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Over 670 VHIR clinical trials to provide new therapies and diagnoses for patients

Infermera amb pacient

Infermera amb pacient.

Professional agafant mostres a nevera

Professional agafant mostres a nevera.

Sala d'infermeria per a assaigs clínics

Sala d'infermeria per a assaigs clínics.


On International Clinical Trials Day, we highlight the increase in VHIR clinical research over the last year.

Clinical trials are an essential part of clinical research, providing studies to assess the effectiveness and/or safety of new treatments or diagnostic techniques. Essential to this is the participation of people (healthy patients or volunteers) and the study of their data or the study of patients. On International Clinical Trials Day, we highlight the increase in clinical trials in which the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) participates.

For yet another year, we have set new records. In 2022, the VHIR started 205 new trials, reaching a total of 675, with the participation of over 100 principal investigators. Of these, 40% are in their early stages.
Over 100 principal investigators have taken part in running the trials over the last year. In addition, over 800 new patients were enrolled in the VHIR trials. “Launching clinical trials is the best strategy for providing patients with diagnoses and innovative therapies that are not yet available and which can change people’s quality of life”, stressed Dr. Xavier Cañas, Director of Vall d’Hebron Campus Clinical Research Promotion.

In recent months, our professionals have participated in trials that have recently been started. These include a pioneering study analysing the safety and effect of CAR-T therapy for lupus and a study to test the first 3D-printed drug in Europe among children.

With regard to new results, work by Vall d’Hebron has shown that a new indicator enables 90% of women to stop treatment with aspirin during pregnancy without negative consequences to them or babies. We have also led a trial that produced successful results for a neuroprotective drug to reduce mortality from ischaemic strokes. In the field of COVID-19, Vall d’Hebron has taken part in the trial to test the efficacy and safety of the HIPRA vaccine, leading to its approval. Of particular note in the field of paediatric oncology is the BEACON trial, which has shown the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatment with dinutuximab beta (anti-GD2) for neuroblastoma.

New VHIR trials to improve the lives of patients

The VHIR is a leading institution in clinical trials that have a direct impact on patients’ survival and quality of life. This is shown by the fact that, since 2010, the VHIR has participated in Phase III trials for over 20% of new drugs reaching the market. These include drugs for different diseases, such as type II diabetes, epilepsy, spinal muscle atrophy, hepatitis C and HIV infection. It is worth noting the high impact on paediatrics, as 21% of all Vall d’Hebron trials are carried out among children and adolescents.

EU-PEARL: the collaborative clinical trial platform in Europe

Since 2019, Vall d’Hebron has played an active part in the EU-PEARL project (EU Patient- cEntric clinicAl tRial pLatforms), a public-private alliance funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) with the aim of transforming clinical trials. The project has conceptualised and headed the design of an integrated patient-centred research platform focussed on developing new drugs in Europe.

EU-PEARL has facilitated the development of platforms to test multiple drugs simultaneously in four diseases: major depressive disorder, tuberculosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and neurofibromatosis. Of particular note in this area is the creation of recommendations and resource guides for carrying out these studies. The patients’ perspective was taken into account through close collaboration with patients’ associations.

In all, the platforms created by EU-PEARL help carry out more efficient clinical trials, encourage patients to access new therapies and reduce the time needed to develop and bring new drugs to market.

In 2022, the VHIR started 205 new trials, reaching a total of 675, with the participation of over 100 principal investigators.

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