This website has been developed and is being maintained on behalf of ESFRI by the StR-ESFRI project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n° 654213
A network for multinational, high-quality, clinical trials for top-level medical research
The European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) is a distributed RI that supports the conduct of multinational, high-quality, transparent clinical trials by overcoming the obstacles caused by fragmentation and poor interoperability of the national, clinical research environment in Europe. ECRIN creates added value through access to expertise and patients, increasing the reach, diversity, and result quality of clinical trials. As such, it fulfils the vision of a society where all decisions in medical practice are based on sound scientific evidence from high-quality clinical research.
ECRIN started in 2004 by connecting research facilities at multiple sites in countries across Europe and providing services for top-level clinical research. ECRIN was officially awarded the status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in December 2013. With 8 Members and 1 Observer, ECRIN ERIC became fully operational in 2014.
Difficulties in locating clinical trials units, fulfilling local legal, regulatory and ethical requirements, and coordinating multinational trial management deter many researchers from attempting multinational trials. This means that most independent trials are conducted in single centres, or multiple centres within one country.
ECRIN provides a pathway through Europe’s fragmented health and legal systems with its pan-European infrastructure that is designed to support multinational clinical research and unlock access to patients and medical expertise. ECRIN’s support is primarily provided during implementation, but also for preparation and protocol evaluation of the trial study. While advice and information are freely provided during preparation, access to ECRIN trial management services is subject to scientific and logistical evaluation of the full study protocol.
ECRIN’s work comprises multiple strands of activity. ECRIN provides guidance, consulting and operations management for multinational clinical trials on a not-for-profit basis. This work is facilitated by European Correspondents, based in Member and Observer countries, who maintain connections with national clinical trial unit networks. ECRIN maintains openly accessible tools for key trial features including regulations, ethical requirements, outcome measures, and trial unit locations for medicines, medical devices and nutrition, and risk-adapted monitoring strategies. Communication of ideas, news and principles behind clinical research to people working in the field, patients, policymakers and the public is a key ECRIN activity. Interaction with disease-related investigation networks and other distributed research infrastructures ensures extensive collaboration with various research fields, synergistic use of resources and expansion of the user community and reach of ECRIN activities. ECRIN works with colleagues worldwide to promote implementation of recommendations for integrated clinical trial governance.
ECRIN is a major tool to address the health Grand Challenge and has major impact on citizens and economy. Clinical trials assessing the safety and efficacy of new products result in health innovation, with a strong positive impact on the health industry – medicines, vaccines, medical devices, diagnostics – and nutrition sectors.
In addition to enlarging the health industry market, clinical trials exploring new indications for already authorized products – repurposing trials – have an impact on citizens’ health. Clinical trials comparing authorized treatments – comparative effectiveness trials – result in an improvement in healthcare strategies, with a measurable economic impact on wellbeing and productivity, and in healthcare cost containment. Independent, multinational trials are key instruments for optimisation of healthcare solutions and promotion of evidence-based medical practice in Europe and globally.