The Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation, supported by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, was officially announced Tuesday to officially begin clinical investigations.
This Consortium will “enhance and enrich” the development of clinical research conducted on the island by connecting a network of researchers with a great number of patients from a variety of backgrounds, organization officials said, adding Puerto Rico has a large, diverse patient population, specifically including Hispanics, who are currently underrepresented in clinical trials.
“With this effort, we want to change the vision of healthcare so that it is centered on patients and so that we have the ability to predict and prevent diseases, rather than simply diagnose and treat them,” said Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo during a morning news conference.
“This is an important achievement for the Science Trust, which is aligned with our mission to invest, facilitate and build capacity to continually advance Puerto Rico’s economy and its citizens’ well-being through innovation-driven enterprises, science and technology and its industrial base,” she said.
The PRCCI, as the Consortium is known, is focused on helping Puerto Rican patients by directly engaging and interacting with patients and patient advocacy groups. As part of the initiative, the entity will increase awareness of clinical trials in Puerto Rico, so patients can contribute to advancing science, helping others, and gaining access to new, innovative treatments.
PRCCI’s “patient-centric mission” will be realized via platforms that allow patients to be heard, share clinical trial experiences, interact with other patients and volunteer interest in future clinical trials.
The new nonprofit collaborative model will enhance clinical research quality by driving performance and efficiencies across the research site through its members who have a vast collective experience, working with pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, clinical research organizations, government agencies and academic institutions.
The PRCCI’s Executive Director Kosmas Kretsos, said “clinical investigations are a crucial aspect of advancing research on preventing, diagnosing, or treating diseases. The people who participate in clinical trials are our heroes, volunteering for the benefit of all of us.”
“Clinical research also has well established societal and economic benefits as it reduces the Puerto Rico brain drain by employing highly skilled physicians, nurses, and scientists who would otherwise pursue careers abroad,” said Kretsos, who has been involved in life sciences research for more than 15 years.
INSPIRA Clinical Research, PR Renal Health and Research,, GCM Medical Group, Grupo Dermatológico de Carolina, and Fundación de Investigación are part of the first wave of research sites joining the PRCCI.