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A clinical test is biomedical research (or clinical research) organised and practiced on human beings in view to developing biological and medical knowledge. Clinical research is conducted after research in the laboratory and on animals (known as the preclinical phase) to assess the activity of a product, its toxicity and determine its benefit/risk ratio.
Clinical tests are used to evaluate and determine the safety of use (phase I), the fate of the product in the organism and confirm the therapeutic efficiency of the molecule for a given disease (phases II and III). They are performed for new drugs and on new ways of using a known treatment, either alone or in combination.
Clinical research is subject to strict regulations and international laws. The objective is to protect patients during and after the development of a drug and its launching on the market.
It also concerns medical devices (instruments, apparatus, equipment and software, intended by their manufacturers for use on human beings, in particular for diagnostics, prevention, control, treatment, and for reducing the effects of a disease or injury).