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Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee Opens First Clinical Trial

Category: Research

UT Health Science Center Research

The Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee (CTN2) is kicking off its inaugural clinical trial, the first in the network’s efforts to grow the clinical research volume at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Since CTN2’s launch in April 2018, the organization has brought on eight clinical partners to establish the statewide network, launched an electronic data warehouse and partnered with TriNetX to bring in trial opportunities, and started promoting the network’s capabilities to pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies. The inaugural trial will be conducted at Saint Thomas Ascension in Nashville and is recruiting patients to investigate ways to predict heart transplant rejection.

“Saint Thomas Ascension is proud to open the inaugural clinical trial with CTN2. Our affiliation with CTN2 promotes the advancement of healthcare and health technology in Tennessee while fulfilling the Ascension mission of person-centered care,” states Dr. Theresa Herman, Chief Quality Officer of Saint Thomas Ascension. Saint Thomas Ascension is one of five partners that have executed contracts with CTN2. The other four partners include West Cancer Center in Memphis, Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, University Health System in Knoxville, and UTHSC in Memphis. All five partners are accepting new studies through CTN2 for consideration. CTN2 has also hired three staff members, a Clinical Trials Budget Analyst, an Enterprise Data Warehouse Specialist, and a Site Liaison Director, to support CTN2 initiatives with their partners and grow the number of trial opportunities available through CTN2.

CTN2 is the brainchild of Steven R. Goodman, PhD, vice chancellor for Research at UTHSC and initial president and CEO of CTN2. The nonprofit startup enables UTHSC clinical research faculty across all the campus’ affiliated hospitals to respond to opportunities for clinical trials at the speed demanded by pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industry partners.

“One of my core efforts is finding ways to grow research, including clinical research, at UTHSC,” says Dr. Goodman. “CTN2 will bring robust statewide clinical trials to UTHSC, improving the health of Tennesseans and people worldwide. At the same time, CTN2 allows UTHSC to receive credit for clinical trial contracts, raising its ranking amongst national academic health centers in the U.S. CTN2 is a win-win for all involved.”

At the core of CTN2’s approach are partnerships with all UTHSC’s affiliated hospitals and a HIPPA-compliant Enterprise Data Warehouse, which provides outside sponsors with the ability to determine how many patients from across Tennessee would be potential participants in their trial. With data provided from Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, via the Enterprise Data Warehouse, CTN2 has received more than 25 potential trial opportunities from various sponsors representing a wide range of therapeutic areas such as oncology, gastro-intestinal, cardiac, pulmonary diseases, and Pediatric conditions. CTN2 is in the process of expanding the Enterprise Data Warehouse statewide, incorporating data from all Network sites.

This access to a large and diverse patient population, an accelerated institutional review board process, and streamlined administrative and contractual processes puts CTN2 in a position to recruit and launch clinical trials that would otherwise not consider UTHSC.

“CTN2 allows our faculty to conduct clinical trials at the speed required by commercial industry,” said UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD. “By partnering with our key clinical partners in this endeavor, we each gain recognition for our efforts to bring cutting-edge therapies to Tennesseans.”

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Category: Research