News Release Article from  Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Archived - Strengthening clinical trials - New Coordinating Centre to help attract research investment in Canada

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April 24, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Office of the Minister of Health

The Government of Canada today announced the creation of the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre (CCTCC) – a collaborative effort of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), and the merged organizations of the Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations and the Canadian Healthcare Association (ACAHO/CHA). The CCTCC will be housed at the offices of the Health Charities Coalition of Canada, in Ottawa.

Clinical trials involve testing new therapies with patients. They are a critical step toward bringing new medicines, effective vaccines, and innovative medical devices safely to market. They can result in better medical treatments, better quality of life, cost savings to Canada's health system, new jobs, and revenue for the Canadian economy. Most importantly, clinical trials have the potential to relieve pain and suffering, and to reverse or halt the effects of disease or disability for Canadian patients.

The CCTCC will improve the coordination of clinical trial activities and streamline regulatory processes for companies and researchers. This will be achieved by implementing the recommendations produced by an extensive stakeholder consultation. Those recommendations were summarized in the report To Your Health and Prosperity – An Action Plan to Help Attract More Clinical Trials to Canada [ PDF (277 KB) ].

The Government of Canada also announced the appointment of Belinda Vandersluis as the organization's Director of Implementation. Ms. Vandersluis brings to the CCTCC senior leadership experience in clinical trials research administration, an understanding of the complexities of conducting clinical trials in Canada and internationally, and longstanding ties to the clinical trials community.

Quick Facts

  • Clinical trials are a key element of Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR).
  • SPOR is a national coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners (patient advocates, provincial health authorities, academic health centres, charities, philanthropic organizations, pharmaceutical sector) dedicated to the integration of research into care.
  • SPOR is about ensuring that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time.


"Clinical trials save lives and improve quality of life for Canadians. Clinical trials are also an important economic engine for Canada. With the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre, we will seek to attract more clinical trials to Canada, for the benefit of our economy and, most importantly, the benefit of Canadian patients."
- Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

"Carefully conducted clinical trials are the most effective way to find treatments that work for patients. Many clinical trials are conducted to determine whether a new drug or device is safe for people to use. Trials are also used to compare existing treatments to determine which is more effective. In addition, they can teach us how best to use a treatment for a specific population, such as with children or the elderly. CIHR is pleased to support the CCTCC and its efforts to strengthen the clinical trials environment in Canada – a key element of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research."
- Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"The innovative pharmaceutical industry plays a critical role in the discovery and development of medicines and vaccines that improve and saves human lives. It is our goal, through this partnership, to build Canada's position as a leader in clinical research, to create jobs and increase research and development investments in Canada for the benefit of all Canadians."
- Russell Williams, President, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

"Canada's reputation for excellence in safe and ethical clinical trials has led to many world first medical discoveries and innovations, attracted world leading researchers, and helped many patients. The Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre is intended to contribute to our collective success by streamlining clinical trial operations. The newly merged ACAHO-CHA is pleased to be part of this important endeavour."
- Bill Tholl, President and CEO, Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations and the Canadian Healthcare Association

"I'm honoured to be involved with the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre. I've spent most of my career working in the clinical trials field and relish the opportunity to contribute to the mission of this important national initiative to enhance Canada's health and economy by bringing more clinical trials to Canada. Thanks to the generous support of CIHR, Rx&D, and ACAHO/CHA, we are poised to continue to develop Canada's outstanding global reputation as the place to conduct clinical trials."
- Belinda Vandersluis, Director of Implementation, Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre

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Michael Bolkenius
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,200 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

Rx&D is the association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents the men and women working for more than 50 member companies which invest more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy, contributing over $3 billion to the Canadian economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

The Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations and the Canadian Healthcare Association merged in January 2014, to form a new, national health organization. Its focus is to advance an integrated, sustainable, and accountable health system that provides Canadians with world-leading health services, and to improve the health of Canadians through an evidence-based and innovative health system.

The Health Charities Coalition of Canada, a member based organization, is dedicated to advocating for sound public policy on health issues and promoting the highest quality health research. HCCC strives for excellence in health policy and seeks to ensure that the federal government and policy makers look to the Coalition and its members for timely advice and leadership on major health issues of concern to Canadians; and that they recognize the competence, commitment and contributions of health charities in improving the health and well-being of Canadians.

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