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PCORI Announces New Funding to Support Clinical Research Network

December 30, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has issued two funding announcements offering a total of up to $150.7 million as part of phase two of its efforts to create a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, or PCORnet.

PCORnet is a large, national network for conducting comparative effectiveness research (CER) and other types of health studies more rapidly and efficiently, according to PCORI officials. Upon completion, it will be a resource to support studies using clinical data gathered in routine clinical practice in real-world settings. PCORI began development of PCORnet with an initial investment of $93.5 million to support the development and expansion of 29 individual networks, a mix of health system-based Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRNs) and patient-organized Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs), over an 18-month first phase that concludes in September 2015.

Phase two funding aims to enable the participating networks to become fully capable of supporting both randomized and observational CER studies, rapid-cycle studies, and other types of health research using robust standardized data sets with strong patient privacy and security protections. In addition, the PPRNs and CDRNs are expected to significantly increase their collaborations and to develop plans for sustaining their operations beyond the end of phase two.

PCORI will provide funds to support as many as 13 CDRNs and 22 PPRNs in phase two. All 11 CDRNs and 18 PPRNs currently participating in PCORnet are eligible to apply for phase II funding. In addition, PCORI invites additional networks with established capacity to apply through these funding announcements.

“We’re excited to announce this funding opportunity for the second phase of PCORnet,” Rachael Fleurence, Ph.D., director of PCORI’s CER Methods and Infrastructure Program, the program which oversees PCORnet, said in a news release statement. “We’ve made tremendous progress with our current 29 networks during the first phase of this national initiative, and we look forward to capitalizing on the infrastructure built so far. PCORnet will begin supporting research, both observational and randomized, in phase II and we’re excited about its increasing capacity to generate evidence that will help patients and those who care for them make better informed decisions.”

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