The Trial Innovation Network (TIN) is a collaborative effort within the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program designed to speed up the translation of new breakthroughs and interventions in life-saving strategies used in clinical settings. TIN is a response to the numerous roadblocks clinical investigators face when planning and ultimately conducting clinical trials. This national collaborative network seeks to pave the way for clinical investigators to perform multi-site studies in better, faster and more economical ways.

What follows is a brief question and answer overview of this clinical investigator-centric organization.

Who Started the Trial Innovation Network?

It was started by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program which was formed by the U.S. federal government under the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

Why was TIN Formed?

It was formed to speed up the translation of new breakthroughs and interventions into life-saving strategies used in clinical settings. It would appear that there is a growing emphasis on supporting multi-site studies with an emphasis on trials for traditionally underserved populations in translational research.

What are Specific Goals of Tin?

As University of Buffalo (UB) informed the public in their recent press release, TIN goals include to 1) develop and implement innovative, collaborative solutions intended to transform clinical and translational research—especially multi-site clinical trials and 2) promote the integration of special and underserved populations in translational research.

What are the Specific Assets TIN Offers?

TIN forms a national laboratory in which investigators can collaborate on research. It is made up of three components including 1) the CTSA program hubs 2) Trial Innovation Center (TIC) and 3) Recruitment Innovation Center.

Explain the Three Components of the TIN offering

1)CTSA Program Hubs 

More than 50 medical research institutions across the nation receive Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program funding. These institutions collaborate to speed the translation of research discovery into improved patient care. The table offers information of funded activities under the NCATS CTSA program.

A CTSA Program hub is defined as a UL1 award with a linked KL2 award.

In any particular fiscal year, if NCATS granted a no-cost extension (NCE) to an existing CTSA Program hub award, the Center would not count that NCE-status site as a funded hub during that fiscal year. Therefore, the NCE-status site would not be reflected in the table.

TrialSite News provides a few of CTSA program awards here.

2)Trial Innovation Center

These are specific research centers participating in the TIN.

3)Recruitment Innovation Centers

These were introduced in 2016 with the goal of improving research participation and patient recruitment.

How do TINS Benefit Investigators

TINs are Beneficial to Investigators in two primary ways reports Briana Getman who is the clinical recruitment coordinator and TIN liaison point of contact for UB’s CTSI. They include: 1) specific centers, such as University of Buffalo, submitting their own proposals for NIH funding can request TIN consultation for their own multi-site trials, securing feedback and guidance for important topics such as study design, budget, recruitment and feasibility. Essentially, it represents an incredibly valuable source of consultative assistance on demand. The TIN may select the specific investigative site trial to implement across the network reports University of Buffalo. 2) investigators can be selected as a site investigator when other CTSA hubs are looking for sites to conduct their multi-center trials. For example, this means that University of Buffalo investigators could be selected by University of Utah for a major multi-center site initiative.

Summary of Value

Overall, the network combines 50+ CTSAs across the United States offering powerful synergistic network effects. So, for example, if a UB is planning a multi-site proposal in the planning phases, the TIN can offer a range of expert review, option and oversight feedback, hardening and strengthening proposals and thereby improving the chance of success.

Sanjay Sethi, director of the UB Clinical Research Office and TIN Liaison medical director summarizes that “the goals of TIN and the University of Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute are well aligned.” Sethi continued, “these include to develop and implement innovative, collaborative solutions intended to transform clinical and translational research, especially multi-site clinical trials, and to promote the integration of special and underserved populations in translational research across the lifespan.”

TrialSite News looks at this news positively. IT would appear the NIH through NCATS is seeking to foster greater collaboration around multi-site initiatives with a focus on underserved populations, hinting at research as care options for new cutting-edge medicines.

Source: Buffalo

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