Which are the best clinical research institutes
In order for Germany to remain competitive in clinical research and to participate in international developments, the structures in the field of clinical studies must be strengthened. All the necessary actors in university and non-university research must work together. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will act as a trailblazer here to provide incentives for necessary structural changes with adequate and adequate research funding.
Expand networked structures for clinical studies in Germany
To strengthen Germany as a study location, the BMBF has been funding science-driven clinical studies for many years, the findings of which can be incorporated directly into care practice. This funding is to be further developed and adapted to the changing requirements of clinical studies. This should turn scientific advances into medical innovations more efficiently. At the same time, Germany should position itself as an attractive partner for early clinical studies, for example - also in international competition. The early phases of clinical research in particular need to be strengthened - those phases in which patients are treated with new therapies for the first time. Suitable structures for clinical studies are required that bundle existing capacities and create cross-institutional access.
Preclinical research - early clinical studies - practice changing studies
By strengthening early clinical studies, the BMBF wants to facilitate the transfer of promising approaches from preclinical research to clinical research in the future. The quality of preclinical results for new procedures should be improved so that only those therapeutic procedures that have the best prospects of later approval as therapeutic agents come into the clinical investigation phases.
The promotion of practice-changing clinical studies, on the other hand, should compare the success of already established prevention, diagnosis and therapy models and identify the most successful approaches in each case. On this basis, the range of medical methods can be used in a more targeted manner for the benefit of the patients. Cancer medicine is the focus of funding.
The preclinical research examines the effects and side effects of new therapeutic approaches before they are tested on humans. For example, it uses animal models, cell or tissue cultures to predict the reaction of the human organism to a new active ingredient. Early clinical studies are the first application of a new method of prevention, diagnosis or therapy to humans. They are carried out on healthy volunteers or on patients. The safety, tolerability and the dose-effect relationship are tested.
The future of clinical research
Health research is increasingly focusing on the individuality of people: The best possible treatment for a disease, for example, can be completely different for a child than for an elderly person. The genetic predispositions of a patient can also have a decisive influence on the success of a therapy. But the more targeted and personalized new therapies are, the more difficult it is to find suitable people who have a certain disease or meet other requirements for participation in a clinical trial - for example with regard to gender and age.
One of the goals of the medical informatics initiative of the BMBF is to improve the demanding and often time-consuming search for study participants with innovative IT solutions. In the future, automated data analyzes should help to find suitable people in sufficient numbers more quickly and to invite them to participate in the study. This is intended to increase the efficiency of clinical studies so that medical progress reaches people more quickly.
Clinical research in European cooperation
In the case of many questions, it makes sense that international teams conduct clinical research together. To do this, they must take into account regulations from all participating countries. The European network for clinical studies, ECRIN (European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network), supports the researchers.
The aim of ECRIN is to further improve the quality and efficiency of multinational clinical trials in Europe. To this end, ECRIN creates international quality standards for the studies and, with the subsequent support, contributes to quality assurance in European clinical research. Existing study infrastructures are networked on a European level thanks to ECRIN. ECRIN also supports the planning and implementation of multinational clinical studies with services such as advice and training for researchers and sponsors.
ECRIN is an example of sustainable European project funding: after successful funding rounds in the European framework program, it is now part of the European infrastructure. The money for this comes from the membership fees of the member states. The membership fee from Germany is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with around 350,000 euros annually.
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