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The Metropolitano Research Institute (MRI) is the biomedical research institute of the Hospital Metropolitano.

It was founded in January 2020 with the objective of conducting and producing high-quality and state-of-the-art biomedical research, based on national and international scientific studies while safeguarding the well-being of the patient. In this way, it becomes the first hospital center in the country to have a research center of this type.

The work carried out at the MRI aims to contribute to the advancement of biomedical research and the development of medicine in the country, which puts us at the forefront of the life sciences sector and innovation for the benefit of patients.

Biomedical Investigations

Biomedical research is a broad area of science that seeks to generate new knowledge in order to understand, prevent, and treat diseases. This general field of research includes many areas of life sciences.

Such research provides important knowledge such as epidemiology, which allows us to understand how a disease behaves and how it affects public health. Thus, this translates into generating knowledge to make decisions and influence public policy.

At the MRI, we focus on the area of biomedical research that aims to determine the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, devices, or diagnostic products, which is known as clinical research. These are research studies that are conducted under close medical supervision, in compliance with high international ethical and scientific standards.

Clinical research at the MRI: what you need to know

Clinical research is a vital component in the study of diseases. Many of the most effective treatments that exist today were created based on the results of this type of research.

The MRI is an initiative to give access to patients with diseases such as cancer, pediatric or infectious diseases to clinical research programs. These studies are developed with groups of patients who volunteer to participate in them and test the effectiveness of a new medication, treatment, procedure or medical device, under constant medical supervision and monitoring. Such participation is free and voluntary.

Phases of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials require different phases or stages. Generally, they are developed in four phases, each designed with the objective of answering various unknowns until proving whether the drug, treatment, procedure, or device is really safe and effective.

  • Phase 1: Safety
  • Phase 2: Efficacy
  • Phase 3: Comparison
  • Phase 4: Long-term safety

In the MRI, most research is addressed from phase 2 or phase 3, where the results of the initial stages are used to build the following stages. Due to their complexity, some investigations can take between 3 to 5 years to fully develop. Depending on the requirements of each study, in some cases, they can be extended up to 10 years.


Each investigation has its own "characteristics" regarding the profile that participants must have, and there are different inclusion or exclusion criteria. Generally, a population as similar as possible is sought for the standardization of results.

To choose a patient, a screening is performed with certain clinical evaluations to demonstrate that the patient is in the optimal condition required and thus not put at risk.

Likewise, participating in clinical trials may involve undergoing diagnostic tests, treatments, procedures, doctor visits, or hospital stays. In addition to changes in diet, exercise, or other aspects of their daily life, depending on the type of study in which they participate.

The MRI and the Metropolitan Hospital are committed to maintaining excellence and empathy in care throughout the process. Before starting, participants will be provided with all necessary information about the study for their confidence and safety, and likewise during all phases of the process.

Benefits of Clinical Trials

  • Being part of a clinical trial gives participants the opportunity to try a new drug, treatment, procedure, or medical device that is not available outside of the study.
  • If the tested treatment turns out to be safer and more effective than standard care, participants may be among the first to benefit from it. Likewise, participants have close and constant monitoring and care from health professionals throughout the study.
  • Advances in research can help expand treatment options for other people in the future with the same disease.

Risks of Clinical Trials

  • New interventions studied in a clinical trial may not be as effective and safe as standard treatments and care.
  • In the early stages of research, safety, efficacy, and side effects are still being studied.
  • The new intervention may have unknown side effects or risks that conventional treatments do not have.

Protection and Safety for Patients

The research conducted at the MRI adheres to rigorous worldwide scientific and ethical standards. Due to the experimental nature of the studies, a regulatory framework and strict measures are followed to protect the safety of the participants.

In Costa Rica, research is carried out under the Biomedical Research Regulatory Law (Law 9234). This regulates the responsibilities, care for the patient, ethical bases, follow-up, and safety.

In all clinical trials, there is informed consent in accordance with national regulations so that patients can have the peace of mind that the entire research process is carried out under regulated standards and confidentiality.

All clinical research must first go through a thorough review process, which ensures not only scientific validity but also compliance with ethical standards. This review process is carried out by the Scientific Ethics Committees, which are completely independent bodies from the research. In Costa Rica, these Committees must be accredited by the National Council for Health Research, which is the first national regulatory entity and is attached to the Ministry of Health.

Likewise, to develop clinical trials in the most ethical, safe, and professional way possible, researchers must go through a strict accreditation process by CONIS.

Would you like to participate in this type of research for the benefit of human health?

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Contract Management Organization

The MRI is accredited by the National Health Council of the Ministry of Health as a Contract Management Organization. This accreditation allows for conducting research at the San José and Lindora sites of the Hospital Metropolitano.

Our research center integrates various services in one place, which reflects in agility, safety, reduced response time, and cost reduction.

What services does the MRI offer as a Contract Management Organization?

Some of the services that the MRI offers are infrastructure, human resources, facilities for conducting research, administrative support, commercial partnerships, development of protocols, patient recruitment (customized services to reach the appropriate population), clinical monitoring, and reporting and publication of research.

What research model does the MRI offer?

Benefits of the MRI research model:

  • Number of investigators and physicians, their experience and trajectory.
  • Coordination of the study's viability, selection of the site, collection of regulations and ethics, and investigator training.
  • Data extraction to identify patients for studies based on study characteristics, enrollment objectives, and timelines.
  • Research institute within a hospital center that has facilities, medical personnel, and patient facilities.
  • National and international regulatory and protocol support.

The Metropolitano Research Institute offers quality, flexibility, and innovation to help enhance and accelerate the development of your medication, treatment, procedure, or medical device.