Historic collaboration wins support to launch statewide clinical trials

Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine is leading a statewide effort to speed the progress of promising medications to patients—all by encouraging collaboration among Ohio’s health leaders.

Thanks to a nearly $2 million investment from the State of the Ohio, more than a half dozen schools and hospitals will launch a new clinical trials initiative designed to capitalize on the strength of numbers. The program draws on the reach and expertise of such academic institutions as the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University, as well as medical centers like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

“We are thrilled that [Ohio] has embraced our effort and approved this seed funding to get it started, said medical school Dean Pamela B. Davis, also the university’s vice president for medical affairs. “But even more, we are grateful to every member of the faculty and staff of the participating institutions. Without their willingness to engage, we would not have this chance and the others we hope will follow.”

The collaboration began when Gov. John Kasich pulled together leaders across the state and urged increased cooperation to enhance both health and economic outcomes. The clinical trials program is one of several initiatives designed to benefit patients and attract private investment to the state.

“We want to build up Ohio as a medical research powerhouse,” Davis said.

One of the key advantages of the statewide clinical trials effort is that it dramatically increases the number of potential participants in any individual trial. More patients typically translates to more credible the results—and more rapid research progress. Outside entities eager to test new medications are likely to welcome the opportunity to secure greater pools of participants with one contact rather than reaching out to several individual institutions.

Such opportunities do not only increase knowledge of the latest breakthroughs in various fields, but also give us the chance to raise our individual and collective stature. In most basic terms, it is a win for patients, for our institutions, and ultimately, for the entire state.