BETHESDA, MarylandA new partnership between the National
Institutes of Health and five major drug companies will provide a total of $6
million to several cancer centers to find ways to increase accrual to early
clinical trials. The five pharmaceutical firms involved in the pilot program
are Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Co., GlaxoSmithKline, and
NCI intends to award funds only to clinical and
comprehensive cancer centers that it supports, because these institutions have
the infrastructure in place to do early phase trials at the community level.
Applicants will compete for a share of approximately $3 million annually for 2
years. Half that amount will come from NCI and the other half from industry.
The effort is not intended to expand existing programs or systems at NCI
cancer centers but to encourage novel solutions to overcome existing barriers
to trial accruals and increase the performance of the existing systems.