The Government of Canada launches a request for research proposals for clinical trial on Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and MS

HALIFAX, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), today announced that CIHR is ready to accept research proposals for the Phase I/II clinical trial on Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI).

"Our Government is committed to helping Canadians with multiple sclerosis," said Minister Aglukkaq.  "This next step will help identify a proposed clinical trial which can then undergo ethical review.  At every step of this process, patient safety must be first and foremost."

The request for research proposals will be available on CIHR's website on November 30, 2011. This announcement was made today at the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Health Ministers Meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The request for research proposals is a collaborative initiative between the CIHR and the MS Society of Canada.  CIHR will also continue to work with the provinces and territories as it moves forward with this initiative.

"Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects thousands of Canadians and their families.  It is imperative given the uncertainties related to CCSVI and its potential relationship to MS that CIHR support ethical research based on international standards of excellence to help us better understand what impact venous angioplasty procedures have on the clinical outcomes and quality of life of MS patients," said Dr. Beaudet. "The research evidence to-date is so mixed that the only way to get to the bottom of this is to conduct a well-designed clinical trial with appropriate stringent patient safety considerations factored in."

"We are excited to collaborate with CIHR in bringing the MS community closer to definitive answers on CCSVI and MS," said Yves Savoie, President and CEO of the MS Society. "People with MS deserve clarity about the hope that CCSVI offers as a potential treatment for MS. It is only through rigorous research that we can get these answers."

On June 29, 2011, the Government of Canada accepted the recommendation of CIHR's Scientific Expert Working Group on CCSVI and MS to undertake a small scale Phase I/II clinical trial on CCSVI.

The main objective of the trial is to determine the safety of venous angioplasty and better evidence on patient outcomes.  CIHR will announce the successful research team in March 2012. The applications received will undergo rigorous review by an international peer review committee that will be established over the coming weeks.  The selected team will then need to obtain ethics approval from relevant institutional research ethics board(s) before conducting the trial.

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.

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SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

CIHR Media Relations, 613-941-4563,


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