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Government of Canada invests $10 million in research on outpatient medications for COVID-19

Media release from CIHR

July 7, 2022 — Ottawa, ON — Canadian Institutes of Health Research

When COVID-19 first emerged, the Government of Canada and the research community quickly stepped up to develop testing approaches, public health measures, and new vaccines to protect Canadians from the health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is also investing in safe and effective COVID-19 therapeutics, including antiviral medications. In response to the pressing need to further evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of these treatments in non-hospitalized patients, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research joined forces with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.  

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an investment of $10 million under this collaboration to create a pan-Canadian platform to advance research into the effectiveness and clinical challenges of new COVID-19 treatments in non-hospitalized patients. The Canadian ADAptive Platform Trial of COVID-19 Therapeutics in Community Settings (Can-ADAPT COVID) will be led by Dr. Andrew Pinto, Director of the Upstream Lab at St. Michael’s Hospital, a site of Unity Health Toronto, and a Professor at the University of Toronto.

In collaboration with patients, community partners, and research networks across Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union, Dr. Pinto and his team will investigate outpatient medications for COVID-19 such as nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (brand name Paxlovid™) and provide key insights into whether treatments prevent hospitalization and post COVID-19 condition (“long COVID”). This study will also offer timely evidence to clinical researchers, health system managers, and public health officials in Canada and abroad.

Quotes

“Our government reacted quickly at the start of the pandemic and will keep working to keep Canadians safe. This includes providing vaccines and therapeutics to Canadians, to lessen the health impacts of COVID-19 and post COVID-19 condition symptoms in patients. Dr. Pinto’s platform will allow the research team to test new treatments as they emerge and to quickly respond to the dynamic nature of global pandemics and other health emergencies.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“This research will provide new insights and timely evidence in support of public health and clinical decision making for the effective roll out of new antiviral medications developed to treat non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”
Dr. Tammy Clifford
Vice-President, Research – Learning Health Systems
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

“As part of our continued response to address the health challenges of the pandemic, we continue to work closely with our partners at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Health Canada to further investigate new COVID-19 antiviral medications. This study will provide important evidence on treatment effectiveness that will better inform our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Quick facts

  • Many drugs are being evaluated in Canada and around the world as potential treatments for COVID-19. Health Canada has authorized several of these for use in Canada.
  • To provide ongoing evidence to inform treatment guidelines for COVID-19, the Government of Canada is investing $10 million in the Canadian ADAptive Platform Trial of COVID-19 Therapeutics in Community Settings (Can-ADAPT COVID). This platform will evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of COVID-19 treatments.
  • Can-ADAPT COVID will enable information sharing with clinical researchers from the United Kingdom and the European Union for quicker results.

Associated links

Contacts

Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

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