Health researchers test-drive the promising new treatments of the future with support from the Government

News release

July 24, 2018 – Toronto, ON – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canadians face a range of persistent health conditions, from diabetes and mental illness to childhood obesity. These diseases pose a serious challenge to patients and to the Canadian health care system, and new solutions are needed. Promising advances may soon be close at hand thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada and a number of provincial and international partners and research institutions that will allow scientists to test-drive new ways to treat disease and improve patient care to see if they work in the real world.

Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced an investment from the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, of $9.3 million while visiting St. Michael’s Hospital, where three of the research projects will be based.

The program, known as the Innovative Clinical Trials Initiative, will include additional funding of $13.3 million from partners, for a total investment of $22.6 million.

The investment will provide support over the next four years to seven research projects tackling a range of health issues that matter to Canadians:

  • Reducing the incidence of diabetic foot ulcers – one of the most common and feared side-effects of diabetes, which, if left untreated, can lead to amputations;
  • Reducing the number of unnecessary x-rays and pre-operative tests administered to patients;
  • Supporting doctors to improve opioid- and antibiotic-prescribing practices;
  • Reducing childhood obesity by re-examining the consumption of low-fat versus whole milk;
  • Improving care and outcomes for patients admitted to intensive care units;
  • Helping patients with multiple complex conditions navigate the health care system; and
  • Improving care and recovery for young adults experiencing their first episodes of psychosis, such as schizophrenia.

This research is made possible by the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), a series of funding partnerships between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), provinces and territories, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions, and health charities. At its core, SPOR is about providing the evidence needed to inform the development of health policies and improve the health care system for patients.


“Our Government proudly supports science because it has the power to change lives. The projects we are investing in today bring the promise of new treatments and improved quality of life for people with diabetes and mental illness, new insights into tackling childhood obesity, and new tools for health professionals to make the health care system more sustainable and work better for patients.”
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“Congratulations to the research teams receiving funding, and thank you for your hard work and commitment to improving the health of Canadians. Health research is truly one of the most important and sound investments we can make as a nation because it advances the sustainability of our cherished health care system and, most importantly, saves lives.”
- Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South

Quick facts

  • Innovative clinical trials are those that use alternatives to traditional randomized controlled trials, which, while they are considered the gold standard in health research, are time consuming and costly, and are not always applicable.

  • Innovative clinical trials create the research evidence needed to bring new medicines, therapies, and medical devices safety to market quickly and economically, so that all Canadians can benefit from the best health care.

  • To date, the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, has invested $32 million in innovative clinical trials research, and this latest round of funding builds on this strong research base.

  • Part of what makes these research projects unique is the high level of patient engagement in their design and delivery.

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Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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