Clinical studies in practice
Clinical studies in focus
How do clinical studies work?
Helping realise tomorrow's medicines or taking part as a pioneer within SGS CPU always happens in 4 different steps. Here's some more information about each step.
Step 1: Sign up for the pioneer database
If you like to become a pioneer, you are the one to take the first step. You can sign up via this website or one of our other channels. A member of staff will contact you to inquire further about your interests and to collect some details such as your sex, smoking habits, age and weight.
If you still want to join after that initial call, we will include you in our pioneer database. You will then be kept informed of future studies that fit your profile. In addition, you can always find our ongoing studies on this page.
Step 2: Register voluntarily for a specific clinical study to investigate a new medicine
Should you be interested to participate in a specific study, you can register or inform us using one of the channels. If you belong to the right target group, we will invite you for a selection (screening) visit at our research centre in Edegem a few days later. This invitation is always free of obligation.
During the screening visit, you will have ample opportunity to ask our physicians any questions you have. Once you are sure that everything is clear, you and the physician will both sign the consent form. After that, we will start the process of finding out whether you are eligible for this specific study. The first step is a comprehensive consultation with the physician, followed by various medical examinations. We will, for example, check your blood pressure, weight and urine.
Step 3: Come and stay at the research centre
If you have been selected and you are still interested, great! Then you can take part as a pioneer in the study you have registered for. This generally means staying at the research centre in Edegem: you will stay for a few days and nights, sometimes after having undergone additional examinations.
On the day after your arrival at the research centre, the study medicine or a placebo will be administered to you in the presence of a physician or nurse. The placebo (or fake medicine) is used to allow us to draw reliable conclusions about the effect of the new medicine. In most studies, neither you nor the medical team knows whether you received the study medicine or the placebo.
From now, everything is scheduled in detail and we will closely monitor your health. Your safety is the primary concern in everything we do. If there are any abnormal findings at any time during the study, the physician will discuss this with you immediately and take action if needed. We will monitor you closely by examining you regularly and collecting blood or urine samples.
The schedule is much less hectic in the days thereafter, with only occasional follow-up visits from the medical team. You will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy some me time. You can watch TV, read a book, listen to music or get to know the other participants. You can even study or work since there is WiFi available. Your meals are all provided for you.
Step 4: Conclude your participation with follow-up visits and a final examination
Depending on the study, you will need to return for a few follow-up visits after your overnight stay. These short follow-up visits will be scheduled at predefined times at our research centre in Edegem.
Finally, every study is concluded with a thorough final health check-up. During this final visit, we will do examinations and evaluations similar to those we do during the initial screening visit. That allows us to see whether the study had any effect on your body. After this final visit, you can go home feeling confident and satisfied, looking forward to your payment.
Being a pioneer means that you have contributed significantly to the development of tomorrow's medicines. And if this tastes like more, you are welcome to take part in a new study after a period of at least 30 days.
Watch the video as well, so you get a good understanding of what taking part in a clinical study to investigate a new medicine really involves.