The database features information about clinical trial sites, research networks, research ethics boards, research organizations and institutions, and individual clinical research experts. The CCTAM also allows sites, investigators, and institutions to highlight their areas of expertise and their previous clinical research performance. The long-term plan is to continue enhancing the database by adding features based on the needs of the Canadian clinical research community, including data on research institutions, organizations, and networks; tissue and bio-banks; and individual research experts.
The CCTAM follows the definition used by ClinicalTrials.gov. A clinical study involves research using human volunteers (also called participants) that is intended to add to medical knowledge. There are two main types of clinical studies: clinical trials (also called interventional studies) and observational studies (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/about-studies/learn). Assets listed in the CCTAM are intended to include individuals or groups working with either type of study.
An asset is a record within the database, also known as a profile. Asset types include clinical trial sites, research networks, research ethics boards, research organizations and institutions, and individual clinical research experts.
The asset profile is the comprehensive descriptive listing that includes all of the information about the asset, including links to other assets and its map location. Users who create or edit an asset need to show an association with the asset or be a contact person listed in the profile.
Although there are commercial databases that can be used for assessing study feasibility, none are as comprehensive as the CCTAM. Our database is intended to be not only a repository of clinical trial sites, but also serve as a comprehensive resource for all aspects of clinical research, including research networks, institutional review boards, research organizations and institutions, and individual clinical research experts in Canada. Participating clinical trials sites and institutions will also receive regular reminders to update their information to ensure the information in the CCTAM remains current.
No. The CCTAM is much more than a directory since it was created within a relational database that allows for multiple fields or records to be linked to each other across tables and categories. As a result, you can perform extremely powerful and detailed searches within the CCTAM and also discover linkages that you may not have captured within your search criteria.
For example, an investigator can be associated (linked) with a specific clinical research site. That site may itself be linked with a patient registry, research ethics board, site-management organization, other investigators, or a disease network or funding network, enabling CCTAM users to get a better overall picture.
Being able to easily identify the various institutions, ethics boards, or other sites that a researcher is associated with will enable researchers and sponsors to minimize duplication and harmonize regulatory and ethics reviews across regions or provinces.
The “Has worked with” function, for example, allows a sponsor or research organization to determine whether a group or investigator has worked with their company previously. This allows you to go back to your investigator records to check on previous metrics or site assessments, potentially reducing the amount of work required.
Since the CCTAM contains information on individual investigators and research organizations, institutions, and networks, individual investigators are linked to their respective organizations to minimize confusion. Clicking on an organization also reveals links to investigators associated with that organization and vice versa. Consistent terminology is used to minimize the risk of duplication.
The comprehensiveness of the CCTAM is also ensured through the richness of the included data sources, which include Health Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; the provincial governments of British Columbia, New Brunswick; and Ontario; clinical research organizations; and a variety of research-based pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Amgen, EMD Serono Canada, AbbVie, Roche, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.