Global project to measure carbon footprint of clinical trials
16 Oct 2022
A new international initiative is developing a methodology to assess the respective environmental impact of on and off-site clinical trials.
Launched by the Pistoia Alliance it has seen the creation of a global Community of Interest (COI) bringing together ten leading pharmaceutical companies, contract research companies and leading academics.
The 25 existing participant organisations drawn from Europe, the US and Japan are expected to grow in number as project work begins.
This will involve comparing the respective carbon footprints of centralised or traditional site-based clinical trials and decentralised ones. In the first phase, COI members will determine the parameters for investigation and variables to be measured.
The second phase will see the development of the methodology to calculate carbon footprint and compare the two types of clinical trial. This will then be made publicly available in order to provide an industry standard.
Decentralised trials provide an opportunity to overcome geographical and cultural obstacles to patient involvement, harnessing technology to enable remote and off-site participation.
This enables a wider diversity in trial populations, creating the possibility of more refined and accurate data.
“Decentralised trials reduce the burden on the patient and ensure trials are far more patient centric. Whilst quantifying money and time saved is relatively straightforward, accurately measuring the carbon saving requires a more detailed approach to produce a standard that can be used by all stakeholders – from sponsors to CROs to technology vendors,” stated the Pistoia Alliance’s Strategic Leader for Empowering the Patient Thierry Escudier.
The initiative was prompted by Alliance member Syneos Health which presented a proposal to the organisation. Another member, Sustainable Health Coalition will also play a key role in the COI working with the Sustainable Markets Initiative.
The Pistoia Alliance was set up in 2009 as a global, not-for-profit organisation promoting wider collaboration in life science research and development. It now boasts 200 members including founders AstraZeneca, GSK, Novartis, and Pfizer.
NEWS Pistoia Alliance’s new President Dr Becky Upton appears in the forthcoming edition of Laboratory News, sharing her thoughts on the laboratory of the future.