Atlantic Provinces Partner to Create Atlantic Clinical Trials Network

Senior leaders from the four Atlantic provinces are jointly announcing the Atlantic Clinical Trials Network (ACTN) later today at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, the world’s largest event focused on biotechnology.

The network leverages regional collaboration, provincial leadership, entrepreneurial capacity, and world-class research to revolutionize access to care for patients. ACTN is driven by agility and the ability to get the right partners to the table at the right time, creating a single point of entry for researchers, partners, and patients.

Initiated by Nova Scotia Health and co-led with IWK Health, Eastern Health, Vitalité Health Network, Horizon Health Network, and Health PEI, ACTN is poised to boost research and innovation, introduce new healthcare opportunities, and position the region as a world-leader in clinical trials.

Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness for Nova Scotia, Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island, and Dorothy Shepard, Minister of Health for New Brunswick will speak about the value of this regional partnership to attract clinical trials investment in Atlantic Canada.

“We are pleased to partner with our Atlantic colleagues to further important research that will benefit Atlantic Canadians and people around the world,” said Minister Thompson. “Innovation drives research and better outcomes for patients. This partnership will support the best talent, create new opportunities for clinicians and cutting-edge treatment options that can potentially shape national or global clinical practice.”

The Atlantic Clinical Trials Network will allow Atlantic Canadian provinces to work together in a streamlined fashion, bringing new medicines, therapies, interventions, and devices to the Atlantic region for the benefit of patients.

“We are thrilled to be working with our colleagues in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island on this important initiative,” said Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive at Nova Scotia Health. “We believe that research is care, and caring for our patients is our primary driver. This is a significant opportunity to improve health and health care for those in our region.”

In addition, the network will boost patient access to trial opportunities and leading care by reducing barriers and burdens associated with clinical trial participation.

Additional Quotes:

“Our province is pleased to be a partner in the Atlantic Clinical Trials Network, which will provide more treatment opportunities to patients with a goal of improving patient outcomes. Collaborative partnerships among industry, government, and health authorities, paired with a cluster of researchers, make the province an attractive location to conduct health research and develop digital health and informatics applications. This is leading to significant breakthroughs which will help transform our approach to healthcare. Partnering with other provinces to encourage investment in research and development can only benefit our research institutions, drive new discoveries, and improve healthcare for residents.”
- The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“While each of our provinces has strengths in the clinical trial environment, we are challenged by our small populations. By working together as a region, as we have done for so many other successful initiatives in the past, the Atlantic Clinical Trials Network will open doors to global partners and streamline the work that each of our respective provinces has done and will continue to do. We are stronger when we work together, and this initiative will provide better patient outcomes and significant advancements in helping keep individuals healthy in our region.”
- The Honourable Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island

“By taking a regional approach, we can offer one door for industry while building on unique provincial strengths. This will bolster our competitive advantage and create global opportunities. Attracting more clinical trials to our region will strengthen our research capacity, create new and exciting partnerships, strengthen ones we currently have, and, most importantly, benefit patients in our region.”
- The Honourable Dorothy Shephard, Minister of Health for New Brunswick

“On behalf of our members who represent Canada’s research-based pharmaceutical industry, we congratulate the Atlantic provinces on the historic launch of the Atlantic Clinical Trials Network. The Network will play an integral role in positioning the region and Canada as an attractive destination for future pharmaceutical investments and innovation, benefitting the many Canadian patients who rely on cutting-edge and often life-saving medicines and treatments.”
- Pamela Fralick, President, Innovative Medicines Canada

“Canada’s national biotech ecosystem stretches from coast-to-coast and is built upon a network of vibrant biotech clusters located in every province. The Atlantic Canada cluster is notably strong with its diverse mix of world-class universities, research institutes, start-ups, small and medium enterprises, and large multinational corporations all connected and supporting a highly skilled workforce. The creation of the Atlantic Clinical Trials Network is another important foundational piece which will further strengthen the region’s biotech ecosystem. The initiative also represents an important investment by multinational pharmaceutical companies to enhance the environment of discovery and drug development. Ultimately, in addition to the economic value, this investment will support the development of high-value, next generation solutions for patients in Canada and around the world.”
- Andrew Casey, President and CEO of BIOTECanada

Quick Facts:
Clinical trials are scientific research studies in which patients volunteer to test new treatments. These trials can include medications, devices, natural health products, mental health treatments, surgical techniques, or education interventions.

The health authorities participating in the Atlantic Clinical Trials Network include:
Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health
New Brunswick: Horizon Health Network and Vitalité Health Network
Newfoundland and Labrador: Eastern Health
Prince Edward Island: Health PEI