||Differences in investigator-initiated trials between Japan and Other Countries: Analyses of clinical trials sponsored by academia and government in the clinicaltrials.gov registry and in the three Japanese Registries
2016-02-05 , Public Library of Science
[Background] Following the amendment of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law in Japan in 2003 researchers were permitted to begin investigator-initiated trials (IITs). In subsequent years, however, the number of IITs remained low. In other countries in Asia as well as in Europe, North America, and South Africa, the number of IITs has increased over the past decade. The differences in the characteristics of IITs between Japan and other countries are unknown. Some studies have analyzed the characteristics of all clinical trials according to registry databases, but there has been less research focusing on IITs. [Aims] The purpose of this study is to analyze the characteristics of IITs in the ClinicalTrials.gov registry and in the three Japanese registries, to identify differences in IITs between Japan and other countries. [Methods] Using Thomson Reuters Pharma™, trials sponsored by academia and government as IITs in 2010 and registered in ClinicalTrials.gov were identified. IITs from 2004 to 2012 in Japan were identified in the three Japanese registries: The University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry, the Japan Pharmaceutical Information Center Clinical Trials Information, and the Japan Medical Association Center for Clinical Trials, Clinical Trials Registry. Characterization was made of the trial purposes, phases, participants, masking, arms, design, controls, and other data. [Results] New and revised IITs registered in ClinicalTrials.gov during 2010 averaged about 40% of all sponsor-identified trials. IITs were nearly all early-phase studies with small numbers of participants. A total of 56 Japanese IITs were found over a period of 8 years, and these were also almost nearly all early-phase studies with small numbers of participants. [Conclusion] There appear to be no great differences between Japan and other countries in terms of characteristics of IITs. These results should prompt a new review of the IIT environment in Japan.