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IRB Advisor – July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020

View Archives Issues

  • Vaccine Challenge Trials Present Ethical Issues to IRBs, HRPPs

    Bioethicists and researchers say it may be possible to shorten the typical 15-year-plus vaccine timeline through a challenge trial. In this model, participants receive the study vaccine, the are deliberately exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Safety and efficacy are important, but the risk-benefit balance for study participants is weighed more heavily in favor of the greater public good.

  • Actions for IRBs Reviewing Vaccine Challenge Trials

    As the world looks for a safe and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, IRBs should review the bioethical implications of this type of study design, including assessing risks and benefits.

  • New FDA Guidance Explains COVID-19 Expanded Access Policy

    The Food and Drug Administration published an eight-page guidance for IRBs handling expanded access to investigational products during the pandemic. The guidance, issued in June, explains how IRBs might review individual patient expanded access requests for investigational drugs and biological products during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • Small IRB Copes with COVID-19 Pandemic Under Limited Budget

    Many IRBs have seen clinical trial submissions decline since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Clinical trials also were put on hold. But work at Great Bay Community College — a one-person IRB office — has increased.

  • IRB Highlights Standardized and Effective Metrics Model

    As IRBs and research programs increasingly seek IRBs of record and form reliance agreements, they will need to know whom to trust. IRBs also need their own performance data to share with sponsors, researchers, and others. The challenge is developing metrics that work and can be used by other IRBs for benchmarking purposes.

  • Enhance Health Literacy Among Study Participants

    IRBs can help improve health literacy among potential research participants using several tactics, including asking studies to use plain language in informed consent forms. IRBs can review informed consent and subject recruitment materials to ensure the study information is clear and adheres to regulatory requirements.

  • Biometrics Expert Discusses Data Integrity for COVID-19 Clinical Trials

    The first remdesivir double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial for treating COVID-19 was published recently in Lancet. A member of the trial’s data safety monitoring board is Weichung Shih, PhD. Shih discussed the role of biostatisticians in protecting data integrity for clinical trials and the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.