Research organisations partner to transform clinical trials

Clinical trial

The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and Protas, led by Oxford University clinical trialist Professor Sir Martin Landray, will collaborate to develop new approaches to large randomised clinical trials. 

Through the collaboration, the partners hope to enable better evidence-based treatments for common conditions, such as heart and kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke and Covid-19, by radically altering the way clinical trials are designed and delivered to better meet the needs of patients. 

The organisations aim to accelerate the discovery of state-of-the-art medicines and the better use of treatments to improve public health outcomes globally.  

DCRI and Protas will focus the collaboration on four key areas: 

  • Co-developing and delivering exemplar large randomised clinical trials to generate high-quality, evidence in areas of major disease burden including, but not limited to, cardiovascular, metabolic, kidney, gastrointestinal and respiratory disease, as well as common and emerging infections. 
  • Increasing the diversity and inclusion of trial participants around the world through partnership with patient groups and the clinicians and healthcare institutions they attend. 
  • Establishing novel trial designs and methods (including effective, trustworthy use of data and technology) to enable low-cost, high-quality, large randomised trials.
  • Developing and advocating the implementation of fit-for-purpose clinical trial policies to encourage and facilitate high quality randomised trials that address the needs of patients and the public.  
Smarter and more cost-effective trials

“This collaboration holds great promise,” said Adrian Hernandez, Executive Director of DCRI. “DCRI and Protas have a shared commitment to, in the short term, define a framework to organise, prioritise and work together on particular areas of opportunity while in the longer term co-developing and/or co-executing global clinical trials or related research opportunities. We are looking forward to working with Protas on key projects as well as changing policies and practices to have a major impact on the health of patients around the world.” 

Protas was launched in 2021 and is led by the epidemiologist and physician, Professor Sir Martin Landray, who has over 20 years’ experience of leading large, randomised clinical trials as part of a team at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health. 

Landray said: “This important collaboration with DCRI will seek to transform the way trials are designed and delivered globally. In recent decades, high-quality clinical trials have become costly and inefficient, leading to fewer innovative treatments for diseases that affect a large proportion of the population. Working with DCRI, we aim to drive widespread change in the clinical trials sector by designing smarter and more cost-effective trials, improving healthcare inequalities, and addressing key issues in the policy and regulatory environment.” 

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