Novartis welcomes the launch of the Australian clinical trials portal as a vital step in boosting participation in clinical trials

Novartis welcomes the launch of the Australian clinical trials portal as a vital step in boosting participation in clinical trials
NovartisThursday 11 October 2012, 4:43PM

Media release from Novartis

Sydney, 11 October 2012 - Alongside ministers Tanya Plibersek (Federal Minister for Health) and Greg Combet (Minister for Industry and Innovation), Novartis welcomes the launch of the Australian Clinical Trials Portal - a new website providing information for Australians seeking to be involved in clinical trials.

The site, www.australianclinicaltrials.gov.au is one outcome (Recommendation E) from the Clinical Trials Action Group (CTAG) which was established to identify and progress necessary reforms to secure Australia's competitiveness in the clinical trials sector. The site contains information for consumers, healthcare providers and researchers on Australian clinical trials. Consumers can use the site to search for trials currently underway and obtain information on how to participate.

Alongside the launch of this portal, the Consumer Health Forum (CHF) has created the Consumer Guide to Clinical Trials (Recommendation H). The guide explains the different types of trials, the benefits of participating, patient considerations and informed consent. In addition it provides questions consumers can ask their doctor when considering participating in a trial. These guides are available on the CHF website, www.chf.org.au, and the Australian Clinical Trials Portal.

"The launch of the Australian Clinical Trials Portal is an important first step in improving the publics' understanding of clinical trials and benefits such as faster access to new treatments" said Jason Smith, CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia.

"I believe these and other CTAG recommendations strengthen Australia's R&D efforts and to help support this message, we will be sharing news of the portal and CHF information with our customers. Australia has been a key contributor for new innovative medicines for Novartis in the areas of chronic myeloid leukemia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Australian research centres have made a significant contribution to our global clinical trials programs and we continue to invest over AUD$ 30 million annually in clinical trials locally," Mr Smith added.

Novartis believes it is important to maintain momentum of these and further CTAG recommendations. We believe implementation of the next steps such as improving the start-up processes, cost and competitiveness are critical to ensuring Australia remains a key destination for global clinical trials. Mitch Kirkman, Developmental Quality Assurance Manager at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia, was the representative from the medicines industry on the CTAG which produced 11 recommendations for improving the conduct of clinical trials in Australia. We continue to support Government in the implementation of these recommendations.

Novartis Australia manages over 100 clinical trials, ranging from first-inhuman trials and first-in-patient studies, through to key registration trials. Some 300 centres and clinical
2/2 investigators, and over 4,000 patients are involved, at an investment of around AUD$ 30 million a year. Novartis also invests in Australia's medical research capability by supporting several investigator-initiated clinical trials (IITs) and basic research projects.
In oncology and haematology in particular, Novartis Oncology makes a significant ongoing investment in pre-clinical and translational research in every State of Australia, providing local researchers with access to the latest compounds in their early development. Novartis Oncology has initiated 17 new pre-clinical research projects in the last 12 months, and now supports 54 Australian researchers working on 67 individual projects.

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