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China Global Regulatory Program

Focus Area: Global Regulatory

China Global Regulatory Program

In November 2014, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) issued a Draft Guidance on Multi-Regional Clinical Trials (Provisional) to set forth requirements for clinical trials in China. The guidance outlined CFDA’s new, conservative interpretation of existing regulatory requirements.
In March 2015, the MRCT Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard launched a new project in conjunction with Peking University to develop scientific principles upon which to ground decision-making for MRCTs.   This project has aims to ground global regulatory decision-making for MRCTs in scientific principles.

Current status:  Workgroup launched

Impact: Provide scientific justification for when the utilization of an MRCT is sufficient to demonstrate safety and efficacy in a particular study


  • Determine if the sample size of a particular population in the total study population is sufficient to evaluate and demonstrate safety and efficacy for patients in that country
  • Determine how scientific and statistical justifications align with existing legal requirements for MRCTs
  • Develop methods for analyzing the consistency of regional sub-groups and the overall study data (trend analysis) for key safety and efficacy outcomes
  • Develop guidelines (or an algorithm) of how external and internal factors in different regions may impact drug efficacy and/or safety
  • Provide a framework based on ICH E5 and ICH E-17 General principle on planning/designing Multi-Regional Clinical Trials for how countries can consider the importance of ethnic factors in the evaluation on drug efficacy/safety for the design of MRCTs.

Key project Milestones:

  • March 2015: Launched project with Peking University
  • April 2015: First roundtable teleconference
  • June 2015:
    ◦ Roundtable in Shanghai
    ◦ Launched Consistency and Region Working Group
  • October 2015: Workshop in Beijing
  • May 2016:  Global Simultaneous Drug Development Workshop in Beijing
  • September 2016: China FDA Training at Yale University
  • March 2017: Patient-Centric Clinical Trials Conference in Shanghai

Related external links:

“China to Reform Review and Approval Process for Drugs and Medical Devices” — A blog by the Harvard Law Petrie-Flom Center and friends

Program Lead: Rebecca Li