ICTD 2021 a successful virtual event on platform trials

International Clinical Trials Day 2021 (ICTD2021) was hosted by ECRIN and entitled “Platform trials: shift in testing, treatment & collaboration.” Due to the ongoing pandemic, ICTD 2021 was a virtual event and for ECRIN it was the first event of this scale. Over 800 people with an interest in clinical research registered from all across the world! They attended presentations and panel discussions, and took time to learn about ECRIN and its national scientific partners in the partner booths.

"These kinds of trials can challenge our concept of what is a clinical trial."
- Dr Fergus Sweeney (panellist), Head, Clinical Studies and Manufacturing Taskforce, European Medicines Agency

ICTD 2021 was officially opened by ECRIN’s Director General, Jacques Demotes, who welcomed the attendees and handed over the floor to the clinical trial experts to share their knowledge of platform trials. The keynote addressed the advantages and the rollout of large simple trials.

"Top-down instructions, bottom-up enthusiasm and efforts from the coordinating centre to build and maintain collaboration."
- Dr Marion Mafham, Senior Clinical Fellow, University of Oxford

The many questions on platform trials were addressed from different angles, from the clinical research, methodological and regulator's perspective to the patients'.

"It allows us to learn while we are doing. It is a way of integrating clinical care and research."
- Dr Lennie Derde, Intensivist And Clinician Researcher, University Medical Center Utrecht

"It gives patients hope to have access to promising treatments."
- Valentina Stramiello, Head of Programmes, European Patients' Forum

Most presentations and the discussion are available online  and can be viewed on the ECRIN YouTube channel.

"It is obvious from the discussion that we had today that the platform trial is a very interesting instrument for comparative effectiveness and for optimisation."
- Jacques Demotes, Director General, ECRIN


Opening session ICTD 2021

Prof. Dr. Jacques Demotes
Director General, ECRIN
Welcome and opening statement of ICTD 2021


Dr. Barbara Kerstiëns, MD, MPH
Head of Unit Combatting Diseases, European Commission
The choice of platform trials for the European COVID response


Dr. Marion Mafham
Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford
Keynote: The power of large simple trials



Platform trials – Examples and lessons learned

Dr. Lennie Derde, MD
UMC Utrecht
Multi-domain platform trial with adaptive randomisation


Dr. Marius Trøseid, MD, PhD.
Associate Professor, Senior consultant, University of Oslo
Considerations when developing a platform trial in Europe during a pandemic


Prof. Sharon Love
University College London
Recommendation on operational challenges of platform trials


Francesca Schiavone, PhD.
Clinical Project Manager, MRC Clinical Trial Unit
Question session



Afternoon session

Valentina Strammiello
Head of Programmes, European Patients Forum
A patient perspective on platform trials


Sr. Researcher Liz-Morrell
Health Economics Research Centre, University of Oxford
Effects of platform trials on the research team (*)



Panel session

Panel Discussion
Chair Dr. Joan Genescà (Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron)
Marco Cavalieri (EMA)
Fergus Sweeney (EMA)
Martin Posch (MedUni Wien)
Franck Hulstaert (KCE)
Cecile Spiertz (The Janssen Pharmaceutical Company)
Valentina Stramiello (European Patients Forum)
Statistical, regulatory & ethical issues related to the trial, its design and implementation

ICTD 2021 Panel session


Closing session

Noémie Manent
Compliance and Inspection Sector, European Medicines Agency
Clinical Trial Information System (CTIS) for platform trials


Prof. Jacques Demotes
Director General, ECRIN
Closing remarks ICTD2021


(*) These presentations are available, or available in full for those who registered for the event on the virtual stage.


International Clinical Trials Day 2021

International Clinical Trial Days 2021 provided key players in clinical research insight on the impact of this new trial methodology. The platform trial’s theme was chosen by the ICTD scientific advisory board, composed of members from ECRIN national partners the Czech Republic, Ireland and Switzerland. ECRIN thanks the speakers, panelists and attendees for their participation, and can look back at a very successful online International Clinical Trials Day. We already look forward to seeing many of you at International Clinical Trial Days 2022.


About International Clinical Trial Days

In 2005, ECRIN launched International Clinical Trials Day by ECRIN to commemorate the day when James Lind started his famous clinical trial on scurvy in 1747, May 20th, and laid the foundation for modern clinical research. Celebrated every year on or around May 20th, ICTD is an opportunity for research organisations, clinical research professionals, and the public to acknowledge the achievements that result from clinical research and to discuss various trial topics.

ECRIN’s annual celebration of ICTD brings together European and international stakeholders. Given its success, the conference has been replicated by some of ECRIN’s member/observer countries, who have now introduced their own national/international ICTD celebrations