This week they cut the ribbon on what will become the first Euro-wide clinical research center. Located in Brno, the second largest Czech city, the International Clinical Research Center or ICRC will conduct clinical studies with physician-researchers throughout Europe. Conceived by Tomas Kara, M.D., Ph.D. of St. Anne's Hospital in Brno and Virend Somers, M.D., Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic, the "phenotype" of the operation bears a remarkable resemblance to Mayo's Clinical Research Unit and the approach is a lot like how Mayo manages its multisite clinical trials. This is part of Mayo's exporting of its ideas, models and technologies to key locations around the globe. Mayo and the ICRC have numerous research projects already underway, with visiting scientists shuttling between the two institutions.
The ICRC will focus on cardiology and neurology for starters, collaborating with four or five key research centers at medical centers and universities across Europe. The idea is to make the facility in Brno a sort of space station for multi-national clinical studies. The infrastructure (the building will be dedicated in early 2013) was funded by grants totaling $220 million from the European Union and Czech government, in response to a joint application from the ICRC and Mayo. We'll have more here about the projects as things develop.