
  5. Irish Critical Care Clinical Trials Network – Improving Outcomes After Critical Illness, a HRB research network to enhance critical care and outcomes
  6. Infectious Diseases Clinical Trials Network Ireland, a HRB research network to enhance infectious disease care and outcomes
  7. Rare Disease Clinical Trial Network, a HRB research network to enhance rare disease care and outcomes

Read more about HRB investment of €6 million in CTNs.

Read more about HRB investment of €1 million in the Rare Disease CTN.

4. The HRB-Trial Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN)

In 2021, the HRB invested €3 million in the HRB-TMRN to reinforce its important role in strengthening the quality, methodology and reporting of clinical trials in health and social care in Ireland. This ensures that trials and their outcomes are relevant, accessible and influential.

Read more about HRB investment in the HRB-TMRN.

5. National Clinical Trials Office (NCTO)

Our 2021 investment of €2 million in the NCTO seeks to consolidate and grow the reach, activities and impact of all these investments made by the HRB and others in clinical trials across Ireland. It acts as a central contact point for, as well as providing support services to, multicentred clinical trials. It also provides links and access to the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN). 

Read more about HRB investment in the NCTO.

ENDS

Read our blog: A day in the life of a research nurse

Watch our video interview with June Considine, research nurse at Clinical Research Facility UCC, a HRB centre supporting clinical trials to improve health and care.