More than 150 medical research institutions have signed an agreement designed to harmonize and streamline the institutional review process for multisite studies, the National Institutes of Health announced yesterday. The SMART IRB agreement serves as a model to help investigators adhere to a new NIH policy for multisite studies funded by the agency. “This milestone is a giant step toward a nationwide model for greater efficiency in IRB review, which is critical to getting more treatments to more patients more quickly,” said Christopher Austin, M.D., director of NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.