Priorities for Transforming the Clinical Trials Environment: Ontario’s Ambition to Accelerate Timely Access to Trials and New Therapies

New position paper from Ontario’s Leadership Table for Clinical Trials

Ontario leads the country in clinical trials activity and is ranked #1 in active clinical trials per capita among G7 nations. But there is more we can do to strengthen our status as a competitive jurisdiction internationally, and the province’s hospital and industry leaders have come together to do just that by forming the Ontario Leadership Table for Clinical Trials.

The Ontario Leadership Table is comprised of executive leaders from research-intensive hospitals in Ontario and world-leading pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials in Ontario. The additional engagement of three provincial ministries (Colleges and Universities, Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Health) as observers on the Ontario Leadership Table represents the holistic collaboration across these stakeholders.

The Ontario Leadership Table is focused on bringing more clinical trial opportunities to Ontario and new therapies to patients as quickly as possible by shortening clinical trial start-up times and reducing the effort required to execute the clinical trial start-up process. As a first step, the Ontario Leadership Table published a new position paper outlining their top priorities for transformative change in the clinical trials environment.

For their top priority, members of the Ontario Leadership Table have set an ambitious and global leading target of 45 days for new study activations in sites in Ontario to help address the issue of timely access to clinical trials. To achieve this goal, Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO), in collaboration with the Ontario Leadership Table will improve CTO’s QuickSTART program which was originally conceived to reduce clinical trial activation times through enhanced transparency, process efficiencies, defined timelines, and a bespoke digital platform.

Other priorities include finding collaborative solutions to improve trial recruitment, expand health data access, and improve access to therapies and trials in rare diseases. Over the next year, the Ontario Leadership Table will guide and inform strategies to support educating and advocating for strategic policies and investments that will create the environment necessary to maintain a world-class environment for clinical trials conduct in the province.

Click here to read the full position paper.

Current membership of the Ontario Leadership Table for Clinical Trials:

AbbVieChristina Pelizon, Country Medical Director, AbbVie
AstraZeneca CanadaKiersten Combs, President, AstraZeneca Canada
Bayer Inc.Shurjeel Choudhri, Senior Vice President and Head, Medical and Scientific Affairs, Bayer Inc.
Bristol Myers SquibbElaine Phillips, General Manager, Bristol Myers Squibb
Janssen Inc CanadaEbele Ola, Vice-President, Medical Affairs, Janssen Inc Canada
Merck CanadaMarwan Akar, President and Managing Director, Merck Canada
Pfizer CanadaVratislav Hadrava, Vice President & Medical Director, Pfizer Canada
Roche CanadaBrigitte Nolet, President and CEO, Roche Canada
SanofiStephanie Veyrun-Manetti, General Manager Specialty Care and Canada Country Lead, Sanofi
Takeda Canada  Jefferson Tea, Vice President Medical & Scientific Affairs, Takeda Canada
Eli Lilly Canada 
Children’s Hospital of Eastern OntarioJason Berman, CEO and Scientific Director, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, and Vice-President, Research, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Hamilton Health SciencesMarc Jeschke, Vice President Research and Chief Scientific Officer, Hamilton Health Sciences
Hospital for Sick ChildrenPadmaja Subbarao, Associate Chief, Clinical Research, Hospital for Sick Children
Kingston General Health Research InstituteSteven Smith, President & CEO, Kingston General Health Research Institute, and Vice President, Health Sciences Research, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Lawson Health Research InstituteDavid Hill, Scientific Director, Lawson Health Research Institute and Integrated Vice President, Research, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Ontario Hospital AssociationMelissa Prokopy, Vice President, Policy and Advocacy, Ontario Hospital Association
Ottawa HospitalDuncan Stewart, CEO & Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Vice-President, Research, The Ottawa Hospital
Sinai HealthAnne-Claude Gingras, Director, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and VP Research, Sinai Health
Sunnybrook Health Sciences CentreKullervo Hynynen, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Unity Health TorontoOri Rotstein, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Unity Health Toronto
University Health NetworkBrad Wouters (Chair), Executive Vice-President, Science and Research, University Health Network

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