The MRCT Center Story
Founding – The “MRCT Project” was initiated in 2009 by Pfizer Inc. at a summit meeting held at Harvard University with a group of diverse stakeholders. The output of the summit meeting culminated in a report of recommendations that led to the establishment of the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials (MRCT) Center. The report also served as the blueprint for the Center’s first three initiatives. The mission of the MRCT Center was defined as to focus on the design, conduct and oversight of multi-regional clinical trials with an emphasis on those issues involving the emerging economies.
Expansion – Starting in 2010, additional industry, non-profit and academic stakeholders joined the MRCT Center as members of the Executive and Steering Committee, forming a diverse stakeholder community of like-minded organizations to address the common challenges associated with globalization of clinical trials. Numerous projects and workstreams were launched including Post-Trial Access to Medicines, Return of Results, and Core Competencies in Clinical Research Professionals. (For a full list of MRCT Center projects, go here). In 2013, the MRCT Center launched a workstream to address data sharing and transparency that, among other issues, envisioned a platform to enable access to clinical trial data with the capacity to combine data sets. In 2017, the MRCT Center launched Vivli, a Center for Global Data Sharing, that was incorporated as a separate 501(c)(3) entity.
Today – The MRCT Center is located on the Harvard University campus and at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is administratively associated with the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. We are supported by a vibrant community of stakeholders and focus our unique expertise into four Focus Areas: Transparency; Ethics, Conduct, and Oversight; Global Regulatory Engagement; and Capacity Building. Please see our Projects page for a list of our current projects and workstreams. We host the Bioethics Collaborative and the Research, Development, and Regulatory Roundtable, two dynamic forums that explore emerging ethical and legal issues associated with clinical research. Our in-country engagements have included China, India, and Mexico. The MRCT Center has trained representatives from 25 countries and offers online training in good clinical practices that has reached over 50 countries. Our collaborative community includes approximately 2600 people from 30+ countries.
Access to Resources and Tools – Since the mission of the MRCT Center is to impact the emerging and developing world, our resources and tools are, most often, freely and openly available. Selected versions of tools and resources are available to sponsors only for six months prior to public release on our website for download.