Clinical Trial Centre
What we do
Before vaccines or drugs can be used in the general population, their safety and effectiveness are thoroughly investigated in clinical trials. The Clinical Trial Centre (CTC) of ITM conducts clinical trials with healthy volunteers, as well as with patients affected by specific conditions (such as infectious diseases). These clinical trials are organised in cooperation with both academic and life science partners.
In a clinical trial, participants are selected, treated and monitored, according to a highly regulated procedure and international guidelines for 'good clinical practice' (GCP). The safety of trial participants is always an absolute priority.
Apart from clinical trials involving medicines and vaccines, the CTC also conducts research on new diagnostic tests, which are used to determine whether a person is affected by a disease. Biological samples can be also be collected at the CTC, if and when they are needed for basic research. These trials are also carried out in accordance with the GCP guidelines.
Why a Clinical Trial Centre at ITM?
The Institute of Tropical Medicine is internationally renowned for its scientific and medical expertise in infectious diseases, exemplified by its vaccination centre for travellers and its diagnostic centre for treatment of people with infectious diseases. Besides patient management, ITM also conducts fundamental laboratory research, as well as research in the fields of public health and clinical sciences. The Clinical Trial Centre of ITM contributes to all these research activities.
The medical doctors and scientific experts of ITM have widespread experience in (tropical) infectious diseases, such as dengue, malaria and rabies, and bacterial and viral infectious diseases, such as HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, part of ITM's research activities are the development and evaluation of new diagnostic tests.
Based on their specific area of expertise, the medical doctors of ITM act as principal investigators in various clinical trials. They are supported by a dedicated team of nurses and doctors of the CTC. ITM's clinical reference laboratory, which is accredited by the Belgian government, contributes to the processing and analysis of clinical research samples.
The CTC coordinates all locally conducted clinical trials of ITM and assists researchers in the preparation and execution of trials. In addition, the CTC aids in reporting to the sponsor of the trials, the government, and relevant ethics committees.
The CTC consists of a permanent team of nurses, medical doctors and reception staff. Along with the trial coordinator and the head of the CTC, they ensure a smooth cooperation with the principal investigator and the sponsor of the trial.