SCRI Launches the Master Clinical Trials Agreement for clinical trials to begin sooner in Singapore

SCRI is pleased to launch the Master Clinical Trials Agreement (MCTA) at the Clinical Research Roundtable held on 15 November 2022. The MCTA provides a legal template that will shorten the initiation of clinical trials in Singapore by reducing the turnaround time in reviewing trial agreements between industry sponsors and public healthcare institutions.

[L-R] Director (Group Research), NHG, Mr Louis Ang, Deputy Group Chief Technology Officer, NUHS, Dr Koh Shuwen, Director (Investigational Medicine Unit), SingHealth, Ms Sue Tee and President, SAPI, Ms Poh Hwee Tee, at the launch of the MCTA on 15 November 2022. The ceremony was witnessed by Executive Director, SCRI and CEO, CRIS A/Prof Danny Soon.

The template would be especially useful for companies looking to conduct multi-centre trials but do not have prior agreements with the institutions, as it cuts the time needed for drafting up a new document from scratch.

The launch of the MCTA represents a key pillar of a series of initiatives by SCRI to advance the quality and efficiency of clinical trials in Singapore by working with key stakeholders in public healthcare institutions and government agencies. These initiatives range from implementing a national dashboard to track clinical trials efficiency to increasing public awareness on clinical research in Singapore.

Increasing Efficiency and Cutting Red Tape to Spearhead Clinical Research

Over eight months, the SCRI team facilitated discussions among SingHealth, National University Health System (NUHS), National Healthcare Group (NHG), and the Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) which represents 42 pharmaceutical companies operating in Singapore. SCRI worked together with the legal representatives from SAPI and public healthcare clusters to revamp the operational aspects of the MCTA as well as provide a budget template.

In particular, the team ensured that the opinions and concerns of the healthcare clusters and SAPI were considered and facilitated the development of the common clauses in the MCTA.

The MCTA is an important step in the right direction because as disease patterns constantly evolve, new drugs will need to be developed and trailed at a quicker pace. Increasingly, hospitals and research institutes are also collaborating through more public-private partnerships to develop and embark on clinical trials for new drugs and treatment techniques to combat evolving disease patterns and bring hope of new treatment to patients.

Bolstering Singapore’s Reputation for Running Clinical Trials in the Region

At the Roundtable, Executive Director, SCRI and CEO, CRIS A/Prof Danny Soon also moderated an insightful panel on ways to enhance public-private partnerships in clinical research.

The panel comprised distinguished speakers from the healthcare clusters and SAPI:

  • Mr Louis Ang, Director, Group Research, National Healthcare Group
  • Dr Shuwen Koh, Deputy Group Chief Technology Officer, National University Health System
  • Ms Sue Tee, Director, Investigational Medicine Unit, SingHealth
  • Ms Hwee Tee Poh, President, Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries and Country President, Novartis (Singapore) Pte Ltd
  • Ms Yeoh Ying Ying, Director, Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries and General Manager, Roche Singapore Pte Ltd

The panel shared a common vision to bolster Singapore’s reputation for running clinical trials in the region by building trust, establishing win-win solutions and holding space for open dialogue.

They also shared their future aspirations for the industry to continually forge ahead, stay ahead of the curve in the next five years and drive access to life-saving therapeutics for patients.

Senior Director, SCRI Dr Eugene Gan also shared new strategic initiatives which SCRI has been working on to boost the efficiency and quality of clinical trials conducted in Singapore.

Following the launch of the MCTA, SCRI will continue to monitor the usage and efficiency of the MCTA in helping both pharmaceutical companies and public hospitals cut the time spent on establishing agreements and improve the document based on further input received. The team will also continue to work with SAPI and the public healthcare clusters to create sub-templates for different types of clinical trials. The event was attended by more than 70 partners from the Singapore Economic Development Board, Enterprise Singapore, National Medical Research Council, Biomedical Sciences Industry Partnership Office, representatives from the healthcare clusters, alongside members from SAPI.

Click here to find out more about the MCTA.

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