After the end-of-project meeting that took place in Brussels at Hotel Le Plaza on Tuesday 25 April, today marks the official end of the EU-PEARL, a project thinking outside of the box and aiming to shape the future of clinical trials through Integrated Research Platforms (IRPs). The project lasted 3,5 years and was funded under the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Programme.
EU-PEARL has been a collaboration between many stakeholders, including patients and community, and had the overall aim to design a platform trial framework that can be used to coordinate multi-company/ multi-drug platform trials. The infrastructure developed by the project can be used for screening, enrolling and treating participants in a flexible and adaptive platform trial. Platform trials can provide patients with faster access and more effective treatments, due to their adaptive design.
The project focused on four different disease areas: major depressive disorder (MDD), tuberculosis (TB), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and neurofibromatosis (NF). A master protocol was developed and was tailored to each disease area. The developed generic platform trial master protocol will be available as a resource in mid-May, with the aim to be adapted for use in the context of any condition.
Though the project began in November 2019, EATG was brought onboard by the European Patient Forum (EPF) the project’s leading partner in Patient Engagement, in late 2020. EATG’s role was to lead the Patient Advisory Group (PAG) due to its 30 years of experience leading community engagement in research and development in the HIV field through the European Community Advisory Board, a model which paved the way for patients and community to be at the centre of decisions around their own health. The EU-PEARL PAG consisted of around 8 patient and community members from the four mentioned disease areas providing invaluable input into many aspects of the project. The PAG contributed to the overall developed framework and the disease-specific protocols, as well as to the Patient and Community Engagement Platform which includes a repository of resources that can be used to incorporate efficient patient and community into platform trials.
After working online exclusively due to limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions for the past few years, the end-of-project meeting was a great opportunity to finally meet in-person and share our excitement around the project results and collaboration.
All of the project results and developed resources can be found on the EU-PEARL website and can be navigated using the RESULTS dropdown top menu.
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