On April 5, 2011 the Government of Manitoba made $5 million available to MHRC to fund clinical trials for treating Chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
MHRC announced on June 29, 2011, a Canada-wide call for proposals that invited researchers to submit plans to undertake clinical trials on the treatment of CCSVI in MS.
The deadline for the call for proposals was September 30, 2011. Only one proposal was received.
The next step in the process required an expert peer-review committee to assess the proposal submitted to MHRC in response to the call. The committee, consisting of international experts in the areas of clinical neuroscience, biostatistics, medical imaging and vascular surgery, reviewed the proposal. The committee’s thorough assessment concluded that it did not meet the criteria for a safe, ethical trial; therefore, it was not funded.
MHRC recommended to the Manitoba government, that a partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research be pursued to support the original, preferred gold standard study method of a multi-site clinical trial. MHRC further recommended that a portion of the original $5 million investment the government made for MS research, be set aside for a potential CCSVI clinical trial that would include Manitoba patients, and that a portion of that funding be retained for other emerging MS treatment clinical trials. MHRC continues to monitor emerging MS treatment research activities in Manitoba and Canada.
On September 28, the CIHR announced that the national trial was moving forward in British Columbia and Quebec. Another site will be added in Manitoba, once local ethics approval is granted.
We will provide updates on the trial and on the timing of patient recruitment on our website as they become available.