The Tennessee Innovative Clinical Trials Network CTN2 has soared in just its first year of operations, evidencing the demand for clinical investigation networks in Tennessee. Launched in April of 2018, CTN2 has already secured contracts to work with more than six medical institutions across the state. It has even been able to launch studies and secure 23 Tennesseans patients in CTN2 trials.
The organization was launched as a 501(C)(3) subsidiary of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF). The organization was created to enable the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), clinical research faculty, to design, solicit, and conduct robust statewide clinical trials with the overarching goal of providing a new therapeutics and medical devices aimed at improving the health of all Tennesseans.
The vision of Steve R. Goodman, Ph.D.
The vice chancellor of Research for UTHSC, Dr. Goodman, was quoted “CTN2 will provide robust statewide clinical trials that will improve medical treatments while providing UTHSC credit for the clinical trial contracts being performed by its faculty who are located at participating hospitals throughout the state.”
Integrating Biomedical Informatics
Intricately linked to CTN2 is the development of a HIPAA-compliant Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) for all CTN2 partnering medical center patients. Robert Davis, Ph.D., Governors Chair in the UTHSC-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center in Biomedical Informatics and professor in the Department of Pediatrics, serves as the lead curator for the research Enterprise Data Warehouse.
He noted upon the inception press release, “It’s very difficult to get enough sample subjects from one health center for a good clinical trial.” Mr. David continued, “Through the EDW, UT researchers will have access to more patient data than ever before, allowing for project collaboration and the development of products and solutions for patients and our community, no matter their physical location.”
First Year Results
They have soared into the completion of their first year—and they have benefited Tennesseans and the advancement of health care across the state.
They have secured 23 contracts to conduct clinical trials in their first year of operation. And, of course, this included all the time in the first year for organizational setup. So, they have actually gotten off to a great start.
CTN2 is a state-wide clinical trial facilitator, bringing together hospitals, academic-grade research, and shared data from across Tennessee to spearhead groundbreaking clinical research studies. These clinical trials are conducted by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) faculty create novel, robust research enterprise that operates as an independent arm of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF).
Diversified Therapeutic Areas
Just one year into operations, CTN2 has numerous studies underway and in the pipeline. Two clinical trials are open and enrolling patients: a Phase II trial in colon cancer and another building an outcomes registry for heart transplants. More than seven therapeutic studies are preparing to launch: Phase I trials in advanced malignancies and oral premalignant lesions; Phase II trials in heart failure; and Phase III trials in bladder cancer, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy. A separate Phase III is forthcoming in ophthalmology. CTN2 is also spearheading research and data mining projects into the procurement of human biospecimens and post-market surveillance for medical device implants.
A Unique Asset to Tennessee Residents
Based on the momentum and results thus far, the principals feel strongly that CTN2 will become an important boon to public health and health care access across the state. With affiliated practices and hospitals across the entire state, citizens of every region now have the opportunity to participate in CTN2 studies and reap the benefit of clinical research. It is important to note that historically Tennesseans have been underrepresented in large-scale studies leading to drug approval. CTN2 affords state residents potential access to effective medications prior to wide approval. New clinical research as care options emerges for the states’ residents.
About the Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee
The Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee (CTN2) is an independent 501(c)(3) subsidiary of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF). CTN2 was created to enable the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), clinical research faculty, to design, solicit, and conduct robust statewide clinical trials with the overarching goal of providing new therapeutics and medical devices aimed at improving the health of all Tennesseans. It was the vision of Steven R. Goodman, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Research at UTHSC. Network partners include Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center located in Memphis, Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, West Cancer Center in Memphis, Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, UTHSC in Memphis, Regional One Health in Memphis, and University Clinical Health in Memphis.
About the University of Tennessee Research Foundation
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property, encourages an entrepreneurial culture, contributes to state and regional economic development, and promotes research and education to benefit the people of Tennessee and beyond. UTRF aids and resources to the research activities of faculty, staff, and students of UT and works to help move ideas to the marketplace. For more information, visit www.utrf.tennessee.edu/
About the University of Tennessee Health Science Center
As Tennessee’s only public, statewide, academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health through education, research, clinical care, and public service, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region. The main campus in Memphis includes six colleges: Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC also educates and trains medicine, pharmacy, and/or health professions students, as well as medical residents and fellows, at major sites in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville.