A national clinical-trials portal has been launched by the New Zealand Innovation Hub, a partnership between four of the country’s largest District Health Boards (DHBs).

The NZ Clinical Trial Portal is aimed at researchers, clinicians, industry or members of the general public who want to find out more about clinical trial activity in New Zealand.

As Minister of Health Tony Ryall pointed out at the launch, the initiative helps to fulfil one of the recommendations in the parliamentary Health Committee’s June 2011 report on improving the national environment to support innovation through clinical trials.

It does so by “promoting and co-ordinating clinical trial activity in New Zealand, as does the wider activity of the Health Innovation Hub”, Ryall commented.

The Hub was established earlier this year by the DHBs for Auckland, Canterbury, Counties Manukau and Waitemata, to help develop and nurture New Zealand’s health-technology industry while supporting widespread adoption of leading innovations developed within the public health sector.

The District Health Boards are contributing capital investment of $7.5 million in total over five years to the Hub, as well as providing expert clinical-advisory resources.

Measurable initiatives

Ryall said the New Zealand Clinical Trials Portal had been delivered “on time and within baselines”.

It reflected a strategy of focusing increased health spending on “definable, measurable initiatives that achieve results – and make a real difference to New Zealanders’ health”.

The portal will help to connect New Zealanders with clinical trials of new therapies “in a very tangible way”, Ryall added. It not only identifies ongoing studies but explains who is eligible to take part and how to do so.

“We know New Zealand is an attractive place for clinical trials,” he commented. “We have a first-rate public health system; an outstanding clinical workforce, and many researchers recognised internationally as world leaders in their fields.”

The New Zealand Clinical Trial Portal can be found online at: www.clinicaltrials.health.nz.