St. Michaels Hospital

Canada invests $10m in research on outpatient medications for Covid-19

eAwaz Medicine

Ottawa – 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.

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.

“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.” – Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health