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ICMR to expand INTENT to provide solutions to health issues

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is all set to expand its Indian Clinical Trial and Education Network (INTENT), a collection of medical colleges and research institutes across the country, with the goal of providing evidence-based, scientifically sound and culturally sensitive solutions to health issues of national priority by conducting large, decisive, regulation compliant clinical trials. The network is invested in providing end-to-end solutions for clinical trials for Indian researchers.

Currently, the INTENT network comprises 47 institutes that encompass public and private medical colleges, hospitals and research institutes, including the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) institutes.

“ICMR now plans to expand the national network and accordingly invites expressions of interest from public and private medical research institutes in India to contribute to the INTENT activities,” the research agency said in its recent communication.

Institutes and organisations that can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) include government and private medical colleges and institutes, hospitals with experience in conducting clinical trials, and non-governmental organisations with experience in conducting clinical trials.

INTENT proposes to co-ordinate regulatory clinical trials and investigations for drugs, devices, vaccines and biologics developed or co-developed with academia, start-ups or industry bodies. They should address national health priorities and rare genetic diseases, and have the potential to influence health policies for the country. INTENT may provide financial support to selected research proposals. Additionally, trials that are planned through inter-Ministerial collaborations may also be conducted by INTENT.

INTENT is being coordinated by the clinical studies and trials unit under the Division of Development Research at ICMR, Delhi.

“The selected centres from the EOI applicants will have the privilege of first preference as sites in case of trials conducted under the ambit of INTENT. One or more centres may function as the lead centres,” the ICMR noted.

It added that study support services, including data management, statistical support, insurance coverage, monitoring teams, and regulatory advice and liaisons, will be provided centrally by INTENT as and when needed.

Also, funding to the selected centres will be on the basis of each clinical research project/trial to be conducted. Relevant training and capacity building will also be linked with the projects. There is no restriction on the selected INTENT partners in terms of independently conducting or participating in trials that are not under the ambit of INTENT, the ICMR said. The Hindu

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