About clinical research studies

What are clinical research studies?

The aim of clinical research is to help people live longer, healthier lives. To achieve this, researchers develop medications to improve the treatment and prevention of diseases. Testing of investigational medications takes place in clinical research studies.

During a clinical research study, scientists find out whether an investigational medication:

  • Is safe to take
  • Has any side effects
  • Works better than other medications
  • Can make you feel better

Phases of clinical research studies

There are four steps in the clinical research process, called ‘phases’. Each phase has a different purpose to help researchers answer different questions.¬†Early phase studies may look at whether the investigational medication is well tolerated or causes side effects. Later phase studies may compare the investigational medication with other treatments already approved for the same purpose.

When the investigational medication has passed three phases, it may be ready to be submitted for approval. Even if the medication is approved for use, it still needs to be monitored. During this final fourth phase, researchers test how well the medication works over a longer period. 

The STARS Study is in Phase 3.

Who is involved in clinical research studies?

Clinical research studies take place in clinics, hospitals or surgeries. During a study, you will be supported by a dedicated team of researchers, doctors and nurses. Each member of the study staff is committed to your health and well-being.

Clinical research studies may give you access to possible future treatments.