Industry Guidance

Recommended Resources Relating to the Conduct of Clinical Trials

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When introduced in 2017, ICH E6 (R2) represented the biggest change to international clinical research in 18 Years. Developed as a response to the rising complexity of studies and the Industry’s increasing reliance on electronic data management, the addendum provides core guidance for the management of clinical research. The updates incorporate a clear expectation for Risk-Based Quality Management methods, reinforcing the need for risk planning and RACT, Quality Tolerance Limits (QTLs), and Centralized Monitoring including statistical data monitoring. It also reinforces the need for documentation of Centralized Monitoring activities, and for a Sponsor’s responsibility to oversee the CRO services in managing their studies. ICH guidance is generally adopted by the major regulatory authorities such as FDA, EMA, PMDA etc.,

Key Takeaways

  • The responsibility for the quality and integrity of trial data resides with the Sponsor, even if trial duties are outsourced to a Clinical Research organization (CRO).
  • Quality assurance systems should focus on human subject protection and reliability of trial results.
  • Sponsors should implement a quality management system to use from trial design through close out.
  • Sponsors should use a risk-based approach to develop the study protocol and study materials.
  • The Sponsor should perform a root cause analysis and implement and document corrective and preventative actions for any issues.
  • Every study requires a monitoring plan that includes information on potential risk of harm to participants, how the study will be monitored, the monitoring plan for critical data and processes etc.,

Recommended Resources:

In the spring 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published their updated thinking on regulatory standards for clinical trials, which took form in a document produced collaboratively with the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH): E6 (R2) Good Clinical Practice: Integrated Addendum to ICH E6 (R1). This document represents the FDA’s current thinking on ethical and scientific considerations for designing, conducting, recording and reporting trials that involve human subjects.

Key Takeaways

  • Sponsors should implement quality systems to manage quality throughout the trial process (design, protocol, tools, procedures, data collection, as well as the collection of info that impacts decision making)
  • The quality management system should utilize a “risk-based approach” regarding critical processes and data identification, risk identification, risk evaluation, risk control, risk communication, risk review, and risk reporting.
  • For the risk control aspect, FDA recommends that the Sponsor should decide which risks to reduce and/or which risks to accept, using risk reduction approached proportionate to the significance of the risks.
  • Quality Tolerance Limits (QTLs) should be established and upon detecting deviations from the limits that were pre-defined, it should be evaluated to decide if action is required.
  • Sponsors may choose onsite monitoring, centralized monitoring, or a combination of both.
  • The guidance should be read in conjunction with other relevant ICH guidance.

Recommended Resources

MCC is a trusted partner in the clinical trials industry—identifies what to measure and how to assess the critical components of what is changing and how the industry is responding to address the changes to make improvements. MCC continually brings new insights into the leading trends within the industry.

Some Useful MCC Resources:

The Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) represents companies on the forefront of global clinical research. ACRO champions the shared interests of the industry.

Some Useful ACRO Resources:

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