The EARNEST project aims to build a well-functioning group of research sites and institutes that will become internationally-recognised as a network of excellence for addressing second-line therapy. The network currently comprises six European collaborators and fourteen clinical (see Trial Network for more details).
The network has been established using both existing collaborations and collaborations with new institutions and sites. Collaborations between the different partners are being strengthened through the following activities:
1. EARNEST Investigators' Meetings
The EARNEST study was launched in September 2009. Since then four investigators' meetings have taken place, one in Harare, Zimbabwe (April 2010), one in Entebbe, Uganda (December 2010) and two in Kampala, Uganda (February 2012 and May 2013). Representatives of all EARNEST sites and of the European collaborators were invited to these meetings and aspects relating to the progress and conduct of the trial, scientific studies relevant to EARNEST, clinical issues, EARNEST data and capacity building and networking were discussed.
2. EARNEST Committees
As part of EARNEST different committees have been established, including the International Trial Management Group (TMG), the Trial Steering Committee (TSC) and the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) (see Trial Summary -> Trial Governance for more details).
3. EARNEST Webcommunity
An EARNEST webcommunity has been established where all documents relating to the EARNEST trial can be downloaded, including the EARNEST protocol, Case Report Forms (CRFs), EARNEST working instructions, meeting information and minutes, presentations and the latest summary of product characteristics of all EARNEST drugs.
Each member of the EARNEST team is able to post information onto the webcommunity and participate in discussion forums which have been set-up on this access-restricted website.
4. Clinical Discussion and Trial Manager Forums
In addition to the fora on the webcommunity, a clinical discussion forum and a trial manager forum have been established. In these fora important clinical and trial management related issues are being discussed via email.
5. Workshops and Mentorship programmes
Workshops on second-line therapy, good clinical practice and trial monitoring have already been conduced. A workshops on IDMC membership is ongoing.
6. Exchange visits
Various exchange visits have taken place where more experienced EARNEST researchers have trained less experienced researchers on conducting clinical trials. These visits have not only strengthened the partnership between the different collaborators, but have also improved the understanding and conduct of the EARNEST clinical trial at less experienced trial sites.
One EARNEST newsletter has been drafted and circulated. Further newsletters are being anticipated.