Australia launches clinical trials website to sharpen patient access for PhIII

Australia launched an online register of clinical trials so that patients can search for potential treatment opportunities as recruitment falls short for many Phase III efforts in the country, the Australian newspaper reported.

Australia Health Minister Sussan Ley

Australia's Health Minister Sussan Ley said a website would allow researchers, doctors and sponsors more detail in searching out the prospect of promising therapies after other avenues were exhausted, the newspaper said.

Clinical trials in Phase III usually use a control group taking placebos, and the article did not discuss that aspect, or whether informed consent rules would also be tweaked, or how the register would differ from sites like

Other countries in Asia such as Singapore, South Korea and China also seek to attract early stage trails through simplified registration and online sites.

But the focus on Phase III recruitment in Australia would be an expansion of those efforts locally.

The Australian said that almost half of Phase III clinical trials in Australia fail to meet recruitment ­targets and that overall clinical trials conducted in Australia fell 7% between 2012 and 2013.

Australia has proposed a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund paid for through government and copay contributions, with local venture capital firm Brandon Capital Partners earlier this year announcing an A$200 million fund focused on promising biotech.

By contrast regionally, India, with the world's second-largest population at 1.3 billion, fails to attract fewer than 2% of global trials, leading to calls for the government and domestic drugmakers to take a greater interest, according to the Times of India.

One expert noted that India and the United States have, relatively speaking, "a comparable disease burden," but the United States files 20 times the number of drug patents filed in India.

Another expert cited by the Times of India said the reason has to do with India's bad reputation in the clinical trial sector, probably deserved since, as he said, "there are no rules to govern clinical trials in India, which is the foremost requirement before we start trials."

India's other problem, he said, is there is less awareness about trials there compared to the States, thus sharing some of Australia's problem.

- here are stories from The Australian (sub. req.) and the Times of India
- and regional sites AustralianClinicalTrials, Singapore's HSA, South Korea's CRIS and China's CHICTR