Ontario’s Clinical Trial Success in 2019

Ontario is among the top ten largest clinical trials jurisdictions in North America, and is home to Canada’s largest concentration of hospitals, research institutes, contract research organizations and trial sites. Ontario’s clinical trials community continues to capitalize on our province’s thriving health and life sciences environment to attract industry investment and become a preferred destination for clinical trials.

Year after year, we see new medical breakthroughs and investments to test new therapies and technologies that are supporting the health of Ontarians and the economy. 2019 was no exception, with a number of success stories worth celebrating. 

Notable Industry Investments

2019 proved to be a banner year for advancing oncology therapies, with significant industry investments in Ontario-based companies, including these three examples:

  • Triphase Accelerator, a Toronto-based drug development company, struck a collaborative deal with Celegne Corportation worth nearly $1 Billion. The focus of the collaboration will be on a pre-clinical therapeutic developed by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) for the treatment of leukemia and other blood cancers.
  • Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a Hamilton-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, raised $105 Million in Series B financing for the development of targeted alpha-particle radiotherapeutics for treating cancer.
  • Synaptive Medical Inc., a Toronto-medical device and technology company, and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre created a partnership to foster safer outcomes for Canadians with Image-guided Therapy Technologies that led to an investment of up to $49 million from Canada’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Major Clinical Trial Successes

Clinical trials improve the health and quality of life of Ontarians by advancing and testing the safety and efficacy of new treatments, devices and enhanced diagnostic tools. This year, Ontario saw a number of major clinical trial successes, including these three examples:

  • A landmark clinical trial at UHN, which proved that fibrinogen concentrate is effective and beneficial to patient welfare, has created a safer blood supply system in Canada. The trial was led by Dr. Keyvan Karkouti, Chief of Anesthesia at Toronto General Hospital, and Dr. Jeannie Callum, Director of Transfusion Medicine and Tissue Banks at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The results of the multicentre, randomized clinical trial conducted at 11 hospitals across Canada was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
  • The Ottawa Hospital developed an approach for experimental CAR-T cancer treatment, and is leading the way nationally in testing it in a clinical trial. Researchers in Ottawa, including Dr. Manoj Lalu and Dr. Dean Fergusson, worked to embed patients with lived experience in the clinical trial design, to ensure success.
  • A multi-centre registry trial, led by researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute, is testing the use of a new imaging tracer for early detection of recurrent prostate cancer. The Trial will give 1,500 Ontario patients access to a new type of imaging and will assess the impact on patient care.

Stay tuned for more Ontario clinical trials success stories here on the CTO blog. Have suggestions for a story? Contact us at info@ctontario.ca.

The Clinical Trial Community’s Dedication to Success

These investments and successes are owed to the clinical trial community’s shared vision of a stronger clinical trials environment. As we celebrate these achievements and the many others, CTO, together with the clinical trials community, is working hard to continue streamlining clinical trials processes, engaging with patients and members of the public to improve trial conduct, and promoting our province’s advantages and assets to attract more clinical trials to Ontario.

Discover more stories on how Ontario’s clinical trials community, with CTO, helped capitalize on Ontario’s advantage to improve the environment for clinical trials in 2018-2019. Read CTO’s Annual Report here.

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