The GloPID-R Funders Living Roadmap for Clinical Trial Coordination is supporting funders to strengthen global clinical trials during infectious disease outbreaks.
The Roadmap, published earlier this year, is developed by the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R), which brings together funders investing in research related to new or re-emerging infectious disease.
The framework was developed in response to calls for greater coordination and change across the global clinical trial ecosystem.
Dr Alice Norton, Lead of PSI’s Policy and Practice research group and Head of GloPID-R’s Research and Policy team explained why the Roadmap was needed.
“In a disease outbreak, clinical trials have the potential to identify health interventions – such as treatments and vaccines – that will save lives. However, effective clinical trials can be difficult to implement and coordinate, particularly in a fast-moving and uncertain situation.”
“Global agreements, including a World Health Assembly resolution and the G7’s 100 Days Mission, recognise the critical role that research funders have to play in supporting clinical trials that are well-designed, well-implemented and conducted in diverse settings.”
Over the last 18 months GloPID-R has worked with both researchers and funders to develop a Roadmap to support funders in this area, including setting out goals and principles for funders. “Ultimately, our aim is to increase preparedness and speed up effective research responses to outbreaks with pandemic potential,” Dr Norton added.
The Roadmap will also help ensure that clinical trials are conducted equitably to benefit populations globally.
Professor Charles Wiysonge, Senior Director at the South African Medical Research Council commented, “In addition to providing a valuable resource to improve the coordination of clinical trials, the Roadmap helps us build and strengthen capacity, particularly in low- and middle- income countries.”
Recommendations for research funders
The Roadmap defines three goals for funders to endorse:
- Support epidemic-ready clinical trial networks and platforms
- Facilitate an agile, effective clinical trial response
- Promote an equitable research environment.
These goals are supported by 11 principles, and a set of recommendations for funders.
A ‘living’ document
The Roadmap will be updated annually to reflect best practice and was produced in consultation with GloPID-R’s members and stakeholders, including international clinical trial networks, the World Health Organization and CEPI.
“The Roadmap already draws on decades of lessons learned from researchers and funders,” Dr Norton explained, “and we’ll be working with our members and other stakeholders to update it, ensuring it reflects progress made and developments in the global research and funding environment.”
The Roadmap is endorsed by international organisations including ESSENCE on Health Research (World Health Organization), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pasteur Network, Wellcome Trust and the UK Department of Health and Social Care.