Frequently Asked Questions - ClinicalTrials.gov
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Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

Additional questions may be sent to register@clinicaltrials.gov.

General

Is there a charge for listing studies on ClinicalTrials.gov?

No, there is no charge for listing studies on ClinicalTrials.gov. ClinicalTrials.gov is a free service of the National Institutes of Health, provided through the National Library of Medicine.

My study is not yet approved by a human subjects review board (ethics review committee, institutional review board). Can I enter it on ClinicalTrials.gov?

Most studies require approval from a human subjects review board. If your study requires approval, you may register your study on ClinicalTrials.gov prior to getting approval if the Overall Recruitment Status of the study is Not yet recruiting (see Overall Recruitment Status data element on ClinicalTrials.gov).

If a study requires human subjects review board approval, approval must be obtained before the study's Overall Recruitment Status is changed to Recruiting. When board approval is obtained, please update the Protocol Section of the study record in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) and Release (submit) the study for processing.

See How to Register Your Study and How to Edit Your Study Record for more information.

Why can't I find my study on ClinicalTrials.gov?

It might not have been Released (submitted) to ClinicalTrials.gov for processing. After a record has been entered into PRS (or modified) and marked as Complete, it must be Approved and Released by the Responsible Party (see Responsible Party data element on ClinicalTrials.gov).

The study might also be undergoing review. After the Responsible Party Releases (submits) information to ClinicalTrials.gov, that information undergoes a manual review to identify possible errors, deficiencies, or inconsistencies that are not detected automatically during data entry. The Responsible Party will be notified of any issues that need correction, usually within a few days after release of the protocol information. The review of results information may take longer (up to 30 days).

See How to Register Your Study and How to Submit Your Results for more information.

When will the NCT Number for my study be assigned?

The NCT Number, also called the ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier, is assigned after the protocol information has been Released (submitted) by the Responsible Party and passed review by ClinicalTrials.gov staff. At that time an e-mail notification containing the NCT Number is sent. The record, including its NCT Number, will typically be available on ClinicalTrials.gov within 2–5 business days after it is Released.

See How to Register Your Study for more information.

Can I register a study after it has started, has closed to recruitment, or has been completed?

Yes, you can register a study on ClinicalTrials.gov at any time. Please note that, in general, Section 801 of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA 801) requires Applicable Clinical Trials to be registered within 21 days of enrollment of the first participant. In addition, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and other journals require registration of clinical trials prior to enrollment of the first participant.

See FDAAA 801 Requirements for more information.

Must clinical studies with no external sources of funding ("unfunded" studies) be registered on ClinicalTrials.gov?

The registration requirements of Section 801 of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA 801) (PDF) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) policy on Clinical Trial Registration under the ICMJE Recommendations do not exclude clinical studies with no external sources of funding ("unfunded" studies). See FDAAA 801 Requirements for more information on which trials must be registered under FDAAA 801.

In general, an unfunded study should be registered via the PRS account of the Sponsor. When an investigator is considered the Sponsor (a Sponsor-Investigator), the study should be registered using the PRS account of the investigator's affiliated institution with the Responsible Party indicated as Sponsor-Investigator. ClinicalTrials.gov will then display the investigator as the Sponsor instead of the investigator's institution. The Protocol Registration Data Element Definitions page on ClinicalTrials.gov describes the related data elements for Responsible Party.

How do I contact ClinicalTrials.gov if I have a question about my study record?

If you have questions or need help updating your record, e-mail register@clinicaltrials.gov. If the question is about a specific study record, please provide the NCT Number or the Unique Protocol ID (if an NCT Number has not yet been assigned). Please include enough information about the issue so that we may better assist you. We generally respond to all e-mails within 1 business day.

Do I need to register each single-patient investigational new drug application (IND) or protocol exception (including for emergency use) separately?

No, manufacturers or Sponsors accepting requests for single-patient investigational new drug applications (INDs) or protocol exceptions (including for emergency use) should provide only one expanded access record.

See the Registering Expanded Access Records section of the How to Register Your Study for more information.

Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS)

Can an organization have multiple users for a single account?

Yes. When sponsors or their representatives register to become PRS data providers, they will be given information on using PRS, including instructions for creating additional user accounts.

See How to Apply for an Account for more information.

Can registration and results information be uploaded electronically to ClinicalTrials.gov?

Yes. This option is available in PRS as an HTTP upload of an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file. After obtaining a PRS account, login to PRS and review the User's Guide for information on XML upload.

See How to Apply for an Account for help with obtaining a PRS account.

Section 801 of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA 801)

To comply with FDAAA 801, must I submit information to ClinicalTrials.gov, or can I use another registry or results database?

You must use ClinicalTrials.gov to fulfill the requirements of FDAAA 801 (PDF). FDAAA 801 requires Responsible Parties to submit clinical trial information to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for inclusion in the registry and results database established via ClinicalTrials.gov.

Does FDAAA 801 only apply to industry-sponsored studies?

No. FDAAA 801 applies to any clinical study that meets the definition of an Applicable Clinical Trial and that was initiated after September 27, 2007, or that was initiated on or before that date and was still ongoing as of December 26, 2007. FDAAA 801 does not distinguish between types of sponsors or funding sources in establishing requirements for registration and results submission.

For complete statutory definitions and more information on the meaning of Applicable Clinical Trial, see Elaboration of Definitions of Responsible Party and Applicable Clinical Trial (PDF).

Does the definition of applicable clinical trial under FDAAA 801 only include studies conducted under an FDA Investigational New Drug Application (IND) or Investigational Device Exemption (IDE)?

No. A clinical investigation of a drug can be an Applicable Drug Clinical Trial under FDAAA 801 even if it does not require an IND, and a clinical investigation of a device can be an Applicable Device Clinical Trial whether or not an IDE is required.

See Elaboration of Definitions of Responsible Party and Applicable Clinical Trial (PDF) for more information.

Am I required to submit to ClinicalTrials.gov the results of a clinical trial that is not an applicable clinical trial?

Results submission is not required under FDAAA 801 for a clinical trial that is not an Applicable Clinical Trial (for example, a phase 1 trial studying an FDA-regulated investigational new drug). If a Responsible Party chooses to voluntarily submit results for such a trial, however, the Voluntary Submissions (PDF) provision of FDAAA 801 may apply.

Under the Voluntary Submissions (PDF) provision, a Responsible Party who submits results for such a clinical trial must submit complete clinical trial results information and must also submit results for each Applicable Clinical Trial that is required to be submitted to FDA under Sections 505, 510(k), 515, and 520(m) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act for the same use studied.

How do I submit results information if the trial is terminated (that is, stopped prematurely) and no data were collected for one or more Outcome Measures?

If no participants were ever enrolled in the trial, set the Overall Recruitment Status to Withdrawn, and no further results information will need to be submitted.

For a trial that was terminated after participants were enrolled, provide any available data. If no data are available for any of the Outcome Measures, specify zero ("0") for the Number of Participants Analyzed in each Arm/Group, and leave the data fields blank. In this case, provide an explanation in the Analysis Population Description for why zero participants were analyzed and, if appropriate, provide information in the Limitations and Caveats module. Even if data are not entered for Outcome Measures, submit the available data for the enrolled participants in the Participant Flow, Baseline Characteristics, and Adverse Events modules.

I completed a clinical trial that studied an investigational product (drug, biological product, or device that is not initially approved, licensed, or cleared by the FDA). There is no intent to seek approval, clearance, or licensure of the product by the FDA (for example, development of the investigational product has been terminated). How do I indicate that results need not be submitted for this trial?

The Responsible Party may Certify Initial Approval in the PRS. This indicates that the clinical trial was completed before a drug, biological product, or device studied in the trial was initially approved, licensed, or cleared by the FDA for any use.

Final Rule for Clinical Trials Registration and Results Information Submission (42 CFR Part 11)

Applicable Clinical Trial

How do I determine if my study is an applicable clinical trial?

The Final Rule for Clinical Trials Registration and Results Information Submission (42 CFR Part 11) stated that a checklist-based tool would be available to assist Responsible Parties in evaluating whether their clinical trial or study is an applicable clinical trial (ACT) as defined in in 42 CFR 11.10(a) based on the conditions outlined in 42 CFR 11.22(b) (Determination of applicable clinical trial for a clinical trial or study initiated on or after January 18, 2017).

The Checklist and Elaboration for Evaluating Whether a Clinical Trial or Study is an Applicable Clinical Trial (PDF) (October 2017) document follows the criteria specified in 42 CFR 11.22(b), as explained further in the preamble, to determine whether a study initiated on or after January 18, 2017, is an ACT subject to "expanded" registration requirements under the final rule.

Beyond their primary purpose, the ACT Checklist and Elaboration may also be useful to assist in evaluating whether a clinical trial or study that was initiated before January 18, 2017, and which is not subject to the final rule requirements, is an ACT under section 402(j) of the Public Health Service Act.

We note that Responsible Parties or other users of the ACT Checklist and Elaboration are responsible for using accurate data about a clinical trial or study and for properly evaluating whether the trial or study must be registered and, if so, which results must be submitted. The outcome generated from the ACT Checklist will not be retained by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will not be binding on either the user or any government agency in any future action(s).

If a clinical trial is not an applicable clinical trial (ACT) at study initiation because it is conducted entirely outside the United States, but the trial subsequently opens a U.S. site, am I required to register the trial?

If a sponsor of a clinical trial in a foreign country that does not meet the definition of an ACT, and has an initiation date after the effective date of the regulations in 42 CFR Part 11, decides to add a location in the U.S. (or its territories), and as a result the trial meets the definition of an ACT, the sponsor becomes subject to section 402(j) of the Public Health Service Act and 42 CFR Part 11. The requirements set forth in the regulation would need to be met, beginning with registration of the ACT not later than 21 days after the enrollment of the first participant at the U.S. site. Per 42 CFR 11.22(b), "[a] clinical trial or study that, at any point in time, meets the conditions listed in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section will be considered to meet the definition of an applicable clinical trial." Therefore, this trial would become an ACT when it adds the U.S. site. Clinical trial registration information must include information applicable to the entire trial, as is the case with all multi-site trials with information in ClinicalTrials.gov, because the entire clinical investigation is considered to be the applicable device or drug clinical trial (see 81 FR 65013, 81 FR 65015).

What is the definition of a drug, biological, or device product under investigation being "manufactured" in the United States?

The regulations define "applicable clinical trial" (ACT) in 42 CFR 11.10(a) and in 42 CFR 11.22 describe which ACTs are subject to the registration requirements. A clinical trial or study initiated on or after January 18, 2017, that meets certain conditions in 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1) or (2) will be considered to meet the definition of an applicable clinical trial. One of these conditions is whether the drug, biological, or device product "under investigation is a Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S. or one of its territories for study in another country." (42 CFR 11.22(b)(1)(ii)(D)(2) and 42 CFR 11.22(b)(2)(iv)(B)) The regulations also define the "Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S." in 42 CFR 11.10(b)(15) as meaning "any drug product (including a biological product) or device product studied in the clinical trial is manufactured in the United States or one of its territories and exported for study in a clinical trial in another country."

The agency explained that the term "manufacture" is used as a "short-hand for all device [or drug] activities within FDA's jurisdiction." (81 FR 65011 (device), 81 FR 65014 (drug)) Therefore, any step in the manufacturing of the device or drug product (including device components, drug active ingredients, and packaging/labeling) that occurs in the United States (or one of its territories) would be considered "manufactured" in the United States.

In addition, the drug, biological, or device product "under investigation" as described in 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1)(ii)(D)(2) and 42 CFR 11.22(b)(2)(iv)(B) includes products that are used in the clinical trial in conjunction with, or compared to, each other. If a drug, biological, or device product is tested in conjunction with, or compared to, one or more other drug, biological, or device products (including a placebo or sham), then the products would be considered "under investigation" for purposes of this ACT condition.

How do I know if my clinical trial "Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product" or "Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product" when evaluating whether it is an applicable clinical trial (ACT) subject to the regulation under the conditions specified in 42 CFR 11.22(b)? Specifically, for a trial conducted entirely outside the U.S.?

The regulation defines both "U.S. FDA-regulated device product" and "U.S. FDA-regulated drug product" in 42 CFR 11.10(a). This "FDA-regulated" concept is also part of the ACT definition under 42 CFR 11.10(a) and described in 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 42 CFR 11.22(b)(2)(iii) for an applicable device clinical trial and an applicable drug clinical trial initiated on or after January 18, 2017, respectively. The regulation further defines these specific concepts as data elements in 42 CFR 11.10(b)(38) ("Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product") and 11.10(b)(39) ("Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product") and explains them as a device product "subject to" section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act and a drug product "subject to" section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, respectively. The Checklist and Elaboration for Evaluating Whether a Clinical Trial or Study is an Applicable Clinical Trial (PDF) (October 2017) provides additional information about these definitions.

The Final Rule preamble addresses whether a studied product meeting the device definition is "subject to" section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FD&C Act. The Final Rule preamble states: "[A] clinical study of a device product that is being conducted entirely outside of the United States (i.e., does not have any sites in the United States or in any U.S. territory) and is not conducted under an IDE may not be a clinical study of a device product subject to section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FD&C Act and, therefore, is not an applicable device clinical trial, depending on where the device product being used in the clinical study is manufactured. … If the device product is manufactured outside of the United States or its territories, and the clinical study sites are all outside of the United States and/or its territories, the device product would not be considered to be subject to section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FD&C Act." (81 FR 65013)

Therefore, a study record that (1) does not list "United States" (or a U.S. territory) for the Facility Information/Country data element, (2) lists "No" for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration IND or IDE data element, and (3) lists "No" for the Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S. data element, would indicate that a studied device product is not "subject to" section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FD&C Act. For such a study, the responsible party would list "No" for the Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product data element and the study would not be considered an applicable device clinical trial. Note that even if the device product being studied had previously been approved or cleared by the U.S. FDA under section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FD&C Act for marketing in the U.S., that responsible party would list "No" for the Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product data element because the particular device product used in that study is not subject to those sections of the FD&C Act.

The Final Rule preamble also addresses whether a studied product meeting the drug definition is "subject to" section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act. The Final Rule preamble states: "[A] clinical investigation of a drug product (including a biological product) that is being conducted entirely outside of the United States (i.e., does not have any sites in the United States or in any U.S. territory) may not be a clinical investigation of a drug product or biological product subject to section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act, and therefore not an applicable drug clinical trial, depending on where the drug product (including biological product) being used in the clinical investigation is manufactured. … If the drug product (including a biological product) is manufactured outside of the United States or its territories, the clinical investigation sites are all outside of the United States, and the clinical investigation is not being conducted under an IND, the drug product or biological product would not be considered to be subject to section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act, and the clinical investigation would not be an applicable drug clinical trial." (81 FR 65015)

Therefore, a study record that (1) does not list "United States" (or a U.S. territory) for the Facility Information/Country data element, (2) lists "No" for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration IND or IDE data element, and (3) lists "No" for the Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S. data element, would indicate that a studied drug or biologic product is not "subject to" section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act. For such a study, the responsible party would answer "No" to the Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product data element and the study would not be considered an applicable drug clinical trial. Note that even if the drug or biologic product being studied had previously been approved by the U.S. FDA under section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act for marketing in the U.S., that responsible party would list "No" for the Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product data element because the particular drug or biological product used in that study is not subject to those sections of the FD&C Act or PHS Act.

Example: For a clinical study conducted entirely outside of the United States or its territories, in which the drug, biological, or device product is not studied under an IND or IDE, and the studied drug, biological, or device product is manufactured outside of the United States or its territories, then the studied product would not be considered "FDA-regulated" under the relevant condition in 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1)(ii)(C) and 11.22(b)(2)(iii). The responsible party of such a study would select "No" for the data elements of Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product and/or Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product (42 CFR 11.28(a)(2)(i)(N) and (O)).

For additional information, see also:

Is a clinical trial using a radiation-emitting product a trial that "Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product"?

Whether a clinical trial using a radiation-emitting product "Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product" depends first on whether the product meets the "device" definition at section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), which is how the regulation at 42 CFR 11.10(a) defines "device." FDA has additional authority over radiation-emitting products under sections 531 - 542 of the FD&C Act; some of these products are also "devices" under 201(h) of the FD&C Act, some are not. A radiation-emitting product, such as external beam radiation, used in a clinical trial would very likely be a device under 201(h) of the FD&C Act. Additional information about how FDA regulates radiation-emitting products may be found at:

The regulation in 42 CFR 11.10(a) defines an "applicable device clinical trial." A clinical trial or study initiated on or after January 18, 2017 will be considered to meet the definition of an applicable device clinical trial if it meets certain conditions outlined in 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1) One of the conditions is that the clinical trial "Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product" in 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1)(ii)(C), which is further defined as a clinical trial that studies a device product "subject to section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the [FD&C Act]" in 42 CFR 11.10(b)(38). In explaining the "applicable device clinical trial" definition in 42 CFR 11.10(a), the Final Rule preamble further clarifies that a "device product is considered to be subject to section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FD[&]C Act if any of the following is required before it may be legally marketed in the United States: (1) A finding of substantial equivalence under section 510(k) permitting the device product to be marketed, (2) an order under section 515 of the FD[&]C Act approving a pre-market approval application for the device product, or (3) an HDE [or Humanitarian Device Exemption] under section 520(m) of the FD[&]C Act." (81 FR 65012)

Many radiation-emitting device products are subject to section 510(k) of the FD&C Act and some are subject to section 515 of the FD&C Act. If the product is a medical device intended to benefit patients in the treatment or diagnosis of a disease or condition that affects or is manifested in not more than 8,000 individuals in the United States per year, it may meet the requirements for a humanitarian use device, under section 520(m) of the FD&C Act. FDA's regulation in 21 CFR Part 892 describes the legal status (i.e., "classification") of specific radiology devices, including diagnostic and therapeutic devices. For example, magnetic resonance diagnostic devices and medical charged-particle radiation therapy systems are designated in 21 CFR 892.1000 and 21 CFR 892.5050, respectively, as Class II devices (as defined in 21 CFR 860.3(c)(2)) and are subject to section 510(k) of the FD&C Act. In addition, an individual radiology device that is a "high risk" device and has been found by FDA to be not substantially equivalent (NSE) to an existing Class I, II, or III device must generally be approved by FDA under section 515 of the FD&C Act before marketing.

The Final Rule preamble also explains that radiation-emitting products can be subject to the requirements in 42 CFR Part 11: "For example, a clinical trial for which a responsible party indicates the Intervention Type is 'radiation,' 'genetic,' or 'procedure' could in fact be an applicable device clinical trial studying a device product subject to section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FDC Act (e.g., an x-ray device, a genetic test, or a surgical instrument)." (81 FR 65040)

For additional information, see also:

Are studies of Class I, II, and III devices required to be registered and submit results?

The regulations in 42 CFR 11.22 require registration for applicable device clinical trials that were initiated after September 27, 2007. For those applicable device clinical trials that were initiated on or after January 18, 2017 that meet the conditions specified in 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1), the regulation requires the submission of registration information listed in 42 CFR 11.28(a)(2) for clinical trials and in 42 CFR 11.28(b) for pediatric postmarket surveillance of a device product that is not a clinical trial. 42 CFR 11.22(b)(1) describes the conditions for determining whether a clinical trial or study initiated on or after January 18, 2017 is an "applicable clinical device trial." 42 CFR 11.10(a) explains that an applicable device clinical trial studies a device product "subject to section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the [FD&C Act]." The Final Rule preamble further clarifies that a "device product is considered to be subject to section 510(k), 515, or 520(m) of the FD&C Act if any of the following is required before it may be legally marketed in the United States: (1) A finding of substantial equivalence under section 510(k) permitting the device product to be marketed, (2) an order under section 515 of the FD&C Act approving a pre-market approval application for the device product, or (3) an HDE [or Humanitarian Device Exemption] under section 520(m) of the FD&C Act." (81 FR 65012)

The determination of whether the study of a specific device product is an applicable device clinical trial does not depend on the product's device classification in 21 CFR 860.3(c) (i.e., Class I, II, or III). The relevant question is whether the device product must receive a finding of substantial equivalence under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act, an order under section 515 of the FD&C Act approving a pre-market approval application for the device product, or an HDE under section 520(m) of the FD&C Act. Most Class I devices, but not all, are exempt from the requirements for a finding of substantial equivalence under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act and do not require a premarket approval order under section 515 of the FD&C Act. By contrast, most Class II and all Class III devices require either clearance under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act or premarket approval under section 515 of the FD&C Act.

For additional information, see also:

Registration Information and Submission Deadlines

If my study is an applicable clinical trial (ACT), am I required to register?

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.22(a) require the registration of any ACT that is (1) initiated after September 27, 2007, or (2) initiated on or before September 27, 2007 and is ongoing (i.e., not yet reached the Primary Completion Date) on December 26, 2007.

What registration information must I submit if my applicable clinical trial is required to be registered?

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.28 address which registration information requirements apply to which studies. The "Applicability of Requirements in 42 CFR Part 11" table may be used to evaluate whether the registration information requirements in 42 CFR Part 11 or section 402(j) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act apply to specific studies. (81 FR 65121)

As outlined in the table, required registration information is determined by the study initiation date. The initiation date is the date on which the trial is initiated (i.e., the actual Study Start Date as defined in 42 CFR 11.10(b)(16). (81 FR 65120)

  • Study Start Date on or before September 27, 2007, and ongoing on December 26, 2007: Follow requirements in section 402(j)(2)(A)(ii) of the PHS Act.
  • Study Start Date after September 27, 2007 but before January 18, 2017: Follow requirements in section 402(j)(2)(A)(ii) of the PHS Act.
  • Study Start Date on or after January 18, 2017: Follow requirements specified in 42 CFR 11.28 of the final rule.

When must I submit the required clinical trial registration information?

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.24(a) require that, for an applicable clinical trial for which registration information is required to be submitted, the registration information specified in section 402(j)(2)(A)(ii) of the PHS Act or 42 CFR 11.28(a) must be submitted within 21 days after the first human subject is enrolled. The final rule in 42 CFR 11.10(a) defines "enroll or enrolled" to mean a "human subject's, or their legally authorized representative's, agreement to participate in a clinical trial following completion of the informed consent process, as required in 21 CFR part 50 and/or 45 CFR part 46, as applicable." The definition further states that "for the purposes of ... [42 CFR part 11], potential subjects who are screened for the purpose of determining eligibility for a trial, but do not participate in the trial, are not considered enrolled, unless otherwise specified by the protocol."

For an applicable device clinical trial that is a pediatric postmarket surveillance of a device product and is not a clinical trial, the registration information specified in section 402(j)(2)(A)(ii) of the PHS Act or 42 CFR 11.28(b) must be submitted within 21 days after FDA approves the postmarket surveillance plan.

Results Information and Submission Deadlines

Am I required to submit results information for my applicable clinical trial (ACT)?

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.42 address those applicable clinical trials for which a responsible party must submit results information. The "Applicability of Requirements in 42 CFR Part 11" table may be used to evaluate whether the results information requirements in 42 CFR Part 11 or section 402(j) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act apply to specific applicable clinical trials. (81 FR 65121)

As outlined in the table, required results information is determined by the Primary Completion Date:

  • For ACTs that are required to be registered and with a Primary Completion Date before January 18, 2017:
    • If the ACT studies a drug, biological, or device product that is approved, licensed or cleared as of the Primary Completion Date, then the responsible party is required to submit the results information specified in sections 402(j)(3)(C) and 402(j)(3)(I) of the PHS Act. (42 CFR 11.42(a)(1))
    • If the ACT studies a drug, biological, or device product that is not approved, licensed, or cleared as of the Primary Completion Date, then the responsible party is not required to submit results information. (42 CFR 11.42(b))
  • For ACTs that are required to be registered and with a Primary Completion Date on or after January 18, 2017:
    • If the ACT studies a drug, biological, or device product that is approved, licensed or cleared as of the Primary Completion Date, then the responsible party is required to submit the results information specified in 42 CFR 11.48. (42 CFR 11.42(a)(2))
    • If the ACT studies a drug, biological, or device product that is not approved, licensed, or cleared as of the Primary Completion Date, then the responsible party is required to submit the results information specified in 42 CFR 11.48. (42 CFR 11.42(b))

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.60 also establish requirements for the voluntary submission of results information that are not otherwise required to be submitted under 42 CFR 11.42.

When is required clinical trial results information due?

For applicable clinical trials that are subject to 42 CFR 11.42, the standard submission deadline for results information is no later than 1 year after the study's Primary Completion Date, as described in 42 CFR 11.44(a) of the final rule.

The regulations provide for the delayed submission of results information under certain conditions (see 42 CFR 11.44(b)) with certification if the responsible party is seeking approval, licensure, or clearance of a new use being studied for a product that previously has been approved, licensed, or cleared by the FDA. For applicable clinical trials with a Primary Completion Date on or after January 18, 2017, the final rule in 42 CFR 11.44(c) also provides for the delayed submission of results information under certain conditions with certification if the responsible party is seeking initial approval, licensure, or clearance for the studied product. The deadline for the delayed submission of results information as specified in 42 CFR 11.44(b) or 42 CFR 11.44(c) is 30 calendar days after the earliest of specific events described in each provision, with a maximum deadline for delayed results information submission of 2 years after the date of submission of the certification. Specific deadlines are also described in 42 CFR 11.44(d) of the final rule for the submission of partial results information. An extension for good cause may be requested under conditions specified in 42 CFR 11.44(e) of the final rule. The preamble explains that such requests will be granted in limited circumstances. (81 FR 65076-79)

Is a protocol and statistical analysis plan (SAP) required to be submitted?

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.48(a)(5) require a copy of the protocol and SAP (if not included in the protocol) to be submitted as part of clinical trial results information for those applicable clinical trials with a Primary Completion Date on or after January 18, 2017. The submission of a protocol and SAP is not required for those applicable clinical trials with a Primary Completion Date before January 18, 2017.

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.48(a)(5) also state that a "responsible party may redact names, addresses, and other personally identifiable information, as well as any trade secret and/or confidential commercial information (as those terms are defined in the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905)) contained in the protocol or statistical analysis plan prior to submission, unless such information is otherwise required to be submitted under this part."

Additional information about redaction of protocols is also provided in the preamble to 42 CFR part 11. (81 FR 64999 - 65002) This information includes noting that "[m]ore specific guidance regarding redaction will be considered in the future" and that the "protocol and statistical analysis plan must be submitted in a common electronic document format specified at https://prsinfo.clinicaltrials.gov."

The protocol and, if separate, the SAP are to be posted with other clinical trial results, in accordance with 42 CFR 11.52. (81 FR 65002)

What is the results information submission deadline for applicable clinical trials (ACTs) of drug, biological, or device products that are not approved, licensed, or cleared for any use and studied in conjunction with, or in comparison to, approved, licensed, or cleared products?

The clinical trial results information submission deadlines for ACTs that fall within the scope of 42 CFR 11.42 are set out in 42 CFR 11.44. The standard submission deadline for results information is no later than 1 year after the study's primary completion date. (42 CFR 11.44(a)) However, an ACT with a primary completion date on or after January 18, 2017, would be eligible for delayed submission of results if the responsible party certifies that the ACT studies an FDA-regulated drug product (including a biological product) or device product that was not approved, licensed, or cleared by FDA for any use before the primary completion date, and that the sponsor intends to continue with product development and is either seeking, or may at a future date seek, FDA approval, licensure, or clearance of the product under study. (42 CFR 11.44(c)) Section 11.44(c) applies when a drug product (including a biological product) or device product being studied is not approved, licensed, or cleared by FDA for any use. The fact that the unapproved, unlicensed, or uncleared product is being studied in conjunction with or in comparison to an approved, licensed, or cleared product does not nullify the trial's eligibility for the delayed submission of results provision under 42 CFR 11.44(c). In addition, this fact does not require the products being used in conjunction with each other to be considered an approved, licensed, or cleared product, or to be a new use of a previously approved, licensed, or cleared product. As described in 42 CFR 11.42, an ACT of a drug, biological, or device product that is not approved, licensed, or cleared by the trial's primary completion date, and for which the primary completion date is before January 18, 2017, is not required to submit clinical trial results information.

For more information on the results information submission requirements, see also:

How are "approval, licensure, or clearance of a new use" and "initial approval, licensure, or clearance" defined for the purposes of determining if a study may qualify for delayed submission of results information with certification?

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.44(b) and 11.44(c) provide for the delayed submission of results information for an applicable clinical trial (ACT) with certification under certain conditions. Under 42 CFR 11.44(c), results information submission may be delayed if the responsible party of an ACT certifies that a studied FDA-regulated drug, biological, or device product was not approved, licensed, or cleared by FDA for any use before the primary completion date of the trial. The responsible party of such an ACT must also certify that the sponsor of the ACT intends to continue with product development and is seeking, or may seek at a future date, initial approval, licensure, or clearance by the FDA for the studied product. (Note: Results information is not required to be submitted if the drug, biological, or device product is not approved, licensed, or cleared by FDA for any use before the primary completion date of the ACT, and the primary completion date for the trial is before January 18, 2017.) Under 42 CFR 11.44(b) results information submission may be delayed if the responsible party certifies that the ACT sponsor, who is also the manufacturer of the FDA-regulated product, is seeking approval, licensure, or clearance of the new use being studied in that ACT for a product that previously has been approved, licensed, or cleared by the FDA and has filed or will file within 1 year an application or premarket notification for the new use being studied. A new use is one which is not included in the labeling of the approved, licensed, or cleared drug, biological, or device product.

The Final Rule preamble clarified that "drug product" and "biological product" refer to a finished product that is approved or licensed for marketing, and not to the active ingredients or active moiety in such a product. (81 FR 65070) Thus, "initial approval" (or "initial licensure") in 42 CFR 11.44(c) pertains to the approval or licensure of an original New Drug Application (NDA), Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), or Biologics License Application (BLA), whereas "new use" in 42 CFR 11.44(b) pertains to the approval or licensure of a supplemental NDA, ANDA, or BLA for an additional use for that particular drug product or biological product. (81 FR 65070)

Similarly, "device product" refers to a manufacturer's particular "product" rather than a general "type" of device. (81 FR 65073) Thus, "initial approval" of a device product under sections 515 or 520(m) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act pertains to the approval of an original Premarket Approval (PMA) or Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) (81 FR 65070) while "initial clearance" pertains to the clearance of a manufacturer's original 510(k) submission for a particular device product. (81 FR 65071) Whereas "approval of a new use" pertains to the approval of a supplemental PMA under section 515 of the FD&C Act for an additional use for a particular device product (81 FR 65070), "clearance of a new use" pertains to the clearance of the same manufacturer's subsequent 510(k) submission for an additional use for the same device product. (81 FR 65071)

If an ACT studies an FDA-regulated device product that has not been previously approved or cleared (does not have "initial approval" or "initial clearance") by the U.S. FDA for one or more uses, then the responsible party is required to answer "Yes" to the Device Product Not Approved or Cleared by U.S. FDA data element under 42 CFR 11.28(a)(2)(i)(P). The Final Rule preamble also explains for this data element that "if a manufacturer's original 510(k) submission for its particular device product has not been previously cleared, then that manufacturer's device product would be considered a 'device product not cleared by FDA,' even if another manufacturer has already obtained 510(k) clearance of its device product within the same product type." (81 FR 65042) The responsible party is required to update this data element under 42 CFR 11.64(a)(1)(ii)(M) within 15 calendar days after a change in approval or clearance status has occurred.

Also note that clinical trial registration information submitted for an ACT of a device product that has not been previously approved or cleared (does not have "initial approval" or "initial clearance") is subject to the delayed posting provision at 42 CFR 11.35(b)(2)(i), which states that applicable device clinical trial registration information for a device product that has not been previously approved or cleared will be publicly posted not earlier than the date of FDA approval or clearance. The responsible party for the ACT may authorize public posting of the information prior to the date of FDA approval or clearance of its device product as specified at 42 CFR 11.35(b)(2)(ii) by answering "Yes" to the Post Prior to U.S. FDA Approval or Clearance data element under 42 CFR 11.28(a)(2)(i)(Q).

For more information, see also:

Updates to Clinical Trial Information

What are the requirements for updating clinical trial registration information when a Human Subjects Review Board approves a protocol amendment?

The regulation at 42 CFR 11.64(a)(1)(ii)(O)) specifies for applicable clinical trials initiated on or after January 18, 2017, or for which registration information was voluntarily submitted pursuant to 42 CFR 11.60(c), that "[i]f a protocol is amended in such a manner that changes are communicated to human subjects in the clinical trial, updates to any relevant clinical trial registration information data elements must be submitted not later than 30 calendar days after the protocol amendment is approved by a human subjects protection review board." For determining the date by which the information must be updated, the preamble to 42 CFR Part 11 clarified that if there is more than one human subjects protection review board for a multi-site trial, the date of the first board approval for the amendment should be used. (81 FR 65110) This requirement applies to any human subjects protection review board and is not limited to amendments by human subjects protection review boards in the United States. Clinical trial registration information must include information for the entire study, because the entire clinical study is considered to be the applicable device or drug clinical trial. (81 FR 65013, 81 FR 65015)

Compliance

What is the final rule's effective date and compliance date?

As explained in the final rule preamble in Section IV.F. Effective Date, Compliance Date, and Applicability of Requirements in this Part (81 FR 65118-122), the effective date is on January 18, 2017 and the compliance date is on April 18, 2017. Responsible parties have until April 18, 2017, to come into compliance with the requirements of the final rule. For more information on the final rule implementation, see https://prsinfo.clinicaltrials.gov.

To which trials do the potential legal consequences described in 42 CFR 11.66 apply?

"Responsible parties" (as defined in 42 CFR 11.10(a)) must comply with the applicable provisions of section 402(j) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) and the applicable regulations in 42 CFR part 11. The statute and regulations set forth the requirements for responsible parties to submit registration and summary results information to the CT.gov data bank for specified "applicable clinical trials" (ACTs) of drug products (including biological products) and device products.

ACTs are described in section 402(j)(1)(A) of the PHS Act and in 42 CFR 11.10(a). Any applicable clinical trial that (1) is initiated after September 27, 2007, or (2) was initiated on or before September 27, 2007, and was ongoing on December 26, 2007, must be registered with the ClinicalTrials.gov data bank (see section 402(j)(2)(C) of the PHS Act and 42 CFR 11.22(a)). For ACTs that are required to be registered, 42 CFR 11.42 describes for which trials results information must be submitted (see 81 FR 65121 for summary table) and whether they must submit the results information specified in sections 402(j)(3)(C) and 402(j)(3)(I) of the PHS Act or the results information specified in 42 CFR 11.48.

42 CFR 11.66 describes the potential legal consequences for responsible parties if they do not comply with the requirements to submit registration and results information on applicable clinical trials. Such potential legal consequences include civil or criminal judicial actions, civil monetary penalty actions, and grant funding actions.

Other

Who should submit an Expanded Access record?

The final rule clarifies that expanded access (EA) use of a drug, biological, or device product is not considered an "applicable clinical trial" (ACT) under the definition in 42 CFR 11.10 (81 FR 65009-10). Thus, the submission of clinical trial registration and results information for EA use would not be required by 42 CFR 11.22 and 42 CFR 11.42.

However, for "applicable drug clinical trials" that are required to submit the registration information specified in 42 CFR 11.28, and the responsible party is both the drug manufacturer and trial sponsor, information on the availability of investigational drug products for expanded access is required to be submitted as part of the registration information under 42 CFR 11.28(a)(2)(ii)(H). In addition, an expanded access record must be submitted as required under 42 CFR 11.28(c) to provide details about how to obtain access to the investigational drug (including biological) product. The regulations at 42 CFR 11.64(a)(1)(ii)(D) and (E) requires this availability of expanded access and expanded access record information to be updated. More information about the expanded access submission requirements is available in the final rule preamble. (81 FR 65059-62)

How are examinations by telephone call or other electronic means considered in determining when an applicable clinical trial reaches its "primary completion date" or "study completion date" under the regulation?

The final rule in 42 CFR 11.10(a) defines "[primary] completion date" for a clinical trial as the "date that the final subject was examined or received an intervention for the purposes of final collection of data for the primary outcome, whether the clinical trial concluded according to the pre-specified protocol or was terminated…." The final rule in 42 CFR 11.10(a) also defines "study completion date" for a clinical trial as the "date the final subject was examined or received an intervention for purposes of final collection of data for the primary and secondary outcome measures and adverse events (e.g., last subject's last visit), whether the clinical trial concluded according to the pre-specified protocol or was terminated…." The final rule preamble addresses these definitions in greater detail in Section IV.A.5. §11.10 – "What definitions apply to this part?" (81 FR 65008) The examination of a subject or administration of an intervention for purposes of "final collection of data" can include a broad range of methods of examination, including physical examination or examination by telephone or other electronic means.

How do I determine who is the responsible party for a study?

The regulations at 42 CFR 11.4(c) outline procedures for determining the responsible party for an applicable clinical trial (ACT) or a clinical trial voluntarily submitted under 42 CFR 11.60. The regulations specify that the sponsor of the trial will be considered the responsible party unless and until a principal investigator has been designated the responsible party in accordance with 42 CFR 11.4(c)(2).

For purposes of the regulation, if an ACT or clinical trial is being conducted under an investigational new drug application (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE), the IND/IDE holder is considered to be the individual or entity who initiated the ACT or clinical trial and, therefore, the sponsor as defined in 42 CFR 11.10(a), regardless of how the clinical trial is being funded.

For clinical trials not conducted under an IND or IDE, the sponsor is considered to be the person or entity who initiated the trial and would be identified as follows:

  1. Where the clinical trial is being conducted by an entity under a research assistance funding agreement such as a grant or sponsored research agreement, the funding recipient generally is considered to be the initiator of the clinical trial, and therefore, the sponsor. This is because, as a general rule, when a clinical trial is funded in this manner, the funding recipient "initiates" the clinical trial process by, for example, submitting a funding proposal and designing the clinical trial.
  2. Where the clinical trial is being conducted by an entity under a procurement funding agreement such as a contract, the party obtaining the goods or services for its direct benefit or use (the funder) generally is considered to be the initiator of the trial, and therefore, the sponsor. This is because, as a general rule, when a clinical trial is funded in this manner, it is the funder of the clinical trial that initiates the clinical trial process by, for example, contracting with another entity for that entity to conduct a clinical trial meeting the specifications of the funder.
  3. Where there is no funding agreement supporting the clinical trial, the person or entity who initiated the clinical trial by preparing and/or planning the clinical trial, and who has appropriate authority and control over the clinical trial to carry out the responsibilities under section 402(j) of the Public Health Service Act (including this part) is the sponsor. [81 FR 65003-04]

Can the sponsor designate a principal investigator as the responsible party?

Yes. The sponsor of the clinical trial, whether an individual or entity, is the responsible party, unless the principal investigator has been designated the responsible party in accordance with 42 CFR 11.4(c)(2). The principal investigator may be designated by a sponsor, so long as the principal investigator is responsible for conducting the trial, has access to and control over the data from the clinical trial, has the right to publish the results of the trial, and has the ability to meet all of the requirements under the regulation for submitting and updating of clinical trial information. If the principal investigator does not meet the specified conditions for serving as the responsible party, the sponsor cannot designate the principal investigator as the responsible party, and the sponsor must remain the responsible party.

The format for designation of the principal investigator as the responsible party by the sponsor is specified in ClinicalTrials.gov by having the principal investigator submit clinical trial information via the sponsor's Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) organizational account (the sponsor must provide an account for the principal investigator within the sponsor's PRS organizational account). The acknowledgement is reflected by having the principal investigator list their name as the responsible party and indicate that they were designated as the responsible party by the sponsor.

If and when a designated principal investigator no longer meets or is no longer able to meet all of the requirements of a responsible party, 42 CFR 11.4(c)(3) outlines the mechanisms by which, if the withdrawal of such designation occurs, the sponsor would become the responsible party. This might occur if, for example, a principal investigator dies, retires, changes jobs, or turns control of the clinical trial data over to the sponsor.

Who is the responsible party for a pediatric postmarket surveillance of a device product that is not a clinical trial?

For a pediatric postmarket surveillance of a device product that is not a clinical trial, the responsible party would be considered the entity FDA, under section 522 of the FD&C Act, orders to conduct the pediatric postmarket surveillance of a device product. [42 CFR 11.4(c), 11.10(a); 81 FR 65003]

This page last reviewed in October 2017