Dr. Patrick Lawler, Dr. Michael Farkouh and Dr. Jacob Udell walking in the hall
The ability to run multinational trials is part of the expertise and experience that cardiologists (L to R) Dr. Patrick Lawler, Dr. Michael Farkouh and Dr. Jacob Udell bring to the PMCC's cardiac clinical work and research. (Photo: The Globe and Mail)

Coronary heart disease. It doesn't care if you're Canadian, American or living in India, Kenya or Spain. Political boundaries mean nothing to a condition that kills an estimated 3.8 million men and 3.4 million women globally each year.

So why shouldn't cardiac clinical trials and research also break geographic barriers?

That's part of the thinking behind the Peter Munk Centre of Excellence in Multinational Clinical Trials, launched in 2011 and one of seven Centres of Excellence established by the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) to transform the way patients with cardiovascular disease are treated around the world.

"We bring innovation and what we call the 'one-stop shop,'" says Dr. Michael Farkouh, the PMCC Chair in Multinational Clinical Trials, who came back to Canada in 2010 after working in the United States for 20 years, including 10 years directing the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Clinical Trials Unit in New York City.

"When we develop new drugs and new devices, we have the ability that most centres in the world do not have to go from the early concept in innovation all the way to the large clinical trial," he says.

That's partly due to Dr. Farkouh's own experience running large multinational trials. While phase one and phase two trials typically involve smaller numbers of people chosen with very specific medical parameters in mind, multinational trials examine outcomes in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

PMCC Magazine 

The third annual Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) magazine published by The Globe and Mail focuses on why Canada's premier cardiac centre is known for being "the heartbeat of innovation." The magazine explores the PMCC model that supports the creation, development and evolution of innovative ideas into action – making "today's idea, tomorrow's practice." It also examines the impact that a culture of innovation has on the way cardiovascular care is delivered now and into the future.

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