The Pistoia Alliance has introduced the Clinical Trials Environmental Impact Community of Interest (CoI) for assessing and comparing the carbon footprint of centralised and decentralised trials.

The Alliance member Syneos Health started the initiative and submitted it for further development.

Working with member organisation the Sustainable Health Coalition (SHC), the new CoI supports its work with the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI).

The Pistoia Alliance and the SHC will also align with the initiative as its efforts develop in this space.

Syneos Health Decentralised Solutions vice-president Noolie Gregory said: “The Pistoia Alliance offers us a unique, collaborative space to make this happen.

“Through this initiative, we can drive toward a tangible outcome that will make a material improvement in how we assess the carbon impact of trials and make recommendations for the reduction of this footprint.”

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The CoI is working to jointly agree on the parameters and variables to be measured in the first stage and will develop a methodology for calculating the carbon footprint of centralised and decentralised trial models in the second phase.

By publishing this methodology as a publicly available tool, it will deliver a cross-industry standard for quantifying a trial’s carbon impact.

At present, the CoI has 25 members covering the US, Japan, and Europe, including major pharma companies, contract research organisations (CROs), and academic representatives.

Pistoia Alliance strategic leader for empowering the patient Thierry Escudier said: “Decentralised trials reduce the burden on the patient and ensure trials are far more patient-centric.

“Whilst quantifying money and time saved is relatively straightforward, accurately measuring the carbon saving requires a more detailed approach to produce a standard that can be used by all stakeholders, from sponsors to CROs to technology vendors.”