HRB NCTO works with and supports a number of clinical research networks. Clinical research networks are groups of clinicians and scientists from across Ireland who have come together around a particular disease, or clinical interest. Investigators agree on research activities that are best conducted as a large group nationally rather than in isolation.

A number of clinical research networks have been established and are listed below by research area. Some receive state funding while others are funded mainly through charitable funds.  The Health Research Board in recent years have funded the establishment of Clinical Trial Networks in, Critical Care, Paediatrics (In4Kids), Primary Care, Rare Disease, Infectious Disease, Diabetes and Dementia.

The clinical research network page is live and updated on an ongoing basis. If you are a lead of a clinical research network and would like it included on the HRB NCTO website please contact info@ncto.ie

Further information on the different networks are provided below by research area.

    Cancer Trials Ireland 

    Cancer Trials Ireland sponsor and operate Cancer Clinical trials in Ireland and Europe. Its 50+ strong staff manage a portfolio of 100+ cancer studies. In the past 20 years almost 31,000 people have taken part in nearly 800 cancer clinical trials. In 2020, a survey of public attitudes revealed one in two people in Ireland would take part in a clinical trial.
    Established in 1996, Cancer Trials Ireland (formally the All-Ireland Cooperative Oncology Research Group – ICORG) was established in 1996. It enables patients in Ireland to gain early access to novel cancer treatments and therapies. Cancer Trials Ireland operate cancer clinical trials across a number of disease areas – Breast, Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary, Gynaecology, Haematology/Lymphoma, Lung, etc. The organisation works closely with international collaborative groups such as ECOG, NSABP, ANZUP and has developed strong links with our pharmaceutical partners.
    For general enquiries phone: +353-1-6677211 or email: info@cancertrials.ie

    Visit Website

     

    BCNI: Blood Cancer Network Ireland

    BCNI is a national clinical research network set up to benefit blood cancer patients in Ireland. BCNI offer clinical trials to blood cancer patients, providing the opportunity to test new, potentially life-saving treatments and drugs. BCNI has also established a biobank and blood cancer registry, which will further our knowledge and expertise in the field of blood cancer research and ultimately improve patient outcomes. BCNI has been funded by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland since 2015.

    BCNI is a collaborative network of clinicians, scientists, and population health experts with a shared interest in blood cancer research. Members of the national network are based at the NUI Galway/ University Hospital Galway, University College Cork/ Cork University Hospital, Trinity College Dublin/St James Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and the Mater Hospital, and the National Cancer Registry Ireland. The key investigators involved are Dr Eva Szegezdi, Dr Philip Murphy, Prof. Mary Cahill, Prof. Michael O’Dwyer, Prof. Paul Browne, Prof. Peter O’Gorman, Prof. Kerri Clough-Gorr and Dr John Quinn

    The aim of BCNI is to provide blood cancer patients in Ireland with access to novel and innovative cancer treatments through the provision of early phase clinical trials. BCNI also collect information and samples from blood cancer patients in Ireland in order to improve our understanding and to uncover new ways to combat this disease.

    For general enquiries phone: +353-91-49-3811 or email BCNI@nuigalway.ie

    Visit Website

    HRB Stroke Clinical Trial Network Ireland

    Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world, the leading cause of new disability, and a major cause of dementia and health costs.

    The HRB Stroke Clinical Trial Network Ireland is led by Professor Peter J Kelly, Mater University Hospital and University College Dublin. The Network will initially involve eight Irish hospitals, six leading universities, and all seven Hospital Groups, including colleagues from UCD, RCSI, Trinity College, UCC, NUI Galway, and University of Limerick. It will have strong links with international researchers in the UK, Europe, and North America. In addition to the HRB, other Network partners are the Irish Heart Foundation, who will fund new Stroke Research Nurses, and seven industry partners, who will fund education and training activities.

    In the Network, Irish researchers in hospitals will:

    • Join several new international trials of new treatments for emergency care, prevention, and recovery after stroke.
    • Lead a new clinical trial aiming to prevent second strokes and heart attack after first stroke.
    • Train new doctors, nurses, and therapists in how to perform safe high-quality clinical trials, and will work with patient groups and the private sector to bring new treatments to patients with stroke.

    Visit Website

    HRB Irish Critical Care Clinical Trials Network

    The HRB Irish Critical Care Clinical Trials Network (HRB ICC-CTN) is led by Professor Alistair Nichol, St Vincent’s University Hospital and University College Dublin.

    It was established in 2015 to support research programs being conducted by the Irish Critical Care-Clinical Trials Group (ICC-CTG). The CTN aims to support efforts to conduct high quality clinical trials on the Island of Ireland, based on the opportunity, the science, the feasibility and the ability to enhance the standing of the ICC-CTG to conduct trials and also the ICC-CTN to co-ordinate trials nationally and internationally.

    The goal of the ICC-CTN is to improve clinical therapies to improve patient survival and health outcomes among those who are critically ill. Patients involved in the research will have access to the latest innovations in intensive care, helping to ensure future patients benefit from the lessons learned through national and international research which help to inform best practice guidelines.

    The group includes the academic leadership in our speciality and encompasses more than 75% of all the ICU capacity in Ireland.

    To date, a number of large multi-site international ICC-CTN endorsed trials were recently completed:

    PHARLAP – this was a trial to determine whether the way we ‘set’ the breathing machine helps reduce further lung damage in patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. This phase II trial was conducted in 34 sites in 5 countries and 115 patients were enrolled as the trial finished early due to a similar trial (the ART study, JAMA) suggesting harm with an open lung approach. However, our results demonstrated that there was no indication of harm to patients by adopting an open lung ventilation approach but overall it didn’t improve outcomes.  Future studies may elucidate which patients my receive benefit from this approach – so called responder.  We are conducting an analysis of similar trials in Brazil, the US and Australia in an attempt to answer this question.

    (Link to PHARLAP publication)

    TRANSFUSE – this double-blind randomised controlled trial aimed to determine whether giving ‘fresher’ blood versus ‘older blood’ in transfusions make a difference to patients who are admitted to ICU. This was conducted in 4919 patients in 59 sites in 5 countries and results showed that giving ‘fresher’ blood did not benefit patients. This result was important for informing blood bank practices globally.  The shift towards providing freshest available blood has now ceased, with huge blood bank resource / stock implications.

    (Link to TRANSFUSE publication)

    PEPTIC – this cluster crossover randomised controlled trial aimed to determine which of the common treatments used to help reduce bleeding from the stomach when people are very unwell is best. This was conducted in almost 27,000 patients in 50 hospitals in 5 countries and results demonstrated that proton pump inhibitors compared to H2 receptor blockers for stress ulcers did not significantly improve patient survival. Not only was this trial design novel – we recruited a very large number of patients for a fraction of the normal cost by using established registries to collect patients’ data, but this result could save tens of thousands of lives globally each year.

    (Link to PEPTIC publication)

     

    The ICC-CTN also supports ICC-CTG sites to participate in observational studies, and phase II and phase III randomised trials including POSE, WEANSAFE, EPIC III, SPICE III, REMAP-CAP, TEAM, STOP AKI and STARRT AKI.  This increases the ability of Irish patients in all ICC-CTG ICU’s to participate in these global research studies

    Currently, the ICC-CTN is co-ordinating in Ireland, Europe and Australia / New Zealand (with ANZIC-RC, Monash university) one of the largest randomised controlled trials among cardiac arrest patients to determine whether targeting slightly higher carbon dioxide levels than normal via mechanical ventilation improves neurological outcomes six months after the event.

    Furthermore, through this collaboration with the ANZIC-RC, Monash University, the ICC-CTN is co-ordinating one of the largest double-blind placebo-controlled trial of erythropoietin in trauma patients to investigate whether EPO alfa is an effective therapy to improve survival and disability status following traumatic injury.

    Another major focus of the network is its commitment to provide education, training and support to researchers in the critical care field in Ireland. A key component of this comes from a global collaboration with InFACT (International Forum for Acute Care Trialists) where the network is helping to bring an intensive care-specific basic research training course to Ireland in 2020.

    The network is also committed to further developing its collaboration with patient and public representatives as we believe it to be an integral component of our activities. We are currently doing this through empiric research, representation on patient-public forums and patient-public programs.

     

    Useful links

    Link to ICC-CTN website

    Link to ICC-CTG website

    Link to ICSI (Intensive Care Society of Ireland) website

    Link to ANZIC-RC website

    HRB Dementia Clinical Trials Network

    HRB Dementia Clinical Trials Network (‘Dementia Trials Ireland’; DTI) is a multidisciplinary national dementia clinical research network led by Professor Iracema Leroi at St James’ Hospital, Dublin and Professor Seán Kennelly who is based at Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin.
    The DTI Steering Committee is supported by clinical and non-clinical dementia researchers from around Ireland including geriatricians, psychiatrists, neurologists, neuroimagers, PPI members, biostatisticians/trial methodologists and bioengineers.
    The objective of DTI is to significantly develop and expand the small dementia clinical trials’ portfolio to include studies of diverse types (proof of concept to implementation; non-pharmacological to pharmacological approaches) suitable for all stages and sub-types of dementia (i.e. from preclinical to advanced stage dementia). Our studies will apply different methods, including imaging, biomarkers and neuropsychological methods to assess healthy volunteers, carers and patients.
    The ultimate goal is to enable every person at risk of, or living with, dementia in Ireland, the opportunity to access clinical trials. This will entail upskilling the workforce to conduct trials, attracting more international trials (including industry-sponsored trials) and competing for funding for investigator-led trials within and beyond Ireland. A cornerstone of the work will be the inclusion of people with lived experience and their caregivers in the day-to-day development of DTI (patient and public involvement; PPI), as well as raising public and professional awareness of dementia and dementia trials throughout Ireland.
    The current study portfolio is a combination of investigator-led (i.e. www.sense-cog.eu ) and industry-sponsored studies. Current research focuses on Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body Disorders and other dementias, mild cognitive impairment, brain-injury and healthy volunteers.

    DTI will work closely with and be aligned with a number of other HRB-supported clinical research entities including the HRB-National Clinical Trials Network (HRB-NCTO); HRB Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN), the Clinical Research Facilities (Dublin, Cork and Galway), and the HRB’s national PPI network, IGNITE. Additional partners include universities and hospitals in Dublin (The Mater, St Vincent’s, St James’, Tallaght) Cork, Galway and Sligo.

    ATLANTIC DiP (Diabetes In Pregnancy)

    The ATLANTIC DiP research programme has focused on examining the outcomes of pregnancy for women with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and the factors influencing these outcomes. The mission of ATLANTIC DIP is to improve the outcomes of pregnancy for women with Diabetes by promoting evidence based best practice before, during and after pregnancy.

    Visit Website

     

    Galway Diabetes Research Centre (GDRC)

    GDRC is a joint venture between NUI Galway and Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group, which bring together an interdisciplinary research consortium of active researchers and clinicians who have a track record in the field of diabetes. The centre is a hub for collaborative effort of researchers and clinicians, with a passion for this work, to provide a greater understanding of how diabetes develops and the underlying mechanisms, the development of new and better therapies for patients, and assessing health care interventions and delivery for patients.

    Visit Website

     

    Diabetes Collaborative Clinical Trial-Network-Ireland (DCCT-N-I)

    Our aim is to improve health and wellbeing for all patients with Diabetes through research and an active portfolio of ambitious multi[1]centre trials on the island of Ireland. Regardless of geographical location or socioeconomic status, all patients will be facilitated to participate in relevant trials through a well-developed network of clinical sites supported by Clinical Research Facilities, Academic Institutions and the National Clinical Care programme in Diabetes. Through well planned research activities, where feasibility and pilot work are completed to support definitive interventions, we plan to become internationally competitive for funding and deliver trials of highly significant scientific impact. The individual network members have considerable experience in investigator and industry led clinical trials. They can demonstrate individual success with national and international grant funding and the influence of their research on policy and guidelines. They have a broad international collaboration base with distinguished world experts in their fields. We now want to coordinate this intellectual capital in this CTN network to facilitate fund leveraging, capacity building, multidisciplinary research and national and international knowledge exchange. This network is building further on national investment in clinical research facilities (CRFs)/networks, bringing together academics, clinicians, health professionals, patients, industry, charities and health care delivery networks

    The Network Activities will focus on development of (a) a research strategy (b) a governance structure (c) plan for interaction with industry (d) establishing a patient groups and public PPI group (d) sustainability plan with a focus on national and international grant applications, in addition to industry and SME fiscal and in-kind contributions. The Trial Activities (40% of which will be industry led) will follow an agreed research strategy which will be complimentary to the priorities of the national HSE Diabetes clinical care programme. The initial anticipated network research will focus on areas of established expertise including Diabetes in Pregnancy, Technologies, Behavioural change interventions, Diabetes and foot disease, Diabetes and Advanced therapies, and all underpinned by Epidemiology and Health Economic Assessments. As the network grows and attract other researchers the research trial base will expand to cover other key areas e.g. diabetes in the Paediatric and Elderly populations. The network will have strong PPI input and will be overseen by the National HRB PPI hub, and trial designs will be robustly debated with the HRB TMRN and supported by core outcome sets (COSs) and evidence synthesis. Work Packages (WP) will be established to lead on key network and trial activities. Each WP will be overseen by a co-applicant institution/co-applicant and a Lead PI will be responsible for the design and development of any proposed clinical trial and its execution to include pilot data underpinning the trial. The Work Packages will broadly focus on the following key areas and each WP will be linked to a number of Key Performances Indicators (KPI) for annual assessment.

    · Education Training and Building Human Capacity

    · Network Communication · Network Industry Liaison

    · Network Sustainability · Network PPI Collaboration

    · Network Research Strategy including COS and Evidence synthesis.

    Investigator Network for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Therapy in Ireland (INITIative)

    INITIative is the first collaborative research network for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Ireland. The network is open to clinical and scientific investigators with an interest in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis throughout the island of Ireland. Goals of the Network include:

    1. To foster collaboration and encourage multi-centre investigator initiated studies in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in Ireland
    2. To attract and facilitate industry sponsored clinical trials in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in Ireland in order to improve the access for patients in Ireland to investigational drugs and therapies
    3. To facilitate participation by Irish IBD investigators in European research consortia and networks
    4. To attract funding for and investment in research infrastructure to support research in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in Ireland
    5. To foster all Ireland, European and Global collaboration in IBD research and improve the profile of IBD related research taking place in Ireland

    Current INITIAtive projects include several investigator initiated studies: GOAL-ARC and HARP-X. GOAL-ARC is a nationwide multi-centred investigator initiated randomized control trial to evaluate the use of personalized golimumab (GLM) dose adjustment in UC. The primary objective is to ascertain if dose adjustment of GLM, based on GLM drug levels and FCP levels, results in higher response and remission rates than standard dosing.

    HARP-X is a pilot study that will determine the effect of tofacitinib maintenance therapy on endoscopic response in subjects with active, chronic, antibiotic dependent or refractory pouchitis.

    INITIative continues to participate in numerous observational studies, including I-CARE, the first European prospective cohort study that will provide unique information on the long-term use of recommended therapy in IBD.

    A key priority of the network is to expand research into non-pharmacologic interventions, including psychological and dietary interventions, nursing interventions, and methods to address patient quality of life. There are currently several studies in the pipeline looking at these important aspects of IBD. In addition, the network’s research priorities are targeted for understudied patient groups, including patients with stomas, proctitis and pouchitis that are generally excluded from industry sponsored studies.

    For further information please contact:

    Glen Doherty MB BCh PhD FRCPI FEBGH
    Senior Clinical Lecturer, University College Dublin and Consultant Gastroenterologist and Physician, Centre for Colorectal Disease, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

    Annie Coe, BSN, MScResearch Nurse & INITIative Coordinator
    Centre for Colorectal Disease, St. Vincent’s University Hospital
    Email: c.coe@svuh.ie

    INITIative Website

    The Irish Network for VTE Research

    The Irish Network for VTE Research (INViTE) is an Irish, patient-oriented research network aimed at developing and participating in excellent National and International venous thromboembolism (VTE)-related research. We are honoured to work with the patient group Thrombosis Ireland (http://thrombosisireland.ie) at every step along the way of study concept, design and development

    INViTE was launched on 12th September 2018 by the Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphries in Croke Park, Dublin and is a member of the prestigious INVENT-VTE (International Network of Venous Thromboembolism Clinical Networks; www.invent-vte.com).

    Partners

    Patient organization Thrombosis Ireland (http://thrombosisireland.ie/)

    Clinician organizations:

    VTE Ireland; Irish Association of Emergency Medicine

    Translational research groups/Centres:

    UCD Conway SPHERE Research Group (http://www.ucd.ie/conway/research/researchgroups/ucdconwaysphere/); Irish Centre for Vascular Biology (http://www.rcsi.ie/ICVB)

    Hospital partners:

    • University Hospital Limerick;
    • Rotunda Hospital Dublin;
    • National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin
    • St Vincent’s University Hospital Dublin,
    • Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda;
    • St James’s Hospital Dublin;
    • Beaumont Hospital Dublin;
    • Cork University Hospital;
    • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin;
    • University Hospital Galway,
    • Our Lady’s Hospital Navan,
    • Sligo University Hospital
    • Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore
    • Coombe Women and Infants Hospital, Dublin
    • Belfast City Hospital (Due to join in 2021)

    University partners:

    University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, (2021: Queens University, Belfast)

    CRCs: University of Limerick CRU, RCSI, UCD, TCD CRCs

    Inclusion Health Service, St James’s Hospital, Dublin

    Department of Health Intelligence R&D, Irish Health Services Executive

    Hospital Groups: Ireland East Hospital Group

    INVENT-VTE (International Network of Venous Thromboembolism Clinical Networks; www.invent-vte.com)

    www.INViTEresearch.org   #INViTEresearch

    Irish Hepatitis C Outcomes Research Network (ICORN)

    Established in 2012, ICORN is a collaboration between clinical specialist groups, patient advocacy groups and healthcare service providers including the Irish Society of Gastroenterology (ISGE), the Infectious Diseases Society of Ireland (IDSI), and the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE).   Clinicians from the seven hospitals with centres of excellence in gastroenterology, hepatology or infectious disease caring for patients with Hepatitis C (HCV) infection are involved, they are: Beaumont Hospital, Dublin; Cork University Hospital, Cork; Galway University Hospital, Galway; Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin; St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny; St. James’s Hospital, Dublin and St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.

    The initial goal of this collaboration was to optimise the quality of care of patients with Hepatitis C (HCV) undergoing treatment with direct-acting antiviral therapy (DAAs). This prompted the design and implementation of treatment protocols for clinical sites and the establishment of the ICORN Treatment Registry, a prospective longitudinal treatment outcomes registry. The ICORN Treatment Registry facilitates clinical, basic science and translational medicine research for HCV infection.   Other network research themes developed since 2012 include innovative research projects on models of care and screening for HCV infection.

    ICORN affords the opportunity for collaborative, multi-centered, world-class research in patients with Hepatitis C in Ireland and is uniquely positioned as the leading platform for HCV clinical research in Ireland.

    For further information, please contact:
    Dolores Barry, ICORN Programme Manager
    Tel:  +353 1 896 4038
    Email:   doloresbarry@icorn.ie

    Visit Website

    ID-CTNI: Infectious Diseases Clinical Trials Network Ireland

    ID-CTNI is led by Professor Paddy Mallon, St Vincent’s University Hospital and University College Dublin (UCD). The ID-CTNI network is hosted at the UCD Clinical Research Centre and supported by the UCD Centre for Experimental Pathogen Host Research (CEHR).

     

    The ID-CTNI network brings together a team with expertise in leading, directing and assisting Infectious Diseases clinical trials and investigations, both investigator and industry led. The multidisciplinary network comprises academic clinicians and researchers from:

    • University College Dublin/ St Vincent’s University Hospital & Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
    • University College Cork/ Cork University Hospital
    • Trinity College Dublin/St James’s Hospital
    • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland/Beaumont Hospital

     

    The objectives of the ID-CTNI include:

    • Implement a governance structure that improves Infectious Diseases clinical trial design, methods, and coordination in Ireland
    • Integration of existing investigator-initiated clinical trials and the implementation of new multicentre clinical trials.
    • Patient involvement will play a central role in the network and planning of clinical trials.
    • The expertise within the ID-CTNI enables better integration of resources and training of new researchers in Infectious Diseases, this will better place ID-CTNI research internationally.
    • Along with other clinical trial networks, Align and integrate with national strategic initiatives in Infectious Diseases to be better prepared for future pandemics

     

    The unprecedented focus on Infectious Diseases arising from the COVID19 pandemic is providing opportunities for the ID-CTNI to develop international clinical trials with other clinical trials networks.

     

    Current Multi-site Clinical Trials include:

     

    EU-COVAT-2 BOOSTAVAC (COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Trial)

    An International Multicentre, Phase 2, Randomised, Adaptive Protocol to determine need for, optimal timing of and immunogenicity of administering a 4th homologous mRNA vaccination dose against SARS-CoV-2 in the general population (18+ years) already vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2

     

    COVIRL-002 – Tocilizumab for management of severe, non-critical COVID-19 infection.

    An open-label, multi-centre, randomised trial comparing different doses of single-dose tocilizumab in adults with severe, non-critical, PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection with evidence of progressive decline in respiratory function and evolving systemic inflammation on time to intubation, non-invasive ventilation and/or all-cause mortality.

     

    SWIFT Study – Semaglutide’s Efficacy in Achieving Weight Loss for Those With HIV.

    A randomised, controlled, parallel group, open-label definitive intervention trial evaluating the impact of a 28-week course of weekly, subcutaneous Semaglutide alongside dietary and exercise advice on weight loss, inflammation and immune function in obese people living with HIV on stable antiretroviral therapy compared to dietary and exercise advice alone.

     

     

    https://www.ucd.ie/medicine/research/researchcentres/ucdcentreforexperimentalpathogenhostresearch/idctni

     

    For queries please contact:
    Dr. Adriana de Araujo, Project Manager.
    Email: <adriana.dearaujo@ucd.ie>

    Motor Neurone Disease:

    Research Motor Neurone
    Research Motor Neurone (RMN) was founded in 2007, for the purpose of promoting and facilitating research into the causes and treatments of motor neurone disease (MND), also known as ALS. RMN also strives to increase awareness of this incurable disease at both a national and international level. Ongoing research is needed to discover the cause, treatment and methods of improving quality of life for MND sufferers and their families.

    Visit Website

    Neurology Research Group, St. Vincent’s University Hospital 

    The Neurology Research Group in St. Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) was established over 15 years ago. It has expertise and experience running numerous clinical pharmaceutical trials, academic research studies – both clinical and basic science, and interventional studies with allied health professionals. Several national neurology registries and research databases are also co-ordinated from the SVUH site.

    Their particular areas of excellence are neuroinflammatory disorders, in particular multiple sclerosis,  movement disorders and cognitive neurology. They have a dedicated clinical facility and can run clinical trials in all other areas of neurology. Their principal Investigators are recognised as international experts in their field of research and are experienced national principle investigators for many clinical trials.  In addition to four consultant neurologists, they have a dedicated research team consisting of neurology research registrars, clinical research nurse manager/ coordinator, 3 clinical research nurses and a research assistant.  As well as dedicated clinical facilities they have office space for external monitors, laboratory facilities on site for sample processing and access to neuroimaging, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry and neuro-ophthalmology services to name but a few. They have on-going collaborations with a number of basic neuroscience and bioengineering groups in Ireland and internationally.

    For further information please contact:
    Sinead Jordan, Neurology Research Nurse Manager
    Email: s.jordan@st-vincents.ie
    Phone: (01) 2213592

    Neurology Research Group Website

    Irish Network for Children’s Clinical Trials

    In4kids – Irish Network for Children’s Clinical Trials – is a HRB funded national paediatric clinical research network whose aim is to build a strong network within Ireland to enhance collaboration amongst the paediatric research community in Ireland and to develop national capacity for high-quality, ethical paediatric clinical research. Our network membership is open to clinical research personnel from across the paediatric research community in Ireland.
    For general enquiries email: info@in4kids.ie

    Visit the in4kids website.

    HRB Mother & Baby Clinical Trials Network Ireland

    The HRB Mother & Baby Clinical Trials Network Ireland (HRB M&B CTNI) is a new, exciting and unique partnership between the two most successful perinatal research entities currently operational in Ireland, INFANT and Perinatal Ireland.

    This CTN represents a critical mass of obstetricians, neonatologists, midwives and allied professionals from seven of the largest maternity hospitals on the island of Ireland, which deliver over 55,000 babies per annum (almost three quarters of the total births on this island). Together, we have a strong track record in collaborative research and in the conduct of large-scale, international, multicentre, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of diagnostics and interventions in pregnancy and neonates (e.g. PELICAN, IMPROvED, NEMO, TEST). In addition, we are acknowledged world leaders in longitudinal cohort studies such as ESPRiT, PORTO, GENESIS, SCOPE etc. and we have established and curate Ireland’s first birth cohort, BASELINE.

    Perinatal disease accounts for nearly 10% of the global burden of disease. However, R&D investment in perinatal health remains small and nonstrategic; the number of registered pipeline drugs for perinatal conditions is only 1-5% of those for other major disease areas. One barrier to the development of better therapies and diagnostics for mothers and babies is the intrinsic complexity of conducting trials in these uniquely vulnerable populations and conducting long-term follow up. The Mother & Baby CTNI, built on a robust platform of existing collaborations and more than a decade of experience in the conduct of research in the perinatal population, will reverse this pattern.

    The primary aim of the HRB M&B CTNI is to unite the combined experience of both the medical teams and resources in all centres.  This combination provides a world class research infrastructure which is at the forefront of translation research regarding the transition of fundamental research into the clinical environment. HRB M&B CTNI has a balanced and extensive portfolio of both ‘home-grown’ and international clinical trials of novel interventions and diagnostics in pregnancy and neonates. The HRB M&B CTNI will facilitate greater national collaboration in the arena of perinatal trials and will ensure that Ireland maintains our place at the international forefront of this area of clinical research.

    For all queries please contact:
    Dr Liz Tully, Network Manager.
    Email: perinatalctn@rcsi.ie or Telephone: 01-4022540

    Visit Website

    Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT)
    INFANT is focused on making pregnancy safer and improving health outcomes for mothers and babies on a global scale. The centre is based in Cork University Maternity Hospital and funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The centre is an international leader of discovery and innovation in perinatal healthcare, undertaking world-class collaborative research and partnering with a diverse array of national and international industries and academics.

    INFANT addresses unmet worldwide clinical needs for effective screening tests for the most common complications of pregnancy and the most significant problems for newborns. One in five pregnancies is complicated by pre-eclampsia, pre-term birth or fetal growth restriction. These conditions can progress to serious illnesses for both mum and baby if they are left undetected. For the baby, birth is a perilous journey. Some 5% of newborns experience asphyxia at birth, which can later develop into brain injury and seizures. The creation of next- generation devices to facilitate point-of-care and remote monitoring and diagnostics will transform antenatal and neonatal healthcare and service delivery on a global level, and position Ireland at the forefront. Access to world-first technologies allows INFANT’s industry partners to deliver innovative solutions to global markets, creating exciting economic opportunities and delivering sustainable high knowledge value jobs in Ireland. Research areas include:

    • Innovative cot-side monitoring• Perinatal clinical trials
    • Medical devices• Connected health
    • Maternal and infant nutrition• Monitoring platforms
    • Biomarkers for screening and diagnostics in pregnancy

    Visit Website

    Perinatal Ireland
    Perinatal Ireland is a multi-centre research consortium which focuses on improving both women and children’s health all over Ireland.  This improvement is achieved through the utilisation of advanced technologies including ultrasound which contributes to the enhanced detection and diagnosis levels in utero.  Perinatal Ireland focuses primarily on areas of clinical improvement in women and children’s health such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), discordant growth in twins, the prevention of stillbirth, prediction of preterm labour etc.

    Perinatal Ireland has a unique position resulting from the access to large patient populations which facilitates innovative and ground-breaking clinical and translational research. Each member site of the consortium is equipped with dedicated ultrasound imaging equipment and software, with access to specialised expertise such as biostatistical support and a robust quality system. Perinatal Ireland has a strong track record in the conduct of national prospective observational studies such as the national twin study (ESPRIT) and the national growth restriction study (PORTO) whereby the knowledge gained from this research has proven beneficial to mother and babies across the island in the publication of national clinical care guidelines.

    The consortium incorporates the main academic obstetric units across the island including  The Rotunda Hospital (Dublin),  The National Maternity Hospital (Holles St. Dublin),  The Coombe Women and Infant’s University Hospital (Dublin), Cork University Maternity Hospital, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, University Hospital Galway, Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital (Belfast).

    For all queries please contact:
    Dr Liz Tully, Network Manager.
    Email: perinatalctn@rcsi.ie or Telephone: 01-4022540

    Visit Website

    HRB Primary Care Clinical Trial Network Ireland 

    The HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland (CTNI) aims to support the creation of high-quality clinical evidence which improves patient outcomes in Irish primary care. To achieve this, they provide supports to researchers to develop and conduct clinical trials in primary care that address important and common problems. They then support the successful translation and implementation of this evidence into healthcare policy and practice.

    The HRB Primary Care CTNI was established in 2015 as a collaborative partnership between NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Queen’s University Belfast, the Association of University Departments of General Practice in Ireland, and the Irish College of General Practitioners. Since establishment, it has supported more than 30 clinical studies, recruited almost 4,000 patients, leveraged funds of over €19,000,000, and published in leading international journal such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and the British Medical Journal.

    In 2021, the HRB Primary Care CTNI was successful in securing funding for the next 5 years of operations, with a focus on achieving the following strategic objectives:

    1. To maximise the successful delivery of primary care trials in Ireland.
    2. To continue to build capacity for world-class clinical trials in Irish primary care, through the provision of financial supports to early career researchers, the promotion of primary care research education and dissemination, and the provision of seed funding to develop a roadmap for implementation of a national research IT infrastructure.
    3. To develop an agenda for Irish primary care clinical trials research, by leading a priority setting partnership to develop the ‘Top 10’ research priorities in chronic disease management, and a core outcome set (COS) for future trials in this area.
    4. To enhance patient and public involvement (PPI) in primary care research in Ireland, by continuing to grow the capacity of the Primary Care CTNI PPI group, including PPI in network oversight and portfolio development, and continuing our synergistic relationship with the national PPI network.

    For more information, contact the Primary Care CTNI Network Manager, Dr Patrick Murphy, by emailing murphyp@nuigalway.ie or info@primarycaretrials.ie

    You can also visit the Primary Care CTNI website www.primarycaretrials.ie

    HRB Centre for Primary Care Research

    The HRB Centre for Primary Care Research (HRB CPCR) has been funded as a national research centre since 2008. It is a collaborative research group, led by the Department of General Practice, RCSI with colleagues from General Practice in NUIG, TILDA and General Practice in TCD and the School of Pharmacy in Queen’s University Belfast. The emphasis on the second phase of funding is to develop and assess information and communication technology to improve the quality and safety of patient care. The following clinical areas are being covered: safe and effective prescribing; chronic disease management in diabetes; rational antibiotic use in the community and the value of a summary care record.

    For all queries please email: enquiries.cpcr@rcsi.ie

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    Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP)

    The research unit of the ICGP aims to develop and support research and audits in general practice. The overall aim of the research unit is to contribute to the knowledge base of general practice and to support evidence-based practice. The ICGP Research Ethics Committee, granted formal recognition on 17th May 2005, reviews both CTIMP and non-CTIMP projects. The College provides research training and guidance to GPs and GP trainees through in a variety of formats and is a partner on the Primary Care Clinical Trials Network.

    For all queries please email: research@icgp.ie

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    HRB Rare Disease Clinical Trial Network:

    The RD-CTN, a HRB research network, led by Dr Rachel Crowley and Prof Cormac McCarthy at University College Dublin, aims to enhance rare disease care and outcomes, with the following objectives:

    • Act as a collaborative hub for trials in rare diseases

    • Facilitate and support the conduct of trials in rare diseases

    • Increase the opportunities for rare disease patients to access high-quality clinical trials.

    This will result in increased in patient engagement; more trial opportunities for rare disease patients; increased opportunity for investigator-initiated trials; significant industry investment into Irish healthcare; enhanced knowledge of rare disease through patient focused research and parallel translation scientific studies.

    Link to HRB announcement: https://www.hrb.ie/news/news-story/article/hrb-announces-e1-million-investment-for-rare-disease-clinical-trial-network-on-rare-disease-day-2022-1/

    Points of contact: Email: rcrowley@svhg.ie or cormac.mccarthy@ucd.ie

    VINE: The Vasculitis Irish Network

    VINE is a collaboration between five Irish centres, Vasculitis Ireland Awareness and the National Vasculitis Patient Organisation.  The network comprises of dedicated multi-disciplinary centres that provide a coordinated care path for patients with primary systemic small vessel vasculitis (PSV), from diagnosis to relapse and on to long term remission. It provides access to clinical trials for patients with PSV. The five centres maintain close ties and difficult cases are often discussed in a cross centre forum.

    To provide a foundation for developing the service in Ireland and to support translational vasculitis research, the VINE network has established the Irish RKD Registry and Biobank which seeks to enrol  900 patients in Ireland with PSV, providing a rich longitudinal clinical database, which is linked to one of the most complete PSV biobanks in the world based in Trinity College Dublin. Further details are provided below.

    The network is closely aligned with UKIVAS, the Vasculitis Rare Disease Group of the UK and Ireland and the European Vasculitis Society.

    For further information please contact:
    Prof Mark Little, Trinity Health Kidney Centre, Tallaght Hospital
    Email: mlittle@tcd.ie

    VINE Website

    Rare Kidney Disease Registry and Biobank
    The RKD registry and Biobank was established in 2012 and aims to address an unmet need in the study of rare kidney disease in Ireland including facilitation of clinical studies when sporadic cases are scattered throughout many hospitals in Ireland. As the principal investigator is prominent in the Systemic Vasculitis research arena, this condition is particularly strongly represented; some 350 cases have been recruited and sampled longitudinally, making this one of the most extensive vasculitis biobanks in the world.

    The Registry is an integrated resource across AMNCH Hospital Tallaght, St James’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, with input from multiple other units across the country. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Dublin Centre for Clinical Research, Trinity College MedDay and The Meath Foundation. Our goal in developing such a network is to link a robust patient registry (with capture of detailed longitudinal clinical data across multiple units) to collection of biological samples.

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    Respiratory and Asthma Research Network

    The INCA™ Studies are a suite of clinical investigations. The  focus of our research is in developing a novel technology which can be used in clinical practice as an objective assessment of patient adherence to inhaled therapy.

    For further information please contact:
    Elaine Mac Hale, Programme manager: Elainemachale@rcsi.ie
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    Arthritis Research Coalition

    A recent report assessing rheumatology research excellence, measured by the number of citations per article published between 1996 and 2010, ranked Ireland 1st of the 35 richest countries.   Major research outputs have included molecular studies on the pathogenesis of common rheumatic diseases, the discovery and validation of prognostic biomarkers, and clinical studies on novel therapies.   These have relied on the recruitment of highly characterized patients populations and by the development of linked biorepositories of blood and synovial tissue.

    Despite these successes the research activity has been reliant on a fragmented and poorly funded infrastructure.   The development of national rheumatology research networks in many European countries including Britain, Sweden and The Netherlands highlights their value. The establishment of Arthritis Ireland chairs, and the development of a Dublin Centre of Excellence, will form the foundation of national rheumatology research strategy, however, the development of a research nurse network will seek to engage all clinicians, co-ordinate all research activities and ensure that Ireland remains on top.

    The primary aim is recruit patients with common rheumatic diseases. and obtain biosamples that will underpin clinical research.  A secondary aim is to increase national involvement in clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents.

    The consortium lead is Prof Gerry Wilson. The leads by area are as follows:
    Rheumatoid Arthritis – Prof Doug Veale
    OA/Crystal arthritis – Prof Geraldine McCarthy
    Spondyloarthropathies – Dr Barry O’Shea
    Connective Tissue Diseases – Dr Grainne Murphy
    Paediatrics – Dr Orla Killeen
    Metabolic Bone- Dr John Carey

    For further information:
    Email: rheumatology@ucd.ie

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