Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ICRIN)
The MMI partners created the Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ICRIN) in 2006 to engage with the affiliated hospitals to develop a national clinical research infrastructure, to harmonise clinical research processes, to connect with European networks, to develop training and to support investigators in conducting multi-centre clinical studies. The work of ICRIN complemented the investment by the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Wellcome Trust in clinical research facilities and personnel in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
From 2007, the work of ICRIN was funded by the HRB and the Health Service Executive (HSE). In 2008 Enterprise Ireland provided funding to Molecular Medicine Ireland to develop and deliver a Clinical Trial Liaison function to build on linkages between Ireland's lifescience industry and the clinical research system. The strong foundations laid by ICRIN are now developed on by HRB Clinical Research Coordination Ireland, which is hosted by MMI with close links to the Clinical Research Facilities/Centres of the MMI partner institutions.
ICRIN, as the Irish member of the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), in its preparatory phase, formed part of a European-wide effort to construct an infrastructure for multi-centre and multi-national clinical trials sponsored by academic institutions and SMEs. Irish membership of the ECRIN preparatory phase attracted FP7 funding of more than €0.4m for ICRIN as a business unit in MMI.
Key Milestones and Achievements of ICRIN
In April 2009, ICRIN launched its training programme in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) to ensure that all those involved in clinical research had access to training of the high standard required for the conduct of clinical research. In 2008, ICRIN supported the re-launch of the Irish Research Nurses Network and worked closely with the Dublin Centre for Clinical Research in the launch of the RCSI Certificate course in Research Nursing.
In 2009, ICRIN published the Clinical Research Irish Situation Analysis which is the first overview of the status of all types of clinical research, the regulations governing the conduct of such research and the supporting infrastructure. The Situation Analysis is a resource for those involved in clinical research and those trying to understand how the regulatory, ethical, safety and quality requirements operate in this country. (download below)
In April 2009, ICRIN and the State Claims Agency organised a workshop that clarified key aspects of provisions for the indemnity of clinical research for those involved in clinical research.
Clinical Research Roadmap
In response to the need to develop a strategic approach to the development of clinical research in Ireland, ICRIN convened key players in a series of workshops to analyse the current situation of clinical research and agree comprehensive recommendations for the way forward. Following widespread consultation, the Clinical Research Roadmap was launched in June 2010. The Roadmap highlights the strategic and operational changes needed to improve Ireland's capacity to undertake high quality, multi-centre clinical research to support the development of new medicines, diagnostics, therapeutics and medical devices and to allow Ireland participate more actively in European clinical research initiatives. (download below)
Assisting SMEs and Start-ups access clinical resources
In April 2009, Enterprise Ireland awarded MMI funding to develop a service to assist SMEs and start-ups access clinical resources and navigate the regulatory maze in order to commercialise their products. This highly successful support function has continued from that time supported by Enterprise Ireland, and is now a fundamental part of HRB Clinical Research Coordination Ireland.
Research Readiness Programme
In January 2010, ICRIN launched the Research Readiness Programme with a selected number of research institutions, clinical research centres and their associated researcher teams in Ireland. The overall goals of the Research Readiness Programme are to evaluate in more detail the research processes that are already functioning well, identify the areas where more consistency of approach would be of benefit, provide encouragement to share best practice and gain information on the research infrastructure elements that would be best addressed at a national level.