On this page, you will find answers to most of the questions you might have regarding Ecraid and its networks, services, and studies. Have we missed something? Don't hesitate to get in touch with your local Ecraid contact, or directly with us at email@example.com.
What is Ecraid?
The European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases — Ecraid — aims to reduce fragmentation in clinical research by implementing novel trial designs, aims to improve pandemic preparedness in Europe, and aims to reduce the time-to-market for treatments to ensure a safe society in the area of infectious disease. Ecraid is an international research foundation based in Utrecht, the Netherlands and will evolve into a self-sustaining, not-for-profit organisation conducting clinical research for both public and private sponsors within five years.
Ecraid is the envisaged, long-term successor of the European-funded projects COMBACTE and PREPARE. COMBACTE (Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe) is part of the IMI-funded programme ND4BB (New Drugs for Bad Bugs) and focuses on improving the clinical development of antibiotics. PREPARE (the Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics) was a large scale European network, including 27 beneficiaries and is funded by the EU FP7 Programme. PREPARE started its activities in February 2014.
What does Ecraid do?
Ecraid operates a ‘warm base’ clinical research network that undertakes various projects, each with their own studies and trials, including EU-funded ECRAID-Base and ECRAID-Prime. ECRAID-Base is the second phase of Ecraid’s mission to become a self-supporting, not-for-profit organisation.
Collaboration is key, and Ecraid plans to develop former EU-funded clinical network (CLIN-Net’s) already expansive network further to improve healthcare and pandemic preparedness.
What is a ‘warm-base’ clinical research network?
A ‘warm base' pan-European clinical research network is a unique network that can perform a wide range of 'on demand' clinical trials and offers a core range of services including clinical research supported by laboratory analyses, epidemiological analyses, statistical analyses, data management, biobanking, training, and public engagement. Through Ecraid you have access to this network when starting up new studies. Our studies and trials* are fluid, which means we can start trials quickly rather than going through a start-up process for each individual study. This reduces fragmentation and ensures that we can deliver results rapidly.
*We refer to a clinical trial when a one or more investigational medicinal product(s) is involved. A clinical study refers mostly to observational or cohort studies.
Is Ecraid a CRO?
Not. We are first and foremost academics. Our top priority is to improve science and bring meaningful change to people’s lives. Our vision is to efficiently generate rigorous evidence to improve diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of infection. Any possible future accumulated reserves will be utilised for investigator-initiated research. We strive for high quality research, which we achieve through close collaboration with the Ecraid operational staff.
Firstly, Ecraid offers a ‘warm-base’ network; one that is prepared and ready to begin research fast. Secondly, Ecraid is a Not-For-Profit (NFP) foundation with a focus on academic research and capacity building. We offer training, both on-site and online, and we encourage collaboration in an effort to jointly deliver effective treatments and solutions to combat infectious disease threats.
In what specific fields does Ecraid undertake research?
Ecraid undertakes research in the fields of (re)emergence of new pathogens, such as SARS-COV(-2); MERS; SARS; antimicrobial resistance; HINI; HIV; EHEC; Zoonosis; Ebola; Zika; and Monkeypox that result from global trends such as population growth, increases in trade and travel, urbanisation, deforestation, and climate change.
Within these fields Ecraid specialises in observational and interventional studies and undertakes research into prevention, treatment, diagnostic, screening, epidemiological, quality of life, and health economics. Ecraid offers Phase I through Phase IV trials, with an emphasis on new antibiotics, vaccines, and antiviral treatments.
How are COMBACTE and PREPARE connected to Ecraid?
Ecraid is a continuation of the clinical trial capability built by the COMBACTE projects and PREPARE and by this provides access to the established clinical, laboratory (CLIN-Net, LAB-Net) and primary care networks built during their mandate as European-funded projects. The PREPARE project has come to an end in April 2021, while the COMBACTE projects ended in December 2022 (COMBACTE-MAGNET) and will end in June 2023 (COMBACTE-CARE) and October 2023 (COMBACTE-NET).
Along with a variety of studies and clinical trials, Ecraid also coordinates research projects. ECRAID-Base is one of those and will operate for five years in total. It is the result of concerted efforts by key partners from the COMBACTE projects and PREPARE. The significant work undertaken in both the COMBACTE projects and PREPARE will continue and further expand in Ecraid, for example, CLIN-Net’s extensive network will continue to grow in Ecraid.
What are ECHOs?
The Ecraid Chief Offices — ECHOs — are the locations of Ecraid’s partners from which our core team of representatives from European funded networks, projects and organisations are headquartered. Each one has significant relevance to clinical research on infectious diseases and is a participating member in the Coordinating Committee in the Governance structure of Ecraid.
How can I be a part of the solution?
Ecraid is keen to grow its network in Europe and beyond. By joining our movement, you become part of our ‘warm-base’ network committed to finding solutions to infectious diseases that can be rapidly deployed ensuring that our society is safe and prepared for any future pandemics.
Logistics & Contracts
What can I expect from Ecraid?
Ecraid’s aim is to promote and cathalize collaboration and to ensure pandemic preparedness across Europe. We have put in place an extensive network of sites, partners, and contacts to meet this goal. We firmly believe working together and sharing knowledge is the only way to combat infectious diseases threats, and that involving Pharma will lead to the rapid delivery of treatments that can protect our society.
What are my contractual obligations?
When you enter a contract with Ecraid for a project, study or clinical trial, your obligations will be clearly listed. All legal obligations required by Ecraid are outlined in your contract. Ecraid works with Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA) templates that are internationally recognized by the medical- and pharma industry. Please refer to it for full details. Signing the contract means that you agree with your obligations and will meet them.
Contracts are project, studies, or clinical trial specific.
Who do I contact at Ecraid for any questions?
For general questions, questions about site selection, the network, or training, please contact the CLIN-Net team.
For project, study or clinical trial specific questions please reach out to your contact from Ecraid operational team (the study team involved).
Do I still have access to training?
Yes. Training is one of Ecraid’s core offerings, to ensure that the Ecraid clinical sites are well-trained in performing clinical and/or laboratory research activities through bespoke training missions and online training modules, based on individual needs. Examples are postgraduate courses, educational programs, on-site training missions, or virtual learning platforms.
Currently, the training curriculum is in development. We will add more information about training opportunities in due time.
We are also pleased to be currently preparing a training program for young scientists called the Ecraid Academy. More information will be made available in due time.
Can I opt out from being an Ecraid site?
Yes. Get in touch with your CLIN-Net contact for detailed information on the process.
Network & Services
What are the benefits of joining Ecraid’s network?
Being a part of Ecraid’s network makes you part of a network in which more than 600 hospital sites in 42 countries have already participated in clinical studies that have enrolled more than 47,000 patients over the last ten years; a network delivering high-quality evidence to improve patient care (Publication Library); a network providing a regular flow of study activities that may help you build and maintain your local research infrastructure; and will give you access to excellent scientific training opportunities for young scientists (Ecraid Academy, in preparation). Our vision is that working together reduces fragmentation in clinical research and facilitates better treatment for our patients.
My site is part of a study that does not fall under Ecraid and for which the sponsor is also not Ecraid. Does this mean it is still a part of the Ecraid Network?
Yes. All sites are part of the Ecraid Network, regardless of Ecraid being sponsor or not.
For example, for most studies the UMC Utrecht is still sponsor. Per study it will be decided whether UMCU remains sponsor and Ecraid manages the project or whether Ecraid will take over complete sponsorship. You will be informed by your study team.
Does Ecraid offer other services such as data management and biobanking?
Yes. Ecraid offers a broad range of services including laboratory research and biobanking, epidemiological research, statistical research, data management, training and public engagement services and rapid response services.
I would like to exchange experiences with colleagues in other countries. Can Ecraid facilitate this?
By participating in our Ecraid-supported studies you will automatically get in contact with other colleagues from other countries through investigator meetings, networking meetings, and/or conferences where Ecraid is participating.
Ecraid aims to strengthen collaboration with its sites and partners to reduce fragmentation in clinical research. Our Clinical Liaisons (formerly known as National Coordinators in COMBACTE) are actively involved, highly motivated specialists who have an insight into their own country and local legislation and contracting procedures. Maintaining direct contact with them will provide you with advice regarding suitability for trials, trial protocol specific to the local situation.
Our up-to-date Network Management System is also a way to ensure we stay connected with participating sites and Principal Investigators (PIs).
Our evaluations provide information on a range of topics including collaboration, site selection procedures and communication. It paves the way to establish and maintain good relations with Pharma and other clients and strengthens the potential of collaboration with various stakeholders.
I did not realise I was part of a network in COMBACTE, what changes within Ecraid?
As a participant or selected site within COMBACTE, you automatically became a part of CLIN-Net. With the transition to Ecraid in June 2022, nothing in relation to your participation changes other than CLIN-Net now being part of Ecraid. Everything continues to run as it did in COMBACTE, only now in Ecraid and with even more opportunities. There is a broader range of services, a larger network, and a broader infectious diseases field (COMBACTE was focused exclusively on combatting antimicrobial resistance).
How do I know which PIs/sites are part of Ecraid in my country?
Get in touch with your CLIN-Net Contact for information on PIs and sites in your country.
Clinical Trials & Studies
How often will Ecraid offer me a study to participate in?
How often and when we offer studies to participate in is difficult to forecast. We take into consideration site location and suitability but also past site performance in earlier studies as and when new studies arise.
I am part of a COMBACTE trial, how will this change in Ecraid?
If your trial concludes or will conclude in COMBACTE, then nothing will change. You will be able to continue this trial until its completion.
Will we do commercial or private research?
From the outset within COMBACTE, Ecraid’s goal has always been to promote the work of the networks to commercial clients. In Ecraid, we will continue to collaborate with Pharma to deliver high-impact research that allows the rapid development of treatments to combat infectious diseases threats.
Will I get access to the data and/or outcomes of studies?
Yes, Ecraid will provide information and data on its dashboard, that is currently being developed. Additionally, Ecraid’s communication team provides details of published papers, study and trial updates via social media, its website and via its newsletter.
If you want access to the study data you delivered, you will need to get in contact with your Ecraid study contact.
Will studies be coordinated and executed by Ecraid?
Yes. Ecraid is currently involved in the execution of 17 studies and trials across Europe. Ecraid’s goal is to collaborate and coordinate many more, both with academia and commercially.
Can I make use of Ecraid’s network for my own study?
We encourage you to make use of Ecraid’s network for your study.
Get in touch with your contact for further information or you can submit your study proposal to our Business Development team. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is data collected by Ecraid?
The study specific data/patient data is collected through approved web-based systems, such as CASTOR.
Hospital data, performance data, contact data, feasibility data is being collected by CLIN-Net in our Network Management System (NMS).
Can I be a co-author of the scientific publications of the studies I am participating in?
Authorship of scientific publications will be based on the ICMJE criteria.
How can I submit suggestions on Ecraid’s studies and processes?
We welcome your suggestions as we are striving to improve our studies and processes to ensure we deliver high-quality research as rapidly and efficiently as possible. In the first instance, submit your suggestions to your contact by providing clear and detailed information.