Unleashing the potential of clinical trials

A bold, aspirational, and achievable vision 

For the first time, BC has a shared vision for clinical trials — one that reflects a future in which clinical trials investments maximize benefits for all British Columbians. In 2022, Clinical Trials BC, part of Health Research BC, created the vision using feedback and insights from more than 170 people across the province, and it is endorsed by the BC Ministry of Health.

 

Together, BC’s clinical trials community is building on strengths and addressing gaps and challenges with the common goal of system and organizational change. 

 

BC is expanding its clinical trial success: 

  • Expert clinical trial investigators and certified coordinators conducting over 1,300 trials yearly   
  • Multiple research-focused post-secondary institutions   
  • An extensive network of clinical research hubs with over 100 sites across the province  
  • A highly diverse population of ~5.5 million people 
  • The fastest growing life sciences sector in Canada, with over 2,000 life sciences companies. 

Why now?

Supporting infrastructure for clinical trials varies across BC’s research sites, institutes and health authorities. As BC’s health research agency, Health Research BC is strengthening the clinical trials ecosystem. Focusing on capacity building, developing talent, improving infrastructure and highlighting BC’s excellence in clinical trials, our efforts are aligned with BC’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Best Practices for Clinical Trials. Together with various partners, we are addressing pivotal priorities and ensuring BC remains at the cutting edge of clinical research. 

 

How will it impact BC?

A provincial vision that focuses clinical trials ecosystem actions will:  

  • Build greater connections between research and care.
  • Increase early adoption of new and promising innovations to further improve health outcomes for BC patients.
  • Increase capacity for clinical trials to attract more trials to the province.
  • Create more high-skilled jobs in the conduct and delivery of clinical trials.
  • Attract more economic investment that supports growth and development of the provincial life sciences sector.
  • Enhance BC’s research profile on the international stage. 

 

What can I do?

The clinical trials community in BC continues to come together to amplify strengths, tackle challenges and drive transformational changes. The community needs collaborative and multi-partner engagement across BC’s entire life sciences sector to realize this shared provincial vision.

 

Engage with us!
We’re seeking your input. To discuss how we might work together to advance the vision or let us know what you are doing to advance clinical trials capacity, please contact clinicaltrialsbc@healthresearchbc.ca.

Updates and events

Health Research BC will advance the design of a research ethics board service that will further streamline research processes and ensure health research meets the highest standards to improve the health of people in BC.

Health Research BC hosted a roundtable last November to advance the vision. Three priorities were selected to shape progress in BC’s clinical trials ecosystem for the coming year.

BC is investing in a new clinical trials unit which will allow biotech companies to conduct Phase 1 clinical trials in the province. Health Research BC is working with partners to support initiatives that increase research talent and expand clinical trial capacity to improve the health of British Columbians.

Health Research BC has contracted an economic analysis of clinical trials in BC. We aim to help inform next steps for expanding clinical trials capacity by capturing the direct impact of clinical research activities, the broader impact on BC’s economy, and compare the analysis to the findings from 10 years ago.

As part of the first step towards shaping a long-term clinical trials strategy for Canada, The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is proposing elements that will comprise their clinical trials strategy. If you would like to share your thoughts and suggestions, send your feedback to clinicaltrials-essaiscliniques@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

CIHR released their report based on consultations with partners and members of the clinical trials community across Canada that took place in Fall 2022. Clinical Trials BC participated in the consultation and the shared vision of clinical trials in BC helped inform our response.

The Government of BC released the new Life Science and Biomanufacturing Strategy to position British Columbia as a global hub for life sciences and biomanufacturing, and as a leading centre for commercial scale biopharmaceutical and medical manufacturing. The shared vision strongly aligns with the strategy’s pillar of expanding clinical trials capacity in the province.