Government of Canada strengthens Canada’s clinical trials environment

News release

Clinical Trials Fund will lead to improved treatments for all Canadians

June 22, 2022 — Ottawa, Ontario — Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Clinical trials are essential scientific studies that evaluate the safety, effectiveness, and outcomes of health interventions such as vaccines and treatments used across Canada to protect Canadians from diseases. The Government of Canada is working to reinforce the clinical trials environment so that we can improve health outcomes for Canadians while ensuring Canada is well-positioned to respond to future pandemics and other health priorities.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, officially launched the Clinical Trials Fund (CTF), supported by a Budget 2021 investment of $250 million over three years for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). As an integral component of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, the CTF will strengthen the clinical trials infrastructure in Canada and support the training of new clinical researchers.

Through the CTF, CIHR will reinforce the clinical trials ecosystem by investing in three funding streams:

  • The Pan-Canadian Clinical Trials Consortium will create a new platform to strengthen coordination between domestic and international clinical trial networks. This will serve to advance equitable access to clinical trials, build capacity, and improve their impact.
  • The Clinical Trials Training Platforms will improve recruitment, training, and mentoring strategies to better position the next generation of clinical trial researchers within the biomanufacturing sector.
  • Clinical Trials Projects will support the clinical trials pipeline, from discovery to implementation, through operating grants targeting priority research areas.

By investing in these streams, researchers across the country will conduct all stages of clinical trials to develop new vaccines, therapeutics, and other interventions, addressing a broad range of health conditions. This will ensure that Canada can solve current and future health challenges as well as remain globally recognized for the quality and expertise of its research clinicians.

Quotes

“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all Canadians by ensuring we have the best available treatments. The Clinical Trials Fund will strengthen Canada’s expertise in clinical research and enable researchers across the country to move their discoveries into clinical phases of development. This will ensure that Canada remains well positioned to respond to future pandemics or other health emergencies.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“The health and safety of Canadians have always been our top priority. For Canadian researchers to bring their ideas from discovery to market, they need the right tools and support to undertake their innovative work. The Clinical Trials Fund will be critical to making more life-saving vaccines, therapeutics and other medicines, right here in Canada. This fund will also support the continued development and growth of Canada’s vibrant life sciences industry and help us be better prepare for future health crises.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canada is globally recognized for its expertise in clinical research. The CTF will strengthen Canada’s existing scientific excellence and support equitable access to clinical trials. This investment will make an important contribution to fulfilling CIHR’s vision for a healthier future and the best health for all.”

Dr. Michael J. Strong
President
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Quick facts

  • Clinical trials are studies that evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutics, and other health interventions. Data from clinical trials can be used to support the approval of drugs for Canadians or to compare different medicines or treatments. The data can also help us determine which treatments are best for specific populations.

  • The Government of Canada has invested $250 million through CIHR to create the Clinical Trials Fund as part of a $2.2 billion investment in Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, which aims to boost the biomanufacturing and life science sector and protect Canadians against future pandemics and health emergencies.

  • The CTF has three funding streams:

    • Pan-Canadian Clinical Trials Consortium to better coordinate clinical trials in Canada and strengthen Canadian participation in international clinical trials.
    • Clinical Trials Training Platforms to attract and develop high-caliber trainees, researchers, and healthcare professionals and better position the next generation of clinical trials researchers within the biomanufacturing sector.
    • Clinical Trials Projects to support an array of clinical trials phases, designs, and objectives across a broad range of health research areas.
  • CIHR has launched the first funding opportunities in each these streams. The results of these funding opportunities will be released in Fall 2022.

Associated links

Contacts

Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

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