Donors Support Leads To New Clinical Trials

Today, the University of Manitoba announced $8.4 million in new research funding provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Research Manitoba, and you, the Children’s Hospital Foundation donor in partnership with other institutions across Canada.

The Innovation in Pediatric Clinical Trials (IPCT) project will address challenges specific to conducting clinical trials for children, including the relative infrequency of many childhood illnesses and difficulties with recruitment at any one site. It will explore new methods of study design and will lay the groundwork for KidsCAN – a Canadian coordinating and advisory infrastructure network to ensure best therapies for children. The ultimate goal of IPCT is to make trials for children better and more effective and to provide doctors with a more accurate and robust database of information for prescribing medication to children.

Funding for the project came via the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Networks, an initiative launched by CIHR in 2011 to strengthen support for clinical trials, intervention studies, and research comparing the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of existing treatment options. SPOR Networks are national collaborative research networks involving researchers, patients, policymakers, academic health centres, health charities, and other stakeholders across multiple provinces and territories. A unique component of SPOR is that it engages patients as partners in the research process, to ensure that the right patient receives the right intervention at the right time.

“Our government is committed to encouraging SPOR networks by making certain that they receive the funding necessary to continue the important work they’re doing,” said Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Status of Women. “These national collaborative research networks including researchers, patients, policymakers, academic health centres, and health charities, are vital to ensuring the translation of research findings into patient care and health care policy more quickly and efficiently – something that benefits all Canadians.”

Researchers in the IPCT project will conduct four pediatric trials at six pediatric recruitment sites at emergency departments across Canada, in the areas of gastroenteritis, bronchiolitis, and pain management. The project will be led by Dr. Terry Klassen, CEO and Scientific Director at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Head of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba.

“I’m thrilled that the investment today from CIHR, Research Manitoba and Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba will contribute to better and safer treatments for children in the areas of gastroenteritis, bronchiolitis and pain management at emergency departments nationwide,” said Dr. Klassen.  “I’m also very proud and excited that the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba will lead our collaborators across the country in this important research, using very innovative and cutting-edge randomized controlled trial methodology.”

The estimated total budget for the IPCT project is $8.4 million, from nine funding partners:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research – $3,000,000

Research Manitoba – $600,000

Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (through the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba) – $600,000

Women and Children’s Health Research Institute – $800,000

Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute – $600,000

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Inc. – $600,000

Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) – $800,000

Department of Paediatrics, Western University – $804,000

CHU Sainte-Justine – $600,000

“By working together and making joint investments in this type of important research we are helping our research institutions create innovative solutions that will help people across this province and beyond,” said Cliff Cullen, Manitoba’s Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade. “We are pleased to support the Innovation in Pediatric Clinical Trials Project. Thanks to everyone involved for your commitment to children’s health and making the clinical trials process easier, less expensive and more informative for health professionals on the front line.”

“All advances in health care come because of research,” stated Lawrence Prout, President & CEO, Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. “Our donors put their confidence in our Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba with their initial seed money for this endeavour. We are excited that this collaborative work across Canada will not only save the lives of sick and injured here, but also around the world.”

It’s an exciting time for the future of children’s health and you helped make this step happen.