By design MeCRU was established to conduct clinical trials from phase II to IV. The Unit is built in such a way that it has capacity to run a number of studies concurrently. Being fully equipped with a licenced pharmacy, SANAS accredited laboratory and surrounded by a diversity of specialists in the medical field, the Unit is poised to support different clinical trials at different stages.
The nature of clinical trials is such that access to the required numbers of participants for each study. To date MeCRU has proven to be able to access participants to the required level of participation and retain them. The core staff that provides the support for the management of the trials and community outreach and education has together many years of experience in running clinical trials. Participant access could be clinic based or large community based trials.
As a Unit located in a university we have access to an ethic committee and where necessary a human subject protection committee is set up for additional administration and management of a trial. The ethics committee turnaround time has so far averaged three months but in some instances has been shorter. There is an appreciation of the need for speed and efficiency. The Unit is able to support all pre-trial based activities and in discussion with the sponsors or funders of the trial come to an agreement that will be mutually agreeable.
The significance of the ability to collect good data cannot be overstated. The Unit has built capacity to both collect and present good data in clinical trials. Using data fax and electronic submission systems the Unit support the conduct of ethical and quality research. Quality control, query resolution, participant management and submitting reports timeously become the trademark of the unit. Where necessary continuous communication with the Ethics committee and other statutory bodies becomes part of the trial conduct.
The MeCRU laboratory has the capacity to do PBMCs and store specimens with a state of the art tracking method. In addition it is equipped with a -80o, -70o and -20o C freezers with a continuous temperature monitoring system.