European clinical trials register finally goes live


The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced the launch of the EU Clinical Trials Register. This trial register will allow residents of the 27 EU member states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, to more easily find data about clinical trials of therapies for the management of prostate cancer (including new drugs).

The EU trials database allows the public to search directly for information on clinical trials being carried out primarily within the EU. In other words, it does not include data on sites of clinical trials outside the EU, even when such trials are being conducted globally.

It is going to be a while before this trials register is as user friendly as the US-based ClinicalTrials.gov system. For example, at present we cannot give you a direct link to the source information for a specific trial being carried out in either one specific or multiple different EU countries. At the moment we can only give you the source code for a particular trial. As an example:

  • The source code 2009-016217-23, if entered into the search link on the EU trials register web site will take you to information about the randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center, Phase III clinical trial of ipilimumab versus a placebo in treatment of men with symptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients with metastatic, chemotherapy-naïve, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
  • From that page you can get to information about that trial in eight different EU nations, but we can’t give you specific web-links to the overall trial information or to the country-specific trial information (yet).

For purposes of comparison, here is a direct link to the information about the same Phase III clinical trial of ipilimumab, as presented on ClinicalTrials.gov, and covering all clinical recruitment sites for this trial worldwide.

The EMA is clear in their announcement that they “will continue to work with stakeholders to improve the functioning of the EU Clinical Trials Register, in particular by enhancing the quality and completeness of data, and improving the search functionality.” Hopefully this will include coding of all the specific trials and concomitant country coding so that, in the future, we shall be able to offer direct links to information about a specific trial and to specific information about a specific trial in a specific country.

For more information, please see the on-line announcement on the Applied Clinical Trials web site and/or the home page of the EU Clinical Trials Register.

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