McMaster University

McMaster University

Health Canada Clinical Trial Applications (CTAs)

Institutional/Investigator-initiated CTA Requirements

The Food and Drug Regulations provide authority to the Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) of Health Canada to regulate the sale of drugs for the purposes of use in human clinical trials.  Division 5 of the Regulations defines specific Clinical Trial Application (CTA) requirements and prescribes a 30-day default review period for these applications.  Amendments to Division 5 were announced in June 2001 and took effect September 1, 2001.

Sponsors must file applications to conduct clinical trials in Phases I through III of drug development.  This includes applications to conduct clinical trials involving marketed products where the proposed use of the product is outside the parameters of the approved Notice of Compliance (NOC) or Drug Identification Number (DIN) application, e.g. one or more of the following is different:

  1. Indication(s) and clinical use;
  2. Target patient population(s);
  3. Route(s) of administration, or
  4. Dosage regimen(s).

A CTA must be filed prior to the initiation of a clinical trial in Canada.  HPFB must review the application and notify the Sponsor1 within 30 days if the application is found to be deficient or else the Sponsor may proceed.

Institutional/Investigator-initiated CTAs must also comply with the same regulatory requirements that apply to sponsor-initiated1 CTAs, with some modification as outlined in the Guidance for Clinical Trial Sponsors document referenced below.

Questions from staff concerning preparation of a CTA may be addressed to Gita Sobhi, HHS Manager of Pharmacy Research Support Services, 905.521.2100 x 73447 or

1 Sponsor means an individual, corporate body, institution or organization that conducts a clinical trial.

Health Canada Web Links

The following are links to the web pages where you will find Health Canada News Releases, clinical trial guidance documents and CTA-related forms:

  • Therapeutic Products
    Directorate (TPD)

  • Health Products & Food Branch

  • Natural Health Products

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