Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Successful outcome of Voluntary Harmonisation Procedure for clinical trials in Germany

10.04.2012
Three years ago, the Voluntary Harmonisation procedure (VHP) started under the auspices of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI). The procedure enables applicants to process authorisations of clinical trials in several European countries simultaneously.

The situation was reviewed after three years and showed a positive outcome: The time that elapses before a multinational clinical trial is authorised in all participating EU countries could be reduced to less than three months. Reports on previous experience and further steps planned by experts of the PEI can be found in the online edition of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery of 10 April 2012 (doi:10.1038/nrd3202-c2)


Time for authorisation of multinational clinical trials - changes after start of VHP. Photo: Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

The development of new and innovative medicinal products is a long and tedious process. After the preclinical phase of development, potential medicinal products have to be tested for their safety and efficacy in a number of clinical trials. In each European country where a clinical trial is planned to be performed, such a clinical trial requires a national authorisation.

If a clinical trial was to be performed in more than one European country, this meant for a long time that it had to undergo the entire procedure of validation, assessment, grounds for non-acceptance/reply, and authorisation/rejection right from the start. In the case of multinational trials with more than ten member states, it could easily take more than one year before the authorisation was obtained in all countries.

The 'Clinical Trials Facilitation Group' (CTFG), a working group of the HMA ('Heads of Medicines Agencies'), decided to remedy the situation. With the experts of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) being in charge, the group developed a procedure which presents a major progress both for the applicants and for the medicines agencies in Europe: The 'Voluntary Harmonisation Procedure‘ (VHP). Since March 2009 the CTFG has offered applicants who intend to perform a clinical trial in three or more EU member states the opportunity to start a single authorisation procedure in these countries.

"The verification and evaluation of clinical trials is of central importance for the development of new medicinal products. To harmonise these procedures in Europe, thus assuring a more rapid and at the same time more thorough evaluation, is a major concern for us at the PEI. I am very happy that the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut assumed a leading role in this process", said Professor Klaus Cichutek, the president of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut.

A current evaluation shows that the procedure has in fact clearly accelerated the authorisation of multinational clinical studies: In 2011, the average period required until the authorisation of a multinational clinical trial was obtained amounted to only 82 day. Previously, it took up to several months or even one year. The actual harmonisation procedure, on the other hand takes only 50 days on average. Applicants are required to apply for an authorisation in the individual countries in which the study is to be conducted within 20 days following a favourable opinion. The deadline for such cases is now only ten days, which is feasible since all scientific questions have already been answered in the new harmonised procedure. The time period required for obtaining an authorisation of multinational clinical trials could be reduced from 124 days in the first year to currently 82 days within three years thanks to the fact that the harmonisation procedure has already undergone several revisions.– an advantage of this voluntary procedure, which requires no change in the law, and in which useful changes can be implemented on a short-term basis.

"The procedure is an important simplification for applicants and medicines agencies that assess the medicinal products. The procedures themselves are accelerated, resources of the parties involved are used in an optimum manner, and are not overburdened by double work" explained Dr Hartmut Krafft, chairman of the CTFG. This statement made in his role as an expert should be correct, since experts of the PEI coordinate all harmonisation procedures, regardless of whether the clinical trials are performed in Germany or not.

The number of applications is on the increase: In 2009, 26 applications were made. In 2011, this figure was 85, and the number is increasing further. Altogether, 170 applications have been made so far. Whereas after the introduction of VHP, the procedure was at first used by university institutions and small businesses, it is now also appreciated by large pharmaceutical companies – including companies outside Europe: More than 40% of the applications with office in the USA.

The European Commission, too, deems it necessary to harmonise the procedures. For mid-2012, a draft for a new Directive on clinical trials is expected.

Original publication:
Krafft H, Bélorgey C, Szalay G.: Experience and further development with the Voluntary Harmonization Procedure for multinational clinical trials in the European Union. 2012, doi:10.1038/nrd3202-c2

Dr. Susanne Stöcker | idw
Further information:
http://www.pei.de/
http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nrd3202-c2.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>