Since our founding in 1921, Cleveland Clinic has been a leading medical innovator. Our discoveries have saved millions of patients’ lives, and many are standard practice in medicine today.

Industry collaborations with medical schools, hospitals and biomedical research institutions are critical to furthering research efforts and accelerating innovative patient care.

Furthering Patient Care

Biotechnology companies require physician investigators and patient participants in clinical trials to gain government approval of new products. Even before a product is ready for a clinical trial, development of breakthrough medicines and new medical procedures requires participation and input from practicing physicians and experienced scientific researchers.

Cleveland Clinic believes that medical innovation significantly benefits patient care. At the same time, we recognize that innovation must be managed with extraordinary sensitivity and transparency. We are fully committed to a process that ensures integrity in innovation and places the interests of our patients first.

Protection for Patients Enrolled in Clinical Trials

All research involving human subjects at Cleveland Clinic is submitted to Cleveland Clinic’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), a committee of physicians, ethicists, statisticians, community advocates and others whose objective is to ensure that a clinical trial is ethical and the rights of study participants are protected.

Commitment of Our Physicians

Cleveland Clinic maintains comprehensive conflict of interest policies and procedures for staff physicians and other employees that are designed to ensure that all potential conflicts are clearly visible, promptly considered and properly addressed by Cleveland Clinic officials. Our policies require our staff physicians to regularly disclose and update interests that may pose a conflict.

These interests are then formally reviewed by one or more authorities within Cleveland Clinic, such as the IRB, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Professional Staff Conflict of Interest Committee and the Trustee Conflict of Interest Committee. Cleveland Clinic policies and procedures also govern disclosure of interests to research subjects and the scientific community, as well as consulting, advisory and other financial relationships between staff physicians and healthcare companies. As part of Cleveland Clinic’s annual disclosure process, all staff physicians pledge compliance with our conflict of interest policies.

Commitment of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors promotes a culture of awareness and sensitivity at all levels to potential conflicts of interest, recognizing that it is ultimately responsible for maintaining and preserving a balance between innovation and transparency.

The Conflict of Interest and Managing Innovations Committee of the Board of Directors oversees conflict of interest matters at Cleveland Clinic, which includes having oversight of the Professional Staff Innovation Management and Conflict of Interest Committee. Directors themselves also comply with a comprehensive conflict of interest policy that requires periodic disclosure and updating of interests that may pose a conflict, and review of disclosures by the Board Conflict of Interest Committee.

CCF Innovations

CCF Innovations was founded in 2000 to promote innovation and expand treatment of the sick through the deployment of Cleveland Clinic technology. CCF Innovations commercializes new technologies developed at Cleveland Clinic, translating emerging therapies, devices and diagnostics into beneficial medical products through spin-off companies, licenses and equity partnerships. Under Cleveland Clinic conflict of interest policies, these transactions are subject to review in advance by independent physician and trustee conflict of interest committees to ensure that they are ethical and consistent with Cleveland Clinic policies and legal requirements.

In addition, use of these products in clinical trials is subject to IRB approval. Use of these medical products by Cleveland Clinic once they are commercialized is also subject to conflict of interest review.

Learn more about innovation at Cleveland Clinic.