New Tools Improve Access to Kidney, Diabetes and Liver Clinical Trial Data

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- New search tools developed by RTI International will make it easier for scientists and others to access data from clinical trials on diabetes and liver, kidney and digestive disorders.

The set of five query tools were developed over three years and recently added to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Central Data Repository. The repository is an online resource that catalogues data and supporting information from ongoing and completed studies. Funding to develop the new tools came from the $10.4 billion provided to National Institutes of Health through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

The repository, available at, warehouses study information, biospecimens and findings of clinical studies sponsored by the NIDDK, and makes electronic datasets from these clinical studies available to the research community.

“The Central Data Repository was established to increase the impact of valuable data and biospecimens by making them accessible to more scientists,” said Phil Cooley, director of the NIDDK Central Data Repository at RTI. “The addition of these query tools is a major step forward and should lead to increased use of this valuable resource.”

The newly developed, easy-to-use tools allow users to search the contents of the repository by disease, study type, treatment or keyword to easily identify a set of potential studies of interest.

Depending on individual needs, users can filter results and access information about the most relevant studies, including forms, manuals, protocols, data dictionary and study background. For example, one of the tools, the variable summary tool, will allow users to investigate subject frequency tables and compute summary statistical reports for key variables of interest. The reports provide a view of demographic and clinical characteristics.

“Developing the tools was a complicated task, but we are pleased to have a new, more user-friendly version of the Central Data Repository,” said Rebekah Rasooly, who oversees the repository for the NIDDK. “It’s another example of well-spent Recovery Act funds, which allowed us to  widen and light the path leading researchers to the tremendous amount of useful data and samples that we have to offer.”

Developed by RTI and launched in 2003, NIDDK’s Central Data Repository was established to increase the impact of current and previously funded NIDDK studies by making data and samples available to the broader scientific community. The repository enables scientists not involved in the original study to test new hypotheses without new data or biospecimen collection and provides the opportunity to pool data across several studies to increase the power of statistical analyses.

The development of search tools described in this release was funded by NIDDK through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act under contract number HHSN267200800016C. To track the progress of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services activities funded through the Recovery Act, visit To track all federal funds provided through the Recovery Act, visit

The contents of this news release are the sole responsibility of RTI and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • RTI International has developed five search tools to improve access to data from clinical trials on diabetes and liver, kidney and digestive disorders
  • The tools were added to the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases Central Data Repository
  • The repository is an online resource that catalogues data from ongoing and completed studies