MRC CTU at UCL contributes to clinical trial capacity- and capability-building in India

A number of MRC CTU at UCL staff have been in India over the last two months contributing to capacity and capability building as part of the Unit's efforts to strengthen the country’s clinical research ecosystem. The focus has been on the design and conduct of safe and efficient clinical trials.


TB Capacity building workshops in Chennai and Delhi

Sarah Pett, Di Gibb, Andrew Nunn, Usha Menon and Anna Griffiths visited the ICMR National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) in Chennai and New Delhi in February, where they conducted two tuberculosis (TB) capacity-building workshops with Padma Darsini and the NIRT team. Funded by a capacity building grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences granted in 2018, the agenda emphasised the importance of team science, provided an operational overview, and explored what worked well in a number of MRC CTU at UCL-led TB trials (SURE, SHINE and STREAM) in India. There were 35 attendees overall, with a good mixture of statisticians, clinicians and researchers.

Most popular were the interactive sessions on designing a novel randomised clinical trial. Attendees split into groups named after world famous TB scientists, including Wallace-Fox, who worked at the Tuberculosis Chemotherapy Centre (later to become NIRT) in Chennai in the 1950s with leading TB statistician, Sistia Radhakrishna.


Research methodology training for the National Cancer Grid, India

Mahesh Parmar and Ruth Langley attended the International Collaboration for Research methods Development in Oncology (CReDo) workshop to support the training of young investigators on developing ideas for trial protocols and how to secure funding. A key aspect of the intensive weeklong residential workshop was that the young investigators bring their own ideas for trials, which, with mentoring from the faculty, were developed into protocols by the end of the week.


E-courses on regulatory requirements for conducting clinical trials in India

As part of ongoing work as Strategy Lead, Clinical Development Services Agency (CDSA), at the Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI) India, Usha Menon with the CDSA team has developed the first online course on trial regulations in India. Working in collaboration with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) India and IIT Madras, the team launched two online courses on 25 February 2019 on the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) platform. Over 1000 students have enrolled for the course on ‘Current regulatory requirements for conducting clinical trials in India’ and over 650 for the course on ‘Regulatory requirements for medical devices and IVDs in India’.

All of this is part of a larger effort to help enhance the clinical research ecosystem in India by contributing to national policy, building capability and adding to long-term value in the area of clinical trials.