Cross-Stakeholder Collaboration: Advancing Research Through Common Protocol Templates

4 months ago Rohit Shetty Comments Off on Cross-Stakeholder Collaboration: Advancing Research Through Common Protocol Templates


In 2014, TransCelerate BioPharma released an initiative dedicated to growing a commonplace protocol template (CPT), with an imaginative and prescient of addressing the increasing complexity of medical trial protocol improvement and assisting the pursuit of protocol first-class thru a realistic, harmonized and adoptable method. Several weeks in the past, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a very last model of its personal, not unusual protocol template — noting that it was in alignment with TransCelerate’s CPT, in particular, the new stronger technology-enabled edition. They, like TransCelerate, diagnosed that the scientific trial protocol deserved renewed attention and modernization.

The coordinated release of the 2 templates is a prime milestone for clinical studies: The alignment among the FDA/NIH and TransCelerate is evidence of the enterprise’s motion closer to pursuing multi-pronged, collaborative answers. Further, an effort of this scale reflects the critical function that enhancing protocol development holds in the quest to increase medical research: The aligned CPTs will beautify the excellent of advanced protocols, guide regulatory compliance, alleviate the executive burden, and loose up extra energy and time for medical discovery.

The Historical Complexity Of Protocol Development

Since 2010, the variety of latest research registered on ClinicalTrials.Gov has elevated via approximately 20,000 according to yr. That means 20,000 character clinical protocols without a framework for initial evaluation. Also, regardless of the variety of sponsors in clinical studies — which includes pharmaceutical organizations, instructional facilities, contract research businesses (CROs), and participants of the NIH, among others — the protocols that ought to be developed ultimately rely upon the same regulatory infrastructure for design, overview, and implementation.


Protocols have also turn out to be increasingly complicated and hard to navigate. For example, if sponsors are offering protocols of their very own shape, it frequently reasons web sites to spend useless time deconstructing and decoding protocols. What’s extra, studies from Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development indicates that sixty-six percent of protocols are changed and that 1 out of every 10 amendments has problems associated with human blunders. The need for remodel is regularly associated with a loss of steady satisfactory, ultimately slowing down the drug improvement manner and delaying the delivery of nice medicines to sufferers.


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Upon the release of their new template, the FDA wrote, “Clinical trial protocols are essential additives of any medical product improvement program.” Indeed, but the method of growing and decoding protocols has been complicated and burdensome — until now. The lengthy-felt want to make this critical procedure extra cohesive and simplified is now being addressed with large enterprise and fitness authority help in the back of it.

How A Common Protocol Template Advances Research

The TransCelerate CPT Initiative, coupled with the efforts of the FDA and NIH, has the potential to reduce the above-cited complexity and deal with fine issues formerly identified in scientific trial protocols. The overarching gain is that the new CPT iterations will reduce confusion by using making implementation and reporting much less tough for sponsors, sites, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), regulators, and patients. It also can permit simplified study begin-up and execution, in addition to faster assessment time by means of health government.

Another vital feature of the CPT is that it enables trial sponsors to align protocol-described endpoints with clinical facts standards. The CPT leverages remedy area specific existing clinical statistics requirements, along with the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC). The CPT endpoints and their goals are virtually metadata without delay tied to the facts collection requirements and the terminology. Defined records requirements ultimately help the CPT’s extra intention of harmonizing disease-unique controlled terminology as much as possible.

Additional precise advantages for key stakeholders include:

Investigator sites: The CPT will enhance get entry to streamlined data within protocols, growth consistency between sponsor protocols, and reduce the need for additional workflow documentation.
Institutional review forums: A harmonized protocol technique will facilitate IRB evaluation of statistics, which could permit for easier submission evaluation and potentially quicker approvals.
Health authorities: Consistent and streamlined protocols may be less difficult for fitness government to check and could allow for a multiplied ease of information interpretation in addition to a progressed capacity to evaluate scientific trial protocols. The TransCelerate CPT, as mentioned above, especially introduces information requirements in its endpoint sections, which allows the give up-to-quit use of metadata and traceability.
Clinical trial sponsors: Benefits for sponsors consist of elevated operational efficiencies within the advent of scientific trial protocols, automation of downstream tactics and improved reuse of content, better first-rate look at behavior, and data amassed.
Patients: Reducing the load on investigator websites to evaluate, plan, and enforce a scientific examine as a characteristic of accelerated consistency among protocols is expected to loose up extra time for patient care activities. Most importantly, it will increase efficiency in scientific improvement, getting medicines to patients faster.
Connective Points And Differentiators Between The Two CPTs


Over the past 12 months, TransCelerate collaborated with the FDA and NIH Protocol Template group to harmonize the structure of the 2 templates. Both efforts were grounded in the concept that once we streamline approaches — and construct connective tissue between comparable efforts – we lessen the burden and loose up room for innovation.

The FDA, NIH, and TransCelerate are aligned with the collective purpose of growing efficiencies and high-quality in protocol improvement by way of persevering with to collaborate on templates. One key trade to the TransCelerate template in this maximum current iteration, for instance, changed into the mounted level 1 and a pair of heading shape, so as to permit websites and regulators to more without difficulty locate records. The modifications to the structure within the new launch had been reached way to input from the FDA/NIH Protocol Template crew. The protocol templates additionally guide using facts requirements for required trial goals and endpoints and include commonplace language.

Although the 2 templates are closely aligned in structure and imaginative and prescient, there are a few key variations:

The FDA/NIH Protocol Template is more often than not aimed at single-center, investigator-led and NIH-backed research in Phase II and III, even as the TransCelerate CPT is focused on addressing multi-center research, global, in Phases I-IV.
The TransCelerate CPT supports re-use of protocol level facts for other requirements of scientific trials, which include statistical evaluation plans and scientific trials registry posting.
Further, even as the overall structure is the equal, there’s version inside the lower-level headings and within the content, along with educational text, to satisfy the needs of the respective audiences the templates are orientated in the direction of.
The FDA/NIH Protocol Template ambitions to permit authoring to result in high high-quality, regular and harmonized protocols to be able to allow regulatory overview. While the TransCelerate CPT also allows authoring and consistency/harmonization, TransCelerate sees the potential for allowing automation of downstream processes associated with the protocol.
Future State

Those working in this effort considering that the protocol template’s intentional connectivity among objectives and endpoints, in addition to destiny connectivity with observing tactics, will allow reviewers and different key stakeholders to become aware of disconnects and unnecessary complexity, as well as inconsistencies in excellent, that regularly accompanied protocol development inside the past. There is also capacity transformative adjustments thanks to the creation of automation in TransCelerate’s technology-enabled CPT, which may add even similarly reduce trial complexities, reduce errors in protocol improvement and enable overall harmonization. There is confidence that use of a common protocol template will soon turn out to be not unusual in drug improvement.

The availability of the aligned protocol templates from the FDA and NIH and the biopharma collaboration TransCelerate has been met with a firm embrace by means of enterprise stakeholders:implementation of the templates will make contributions important efficiencies to the clinical development surroundings, saving time, and most importantly, supporting the faster delivery of recent medicine to sufferers. Ultimately, it’s a leading part disruption to an ancient assignment that has to be celebrated by means of all stakeholders in the scientific improvement surroundings.

About The Author:

Rob DiCicco, PharmD, is presently at GlaxoSmithKline as Vice President of Clinical Innovation and Digital Platforms. He is also the Leader for TransCelerate BioPharma’s Common Protocol Template (CPT) Initiative. Rob has more than 25 years of experience in scientific development in a diffusion of leadership positions in CRO, mid-sized and big pharmaceutical organizations. He acquired his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia. Over the route of his profession, he has had a key function in the development of some of a hit new medicines. Rob’s area of know-how includes scientific pharmacology and experimental remedy, revolutionary medical trial layout, project management and ethics in human studies.