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National COVID-19 clinical trials network, led by Dr. Rob Fowler, receives $6M in federal funding

January 20, 2021

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The federal government is investing $6M, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), to establish the Canadian Network of COVID-19 Clinical Trials Networks to support Canada’s research response to the global pandemic. The pan-Canadian network will be led by the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG) under the direction of CCCTG Chair Dr. Rob Fowler, who is also a principal investigator on the network and a senior scientist and critical care physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The COVID-19 trials network will support and expand existing national and international clinical trial networks to coordinate research on interventions to prevent, detect, manage, and treat COVID-19.

In announcing the grant today, federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu, said: “The successful clinical trials network will increase the availability of high-quality and real-time evidence and build capacity to better prevent, detect, treat and manage COVID-19 at the national and international levels. We continue to take unprecedented action to protect the health and safety of Canadians during this pandemic by supporting collaborative research that will fast-track Canada’s COVID-19 response.”

The network is supported by the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group and includes a growing list of more than 40 other Canadian networks, institutions and groups from across the country.

“The network will help to support, coordinate and amplify existing research trials, catalyze new research trials, and help to improve the speed that research trials can be offered to Canadians,” says Dr. Rob Fowler. “This network will also lay the groundwork for a perpetual and durable pan-Canadian research trial platform, to help generate new treatments now for COVID, future infectious disease threats and causes of severe illness.”

Specifically, the clinical trials network will engage citizens and patients, help set research priorities involving the public and private sectors, facilitate collaboration and resource sharing, reduce duplication of efforts, and harmonize clinical trial procedures.

With its diverse and inclusive partnership, the network will not only mobilize knowledge and maximize research impact, but also build research capacity and better prepare Canadians for future pandemics. This new funding from CIHR will allow researchers to provide evidence to decision-makers across the country and internationally.

Read the CIHR news release »

Read the backgrounder on the Canadian Network of COVID-19 Clinical Trials Networks from CIHR »