Managing uncertainty in clinical trials: the role of adaptive trial designs

By Professor Steve Webb - June 2024

Uncertainty about populations, interventions, comparators, effect size, and heterogeneity of treatment effect, applies to all clinical trials, but it particularly affects trials that test the effectiveness of interventions during epidemics.

Another major challenge to conducting clinical trials during fast-moving epidemics is the lead-time needed to commence them. In this webinar, Steve Webb discusses adaptive trial design as well as how such trials can deal with uncertainty and be implement-ready (but modifiable) prior to an epidemic.

About the speaker

Dr Steve Webb is a Senior Staff Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital and a Professor of Critical Care Research in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. He is a trialist who designs and conducts clinical trials that generate evidence to improve patient care.

Dr Webb is a recipient of more than $90M in research funding and has published manuscripts in the NEJM, JAMA, BMJ, and The Lancet. He has an interest in novel trial designs including Bayesian adaptive platform and cluster cross-over designs.

He is a founding Director of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance, a foundation Fellow and a member of Council of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, vice-chair of the International Forum of Acute Care Trialists, a member of the Executive Committee of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium, a member of the NHMRC Health Translation Advisory Committee, co-chair of the Australian government’s Clinical Trials Collaborative Forum and a Chief Investigator of the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on InfectiouS disease Emergencies (APPRISE).


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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.