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Eric Hoffman:

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Clinical trial data ; Clinical trial participants ; Aggregated study results


Objectives Public access databases such as achieve dissemination of clinical trial design and aggregated study results. However, return of participant-level data is rarely done. A key barrier includes the proprietary ownership of data by the sponsor. Additionally, investigators may not have access to centralised data, and per International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) Good Clinical Practice, must maintain the confidentiality of participants. This study piloted an approach to return both individual and aggregate clinical trial data to parents of children participating in a series of open-label clinical trials. Setting and design A small biotech company obtained central ethics approval (centralised institutional review board [IRB], non-exempt). The study was advertised via parent advocacy groups. Parents of trial participants were offered the option to contact an employee (coordinator) within the company, requesting return of their child’s study results. Ethics approval covered participation in six countries. The study focused on the sequential clinical trials of vamorolone VBP15-002 (NCT02760264) and VBP15-003 (NCT02760277) (post-results). Interventions Contact initiated by the parent enabled the coordinator to obtain informed consent (and separate General Data Protection Regulations consent), with phone translation when needed. Using date of birth and study site location provided by the parent, the data manager reported the participant number to the coordinator. The coordinator retrieved and compiled data, along with an aggregate summary, which was mailed via a password protected and encrypted memory device to the parent. Prereturn and postreturn surveys were sent to consented parents (n=19; 40% of 48 total trial participants) and investigators. Results Prereturn surveys indicated a request for as much data as offered, in all formats offered. Postreturn survey showed high satisfaction with the process and data returned. Survey of the physician site investigators (n=10; 100% participation of investigators) voiced general satisfaction with the process, with some reservations. Conclusions This pilot study demonstrates an innovative, cost-effective, centralised and labour conservative approach to return of participant-level and aggregate data to participants in studies.


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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2024. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License