The European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) is a not-for-profit intergovernmental organisation that supports the conduct of multinational clinical trials in Europe. As of 2013, ECRIN has the legal status of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).
Based in Paris, it works with European Correspondents across Europe, national networks of clinical trial units (CTUs), as well as numerous European and international stakeholders involved in clinical research.
Multiple clinical trials provide greater access to patients, facilities and medical expertise; enhance methodological standards; enable the sharing of costs, tools and procedures; increase the potential for broad implementation of research outcomes; and prevent duplication of research.
However, various trial obstacles – from infrastructure interoperability to regulatory and ethical requirements and management and funding issues – deter many investigators from attempting multinational trials. This is especially the case for independent, or academic trials, which are more frequently conducted in a single country than industry-sponsored trials. This limited scope means reduced potential impact on global public health.
ECRIN provides a means to overcome the above challenges by offering researchers support to prepare and implement multinational trials. Support areas include the preparation of applications for funding, protocol evaluation, trial management, quality assurance and more.