The Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence and Safety (ACRES) says it needs new investment of around US$50 million to realise its goal of a global clinical-research network based on standardisation, accreditation and common information technology over the next five years.

Launching a fundraising campaign, the US-based non-profit estimated that the return on this investment would probably be more than US$5 billion per year.

“The key to success will be broad-based collaboration and funding from all who believe that innovative therapies can improve the quality of life and productivity for all people,” commented Bill Davenhall, senior health adviser to geographic information-systems company ESRI.

Davenhall is leading the Development Campaign with Dr Eve Slater, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University.

Broad-based alliance

ACRES has already established a broad-based, multi-stakeholder alliance to build a shared global system that can accelerate drug development and reduce costs while enhancing safety, quality and efficiency, it noted.

Last December, for example, the organisation formed a strategic partnership with the Biomedical Research Alliance of New York to develop and promote clinical-trial standards.

In October 2013 it teamed up with Switzerland’s PharmaTrain to promote the adoption of new global standards for high-quality postgraduate education in drug discovery, development, regulation and marketing.  

Critical mass

According to Dr Greg Koski, ACRES co-founder and board chairman, the Alliance “has reached critical mass and is making excellent progress in all of its key initiatives. In every crucial domain, from site development and information technology to quality management and safety, we are pushing ahead”.

Allies have already “given millions” to the ACRES project through contributions of technology and in-kind services, on top of their personal commitments, Slater pointed out.

Seed funding from individuals and industry donors, including AstraZeneca and Pfizer, has been “invested very wisely and effectively to dramatically advance this effort”, she said.

Given the Alliance’s performance to date, the ACRES board “believes the time is right to move this effort to a new level”, Slater added.