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In order to position Catalonia among the top five European regions for conducting clinical trials, the Barcelona Clinical Trials Platform (BCTP) brings together the main hospital research institutes in one platform to improve coordination, integration, quality, inclusiveness and speed of clinical research.
In 2014, at the behest of the Catalan Ministry of Health, Biocat created the Barcelona Clinical Trials Platform (BCTP), which will put Catalonia among the top hubs in the world for conducting clinical research projects, whether promoted by private or public sponsors. The BCTP strives to bring together the interests of all the centers to make the most of synergies in clinical research and attract innovative therapies still in the early stages of development to Catalonia.
The BCTP is a gateway for clinical trials, with access to 5 million patients and 2.000 experienced researchers.
The Barcelona Clinical Trials Platform provides access to 7 university hospitals and the national primary care network. It kicked off with 8 founding members and expects to expand in the middle term to include other research institutes and hospitals in Catalonia:
- VHIR (Vall d'Hebron Univerity Hospital)
- VHIO (Vall d'Hebron Univerity Hospital)
- IDIBAPS (Hospital Clínic Barcelona)
- IDIBELL (Bellvitge Hospital and Catalan Institute of Oncology [ICO] Hospitalet)
- IGTP (Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol)
- IMIM (Hospital del Mar)
- IIB Sant Pau (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau)
- IDIAP (Jordi Gol Institute for Research in Primary Care)
This initiative is inclusive and provides a joint structure covering the whole the region so that hospitals in Catalonia may act as a sort of metacenter that is a benchmark in developing new drugs, medical devices and biological products.
Areas of action
The greatest challenging facing the BCTP is to align patients’ needs and researchers’ expertise with industry aims in order to speed up the arrival of innovative treatments and improve the results of public health policies and interventions. This is why the Platform is focusing on 6 closely interrelated areas of action:
In order to cut negotiation and authorization times for clinical trials, the BCTP proposes to establish joint procedures, budget models and contracts for all members. Likewise, the Platform also proposes to centralize all training, accreditation and re-certification for research personnel in Good Clinical Practice standards. Finally, the BCTP proposes mechanisms to facilitate the transfer of patients between centers to allow patients access to therapies being developed.
The BCTP enables integrated, cohesive, efficient running of its member institutes, as if they were one single clinical research center, by creating collaborative computer tools.
Lifelong learning for clinical trial staff
The BCTP ensures researchers and nurses are trained, certified and up-to-date with ICH-GCP.
Commitment to patients
The BCTP provides information for the general public on clinical trials through its website. The Platform will forge relationships with local patients’ associations to move towards clinical developments that are more focused on patient wellbeing.
Joint promotion of members
The BCTP boosts the collective international visibility of the member institutes through joint promotion at fairs, congresses and events in the sector in order to attract more clinical research projects.
Integrating research into clinical practice
The BCTP makes it easier to use the talent and advanced facilities available in Catalonia for cutting-edge clinical research. Specifically, it integrates the research expertise and technology present Catalonia with the clinical development of targeted therapies to move towards personalized healthcare.
Benefits of the BCTP
The BCTP cuts the time and effort needed to start up new clinical trials by making clinical research processes more efficient and consistent across its member hospitals.
The BCTP features key opinion leaders with significant scientific leadership in many therapeutic areas, who may provide insight into the impact and feasibility of emerging therapies, participate in designing clinical trials and analyze results.
The BCTP attracts new studies by cultivating relationships with top-notch clients and exploring multiple partnering methods, including public-private partnerships.
The BCTP maximizes the potential for personal and technology-based collaboration to provide and deliver greater value to patients.
The BCTP improves the efficiency of individual members by:
- Expanding paths for clinical centers to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations (CROs), governmental agencies and medical companies.
- Facilitating participation in large clinical trials that require coordination through a network.
- Promoting the joint capacities of all the members.
- Fostering repeated opportunities and cross-pollination between similar programs.
- Training researchers and nurses in standard Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GBP).
- Participating in patients’ associations.