New streamlined system for research ethics review launched in Ontario

A new ‘streamlined’ approach for the ethical review and oversight of multi-centre clinical trials in Ontario was launched on March 4 by Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO). The CTO Streamlined Research Ethics Review System allows any single ‘CTO Qualified’ research ethics board in Ontario to provide ethical review and oversight on behalf of multiple research sites involved in the same clinical trial. It’s a more nimble, efficient approach that will improve the speed and reduce the costs of doing multi-centre clinical trials, while maintaining the highest ethical standards for participant protection. “The new system is a tremendous opportunity to bring more clinical trials to Ontario,” Daiene Vernile, Parliamentary Assistant to Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, said in launching the system before an audience of over 400 at the CTO 2015 Clinical Trials Conference in Toronto. The new approach was developed by CTO in collaboration with clinical trials and research ethics communities across Ontario. The Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) expressed support for the CTO Streamlined System and said CAHO’s 24 member hospitals intend to use it. The first clinical trial is already being reviewed through the system.

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