Expanding the Reach of Research and Care Through REB Exchange

This Article has been updated to include additional information on August 8, 2023. 

The University of Calgary has embarked on a strategic partnership with REB Exchange (REBX), an innovative tool designed to streamline ethics application processes and enhance the efficiency of multi-site research programs. As the REBX system has the capacity to reduce administrative barriers and streamline ethics application processes for multisite research, this partnership will facilitate access to cutting-edge treatment for both patients and care providers by integrating smaller health centers into clinical trials. 

REBX in Action – The AcT Trial, Health Systems technology expanding reach of research and care   

REBX’s potential is being actualized through an innovative stroke research trial, AcT – a multi-site Canadian clinical trial focused on stroke care. The trial, which involved treating acute ischemic stroke by administering Tenecteplase (TNK), a clot-busting drug, received multi-site ethics approval through the REBX platform – allowing the test drug to be delivered across the province to 1600 patients from major and minor health centers, including Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, and Red Deer, making AcT the largest stroke clinical trial run in Canada to date.  

Dr. Bijoy Menon, MD, professor of neurology at the Cumming School of Medicine, a stroke neurologist at the Foothills Medical Centre and the co-principal investigator of the AcT Trial, attributes the trial’s success to REBx, as captured in a University of Calgary interview. 

“The AcT Trial and REB Exchange software together help remove barriers to accessing research while cutting administrative workload and benefiting patients” 

Results from the trial can be found here.  

Leveraging Alberta’s Research Strengths Improves Health Outcomes 

The successful integration of REB Exchange into the AcT trial showcases the platform’s potential to reduce administrative barriers and enhance access to advanced treatments. Thus, demonstrating Alberta’s capacity to conduct large-scale studies while expanding the reach of cutting-edge care and research across the province. 

And according to Menon, REBX has contributed to “facilitate[ing] more trials, mak[ing] trials faster and cuts down on red tape,” therefore “improving health-care outcomes throughout the province.” 

Essentially the deployment of the REB Exchange (via the AcT trial) demonstrates the platform’s potential to reduce administrative barriers and enhance access to advanced treatments, ultimately, showcasing Alberta’s capacity to conduct large-scale studies and expand access to cutting-edge research to smaller more rural centres.  

The benefits of this are multiple. For Albertans, it means increased access to high-quality, potentially life-saving care. And for researchers and clinical trialists, this partnership serves as a case study for adopting innovative platforms to advance clinical research and enhance access to novel treatments. 

More information about the REBX can be found here.

Additional details on REBX can be found in the original video below: