The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has awarded a $4m grant extension to the COVID-19 Network of Clinical Trials Networks to continue bolstering the pandemic response of the country.

Additionally, the funds will be used to develop capacity for lasting post-pandemic pan-Canadian trial coordination and partnership.

The Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG) is leading the network.

By quickly disseminating resources associated with harmonisation, data sharing and performance through a range of research linked to acute care, rehabilitation and recovery, the COVID-19 Network of Clinical Trials Networks is offering support to research networks.

With the latest investment, the network will progress to support critical research capacity among a national network of over 60 sites.

The grant will aid in extending a strategy for data collection and harmonisation that facilitates automated data collection within hospitals and integration of health data by connecting study and trial data to current population health sources with Health Data Research Network partners.

Furthermore, the current Adaptive Platform Trials will be merged into a pan-Canadian, globally linked clinical trials infrastructure.

The network will also engage a varied spectrum of patients and indigenous partners, advance partnership as a lead partner organisation in the CIHR-funded Life-Threatening Illness National Group (LifTING) Research Training Platform and facilitate a unified approach across the continuum of care and age groups.

CCCTG chair Dr Rob Fowler said: “Covid-19 has brought into sharp relief the role that research plays during an emerging pandemic and the value of being ready in advance of the need. 

“The COVID-19 Network of Clinical Trials Networks is helping create the tools and capacity that Canada needs to be a leader in efficient, durable, and adaptive clinical trials.”