Meeting “Clinical Research and Data: Beyond Technology, Speed and Innovation”

On 9 November 2017, at the Cemil Bilsel Hall of the Faculty of Science of Istanbul University, International Clinical Trial Center Network (ICN), health authorities, industry representatives, lawyers and patient rights advocates gathered and discussed how to use the available data in Turkey more efficiently during the symposium “Clinical Research and Data: Beyond Technology, Speed and Innovation".

Information and data management have come into spotlight in the field of clinical research. Carrying out clinical trials in a cyber ecosystem is no longer a fictive statement. While well-known challenges remain (regulation on personal data protection, ethical reservations, putative changes in scientific data generation…), the development of big data and artificial intelligence, together with biotechnology, will mark a new era in the use of real life data and data management in clinical trials.

During this meeting, the ICN Members Zurich, Cambridge and Rome have provided insight on what can be done on a central level by sharing their own examples, such as applicable databases, hospital electronic patient records, data migration methods, usage of big data, legal and ethical barriers, country clinical research, health system and patient databases and data management systems utilized at the sites.
This sharing of experiences will empower Turkish sites, governmental and health agencies and industry to initiate and maintain such technological systems in Turkey. Protocol designs need to be smarter and more cost effective. Additionally, the exchange of experiences will allow to take advantages to diagnose and prevent diseases proactively. Apart from data of randomized trials, there is significant amount of Real-World data in Turkey, which needs to be integrated more efficiently.

This baseline meeting identified data sources and integration methods, analyzed the requirements of the country and the patients and discussed and considered the underlying ethical and legal aspects. All attendees have noted that these areas need to be improved. By using big data more effectively and systematically, a shortening in the regulatory timelines and a decrease in research cost could be implemented and are not a dream!

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The next ICN Meeting will take place in Istanbul on 13./14. September 2018. More details about the Symposium will follow soon.


The Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI) held the joint 3rd Annual Symposium SCRI-ICN. This year’s topic was “Advancing Clinical Research Through Expertise Development”. It took place in Singapore on 29th August 2017. ICN members and local clinical stakeholders had the opportunity to discuss on strategies to maximize clinical research, challenges in conducting international clinical trials, clinical trial operational planning and budgeting, and best practice in site operations.

During this Symposium, the SCRI Academy was launched. This Academy will house the learning and development programs for clinical research coordinators in Singapore.
In addition, the challenges for maximizing clinical research in a small footprint, such as Singapore and Switzerland, were addressed by the outgoing ICN Chairperson, Prof. Dr. Gabriela Senti.

Kidney Research UK Fellowship

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Ragada El-Damanawi, a renal medicine trainee from Cambridge, has been awarded a very prestigious and highly competitive fellowship from Kidney Research UK, the leading UK based charity committed to research into the treatment and prevention of kidney disease. Her project titled "Assessing disease modifying therapies in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD)" will focus on the development of low cost and accessible therapies to slow the progression of polycystic kidney disease, the fourth leading global cause of kidney failure. The fellowship will also provide essential training in the design and set up of global clinical trials under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Hiemstra and the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit. The ICN supported Dr El-Damanawi's application. Work has already started on a single-centre randomised feasibility trial, and the ICN looks forward to supporting this exciting joint project.

Congratulations for this prestigious award!


The 2nd ICN Symposium Connecting Excellence in Clinical Research – a global perspective was held in Kyoto on 29th September 2016. This year’s topic was “Improving efficiency while maintaining quality”. ICN members shared their experiences on improving quality and efficiency of clinical research through international collaborations. Representatives of the ICN newest regular member, the China Medical University Hospital Clinical Trial Center - Taichung, Taiwan introduced their Institution.
Following presentations of translational Research projects by investigators and representatives of the KAICA Network, a fruitful round table discussion was carried out about how ICN could provide assistance on bench-to-bedside projects.

New members

Two new members joined the ICN in 2017!

- Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), Nashville, US
- Karolinska Trial Alliance (KTA), Stockholm, Sweden

One new member joined the ICN in 2016!

- Clinical Trial Center of Excellence, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Three new members joined the ICN in 2015!

- Centre for Clinical Trials Essen (ZKSE), Germany
- Hannover Clinical Trial Center GmbH, Germany
- Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala, Uganda

1st ICN Symposium 2015

The International Clinical Trial Center Network (ICN) – connecting clinical trial centers from various leading clinical research institutions in Europe, USA, Asia and Japan – was founded on September 10, 2015 within an Inauguration Meeting in Zurich (Switzerland).