About Clinical Trials Ontario  

CTO is a leading non-profit organisation in the clinical trials community with a mission to strengthen, promote and capitalise on Ontario’s competitive advantages to conduct high-quality clinical trials. They work collaboratively with industry, research institutes, hospitals and universities, patients and the public and other health innovation organisations to improve the clinical trials environment and attract investment to the province, while supporting the highest ethical and quality standards.

CTO Stream attracts more users and saves time and money year after year  

Up until 2015, hospitals or research sites in Ontario participating in a study typically acquired their own local ethical review, spending significant time and public resources on an inefficient process duplicated across participating sites. CTO Stream (Infonetica’s Ethics RM system) has transformed how research ethics review is done provincially in Ontario, enabling a single ethics review for multiple research sites participating in the same study.  

Ontario is leading the country with its voluntary engagement and expertise around streamlining research ethics review. CTO Stream is now firmly embedded within Ontario’s clinical trials ecosystem as the default for conducting efficient, high-quality multi-centre health research.  

Fully configurable system to design a unique workflow  

Without an electronic system like CTO Stream, CTO would not be able to accomplish one of its core strategic objectives, streamlining of research ethics approvals.

The impact of CTO Stream has been demonstrated year over year with increased uptake and savings of time and money. By driving efficiency and reducing red tape, CTO Stream has provided more than $18 million in estimated cost savings to the public system.
Susan Marlin, President & CEO

The system is able to facilitate a unique model which allows one CTO-qualified Research Ethics Board to assume the responsibility of overseeing the ethical research conduct of research occurring at multiple sites in Ontario.  

Thanks to being a fully configurable electronic system, CTO has been able to design the unique workflow it needs to allow 19 different ethics boards to co-exist in the same system.  

Years of partnership to add value and support changing needs  

CTO’s unique implementation of Ethics RM has led to a close partnership with Infonetica. Many of the new features developed together over the years have not only improved the user experience for CTO’s users, but also the Ethics RM customer community.  

Regular meetings allow Infonetica’s team to better understand the complexities with CTO Stream. It helps improve communication which allows CTO to stay abreast of system changes coming down the pipeline and communicate them to end users ahead of time.  

In 2012, Clinical Trials Ontario was established with a goal of strengthening, promoting and capitalising on Ontario’s competitive advantages for conducting high-quality clinical trials. Our first step was to establish CTO Stream, an Ontario-made online system to enable a single research ethics review for multisite trials. Today, CTO plays an essential role in fuelling Ontario’s now thriving clinical trials sector. Our collective efforts have allowed us to attract trials, investment, talent and jobs to Ontario.
Susan Marlin, President & CEO 
The time to Centre Initial Application approval is significantly lower now than if sites submitted to their local Research Ethics Board for approval.
Scott Tomlinson, CTO Stream Manager

Feedback from users  

“The Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB) has been using CTO Stream since late 2017. It has really helped OCREB maintain its goal of providing timely, high quality, time-saving and consistent review of oncology clinical trials for Ontario institutions conducting these clinical trials. Clinical trials have become more complex and having a system where users from both the applicant and REB side can collaborate on an application is a definite plus. The system is inherently user-friendly and training new users such as REB Staff and REB committee members can be done easily.  
CTO Stream staff are always responsive and collaborative and provide solutions to issues in a timely manner.
Aurora de Borja, MD, BSc. Research Ethics Manager
I have been using CTO Stream for over 10 years and have trained many new users. It is very user friendly with many great features! CTO Stream has expedited study start-up timelines with quicker centre approvals with the simplified submission of centre initial applications. It can also allow the study sponsor or CRO representatives to create and/or assist with the provincial initial application improving targeted submission deadlines.
Lisa Turriff, Clinical Research Facilitator