EQIPD: European Quality in Preclinical Data

Principal Investigator: Malcolm Macleod (Project coordinator)
Thomas Steckler (Project leader)
Project Team: Hanno Würbel (Professor)
Bernhard Völkl (Postdoc)
Janja Novak (Senior research assistant)
Funded by: IMI2 (EU Horizon 2020 and EFPIA)

Poor quality data is an issue in many research fields – all too often, results carried out in one organisation cannot be replicated elsewhere. In preclinical animal research, besides the scientific and medical implications (poor reproducibility, longer drug development times, higher failure rates), this has also important ethical implications (wasting animals for inconclusive research, putting patients at unnecessary risk). There is therefore an urgent need for simple, sustainable solutions to improve data quality, and that’s where the EQIPD project comes in. Their goal is to deliver simple recommendations to facilitate data quality without impacting innovation. The project team will start by analysing the variables in study design and data analysis that influence outcomes and establishing whether these are the same in academia and industry. They will then define the components of an EQIPD quality management system and work to achieve a consensus among different stakeholders on quality management recommendations for research. They will also assess the feasibility of the quality management system in prospective studies in the fields of neuroscience and safety. Finally, the project will set up an online educational platform that will deliver certified courses in the principles and application of data quality and rigor. This, combined with the involvement in the project of many junior scientists, will pave the way for a cultural change in approaches to data quality in the medical research and drug development field.