Covidtrials.ca sees more than 1,000 Canadians register for clinical trials

By: Dr. Ramy Saleh, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Covidtrials.ca Founder

Last month, two clinical trials in China testing the antiviral drugs, Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine, reportedly shut down early. The reason? Not enough eligible patients to properly complete the trial.

The researchers needed people who had received a positive lab test confirming they had COVID-19. They needed to be hospitalized with fever and cough and had to be identified within less than eight days of having those symptoms. There weren’t enough of them to finish the work.

It’s a strange paradox for researchers around the world right now, including those of us here in Canada. We are steadily tackling down the disease. Public health measures enforcing physical distancing, self-isolation and quarantine are proving to be effective. This is terrific news.

But it also means that the pool of potential Canadians who can participate in certain clinical trials is shrinking by the day. It’s a race against time to identify people who are willing to contribute to this important research and onboard them quickly. There are currently 35 approved COVID-19 clinical trials in Canada looking for thousands and thousands of participants. 

Recruitment for clinical trials is a notoriously hard exercise in Canada at the best of times. During a pandemic outbreak, it becomes a mad scramble against a very loud ticking clock.

Our Canadian researchers need support.

This week, I’m pleased to say that Covidtrials.ca has surpassed 1,000 registrations by Canadians who are putting up their hands to help push forward the crucial research happening across the country — but there is still a long way to go.

You may be surprised to learn that most of us are able to participate in current or future Canadian clinical trials. If you haven’t already please visit Covidtrials.ca and consider what you can do to play a role in finding treatments or vaccines to fight this disease.