Improving clinical trials for cardiovascular diseases: a position paper from the Cardiovascular Round Table of the European Society of Cardiology

Neville Jackson, Dan Atar, Maria Borentain, Günter Breithardt, Martin van Eickels, Matthias Endres, Uwe Fraass, Tim Friede, Hakima Hannachi, Salim Janmohamed, Jörg Kreuzer, Martin Landray, Dominik Lautsch, Chantal Le Floch, Peter Mol, Huseyin Naci, Nilesh J Samani, Anders Svensson, Cathrine Thorstensen, Jan TijssenVictoria Vandzhura, Andrew Zalewski, Paulus Kirchhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of mortality and morbidity in the world, but the pharmaceutical industry's willingness to invest in this field has declined because of the many challenges involved with bringing new cardiovascular drugs to market, including late-stage failures, escalating regulatory requirements, bureaucracy of the clinical trial business enterprise, and limited patient access after approval. This contrasts with the remaining burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe and in the world. Thus, clinical cardiovascular research needs to adapt to address the impact of these challenges in order to ensure development of new cardiovascular medicines.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The present paper is the outcome of a two-day workshop held by the Cardiovascular Round Table of the European Society of Cardiology. We propose strategies to improve development of effective new cardiovascular therapies. These can include (i) the use of biomarkers to describe patients who will benefit from new therapies more precisely, achieving better human target validation; (ii) targeted, mechanism-based approaches to drug development for defined populations; (iii) the use of information technology to simplify data collection and follow-up in clinical trials; (iv) streamlining adverse event collection and reducing monitoring; (v) extended patent protection or limited rapid approval of new agents to motivate investment in early phase development; and (vi) collecting data needed for health technology assessment continuously throughout the drug development process (before and after approval) to minimize delays in patient access. Collaboration across industry, academia, regulators, and payers will be necessary to enact change and to unlock the existing potential for cardiovascular clinical drug development.

CONCLUSIONS: A coordinated effort involving academia, regulators, industry, and payors will help to foster better and more effective conduct of clinical cardiovascular trials, supporting earlier availability of innovative therapies and better management of cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-754
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number9
Early online date15 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2015. For permissions please email: [email protected].


  • Clinical trials
  • Cardiovascular
  • Drug development
  • Personalized medicine
  • New therapies
  • Health technology assessment
  • Cardiovascular disease burden


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