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Associate members

The SCTO is an independent organisation and is based on a joint initiative of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.

As of 2017, the SCTO is a research infrastructure of national importance funded by the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation and the Swiss National Science Foundation.



18 April 2018

Therapeutic Products Act and the Human Research Act: call for public input

Subsequent to several incidents and scandals relating to medical devices, the EU has revised its current medical device legislation. The EU Commission has proposed two new, more stringent Ordinances to replace the previous Directives: one for medical devices and the other for in vitro diagnostics. The proposed revisions should ultimately improve quality and safety of medical devices and harmonise their implementation in the EU, thereby enhancing their safety for patients.

Due to a Mutual Recognition Assessment between Switzerland and the EU market, Switzerland must follow suite, proposing adaptations to its legal framework so that Swiss-based patients can also benefit from better patient safety and greater transparency regarding medical devices. Accordingly, the Therapeutic Products Act (TPA) and the Human Research Act (HRA) must also both be adjusted. The Federal Council is calling for public input on these two acts. The deadline for submissions is 11 June 2018.

Relevant documentation is available from the Federal Office of Public Health website in French, German, and Italian, plus an overview in English. Please consult our tables in French and German, summarising proposed changes to the TPA and HRA.

Research promotion

4 April 2018

Open Call for Advanced Research Projects

The CORBEL partners launch an Open Call for Advanced Research Projects and offer all academic and industrial scientists in Europe the unique chance to accelerate their research.

CORBEL is an initiative of thirteen new biological and medical research infrastructures (BMS RIs) and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020. Supported by the Open Call project managers, successful applicants will be offered open access to cutting-edge technologies and services available at more than 20 service providers from 10 European research infrastructures.

For more information about the call and the application process view the flyer below or visit

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Research promotion

9 March 2018

Evaluation of second IICT call: intensive preparations required

Funding for "Investigator initiated clinical trials" (IICT) continues to be in high demand. But preparing applications requires intense preparations.

With the special IICT programme, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is promoting clinical studies in under-researched areas that do not attract industry interest. Projects of the first call in 2015 will be completed in 2019.

The SNSF has now published the evaluation results of the 2016 call, listing the successful projects as well as the main reasons why the other proposals were rejected. Read the evaluation at

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16 February 2018

Access to participant data from clinical trials: principles and recommendations

A multi-stakeholder task force developed a consensus document on providing access to individual participant data from clinical trials. The task force used a broad interdisciplinary approach after examining major issues associated with sharing of individual clinical trial data.

The adoption of the recommendations in this document would help to promote and support data sharing and reuse among researchers, adequately inform trial participants and protect their rights, and provide effective and efficient systems for preparing, storing and accessing data. The recommendations now need to be implemented and tested in practice. Further work needs to be done to integrate these proposals with those from other geographical areas and other academic domains.

This consensus-building process involved a wide range of experts like researchers, patient representatives, methodologists, information technology experts, and representatives from funders, infrastructures and standards development organisations. The project was coordinated by the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), thus, the focus was on non-commercial trials and the perspective mainly European.

Read the full article at

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2 February 2018

Successful 8th Forum "Clinical Research"

In its 8th Forum “Clinical Research” on 31 January 2018, the SCTO followed the topical thread of its last Symposium: "Creating greater value and efficiency in clinical research". Close to 90 participants attended the successful event in Bern.

A summary report of the Forum 2018 will follow shortly. The presentations can be accessed as of now under Forum 2018.

The SCTO regularly organises events in order to shed light on current issues and challenges in clinical research from a Swiss perspective and to find common solutions.

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22 January 2018

International Council for Harmonisation adopts Guideline 17 on planning and design of multi-region trials

With the increasing globalisation of medicines development, the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) adopted a major Guideline on the planning and design of multi-regional clinical trials at its meeting in mid-November 2017.

The ICH E17 Guideline will facilitate the acceptability of multi-regional clinical trials as part of global regulatory submissions in ICH and non-ICH regions. This is expected to have a direct public health benefit, in particular by encouraging more predictability and planning security around the approval of trials and the use of clinical trial data from a greater variety of countries and regions in the authorisation process.

In Switzerland, the ICH Guidelines are deemed to be the documents representing the current state of science and technology once they have been approved by consensus within the ICH organisation. Swissmedic will apply the ICH E17 Guideline accordingly when it is published on the ICH website.

For more information, view the press release.

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Event calendar

16 January 2018

DACH Symposium on clinical trials: 11-12 June 2018 in Zurich

Together with the coordination centres for clinical studies in Germany and Austria, we warmly invite you to the second tri-national congress on clinical trials. Since the overwhelming response to the first such congress –  more than 550 participants attending the DACH Symposium of March 2016 held in Freiburg (D) – participants of this year’s event can again expect a richly diverse programme. As a special highlight, a live randomisation is planned at the close of the first day, intending to demonstrate in an amusing and expressive way how “flexible” study results can be.

The congress is aimed at all who are active in the field of clinical research, including professional groups working at trial sites as well as those in regular contact with trial site staff. Patients are welcome, too. Use this unique platform to exchange experiences within your field of expertise with hundreds of colleagues!

The 2nd DACH Symposium takes place on 11 and 12 June 2018 at the University of Zurich. The presentations and discussions at the three-nation congress are mainly held in German.

To learn more about the themes of the presentations and workshops that follow, which exhibitors are presenting their services and products onsite, and how to register, visit

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15 January 2018

Evaluation of the Human Research Act: Departmental research projects

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is responsible for evaluating the efficacy of the Human Research Act (HRA). The results of this evaluation form the basis of any suggested improvements.

The FOPH conducts individual departmental research projects to monitor the impact of the law. As part of these departmental research efforts into human research, the FOPH commissions studies on specific issues. The findings form the basis of the evaluation of the law.

An overview of the projects so far can be found as of now under

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For older news and press releases please see our news archives 2017201620152014 and 2013.