Harper Government invests in clinical research

OTTAWA, March 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today a renewed partnership between the Government of Canada and Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) to strengthen clinical research in Canada.

"Our Government is proud to support research that will deliver better treatments and better care for Canadians," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This partnership will enhance Canada's reputation as world-class centre for clinical research and ensure new findings are applied to bed side care, for patients."

The partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Rx&D seeks to strengthen Canada's position as a preferred location to conduct clinical research. The partnership will play a key role in the implementation of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, a national initiative to ensure better translation of research findings into clinical practice. Minister Aglukkaq announced the strategy last August - and it will result in better alignment of research efforts with patients needs.

Through this partnership, CIHR and Rx&D member companies will fund clinical research across Canada through a competitive, peer-reviewed process and to improve the coordination of research activities. Rx&D member companies have set an objective to match CIHR clinical research commitments dollar-for-dollar.

Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR, added "This partnership will better integrate health research and health care. By bringing together researchers and industry, this partnership will accelerate the development of new clinical practices and health products which will have a direct impact on treatment and services provided to patients."

Over the last ten years, CIHR and Rx&D have partnered on a collaborative research funding program. This program has supported a wide range of health research projects at universities and hospitals across Canada. They have led to significant research discoveries making a difference in patients' lives today.

"The innovative pharmaceutical industry plays a critical role in the discovery and development of medicines and vaccines that improve and save lives," said Russell Williams, President of Rx&D.  "It is our goal, through this partnership, to outpace global competition and to build Canada's position as a leader in clinical research, to create jobs and increase R&D investments in Canada for the benefit of all Canadians."

About CIHR
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 Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

About Rx&D
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 15,000 men and women working for 50 member companies and invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

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Renewal of CIHR/Rx&D Collaborative Research Program

Through the renewed collaborative agreement, CIHR is doubling its investments of up to $150 million, with a complementary objective from Rx&D members to match this contribution dollar for dollar over the next five years. Via the CIHR/Rx&D Collaborative Research Program, both organizations will optimize their research efforts. The partnered program will lead to new clinical practices, innovative health policies and better health care for all Canadians.

CIHR and Rx&D share the vision that Canada has a vibrant environment for conducting internationally competitive research and accelerating the commercialization of new knowledge for the benefits of Canadians and others around the world. Canada's competitiveness depends on the steady entry of highly skilled graduates into the many areas of health research, such as clinical research. One of the main goals of this agreement will be to develop and implement mechanisms to support, train, recruit and retain outstanding researchers such as clinical investigators, biostatisticians, methodologists, epidemiologists, health economists, and technicians.

Additionally, this agreement will help solidify Canada's clinical research environment by facilitating increased and sustained investments and by bringing key partners together to identify and pursue new research opportunities. It will enhance coordination at the national, provincial and regional levels and simultaneously reduce barriers and red tape for clinical researchers.

The goals of the agreement are to:

  • improve the coordination of key clinical research activities;
  • develop and implement mechanisms to effectively support, train, recruit and retain outstanding researchers; and
  • catalyze clinical research and research training.

This partnership will align with the national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research led by CIHR. For more information about the Strategy, visit: www.cihr.gc.ca/e/41204.html

Image with caption: "The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today a renewed partnership between the Government of Canada and Rx&D to strengthen clinical research in Canada. Minister Aglukkaq made the announcement at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. She is seen here visiting the Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre. (CNW Group/Canadian Institutes of Health Research)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120315_C4695_PHOTO_EN_11198.jpg

SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

Cailin Rodgers, Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health 613-957-0200
David Coulombe, Media Relations, CIHR, 613-941-4563, email: david.coulombe@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
Christine Choury, Media Relations, Rx&D, 613-236-0455 ext. 831, email:

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