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Clinical trials enable us to bring new medicines, therapies, interventions, and devices to our province, providing clinicians and patients with access to cutting-edge treatment options that can potentially shape national or global clinical practice. At any given time, there are about 400 clinical trials underway at Nova Scotia Health.

Driving excellence in the clinical research trials of tomorrow

Nova Scotia Health aspires to continually be first in the world to develop and implement new technologies. Our Clinical Trials Unit conducts breakthrough research that brings meaningful outcomes to patients throughout the province. 

By the numbers

A graphic highlighting the numbers associated with clinical trials in Nova Scotia

Our guiding principles

The following six principles are what define our culture and the approach of every clinical trial we undertake.


We offer Nova Scotians access to additional treatment options and aim to have clinical trials offered to all patients as part of their standard treatment protocol. 


We provide a seamless operating environment nurtured through communication between people, optimized processes, and cutting-edge technology.


We adapt to industry trends and innovation through willingness to work with partners on brand new therapies and with new technologies.

Expert driven

Our investigators—recognized globally in their respective fields—help to develop emerging therapies and transform the standard of care.


We provide a single access point to a network of patients, investigators, and clinical research opportunities in Atlantic Canada. 


We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and once we've found success, we’ll continue to seek further advancement.

Spotlight: Breathing a little easier

From a very young age, those living with Cystic Fibrosis are aware that they have a life-threatening condition, and that their future might be uncertain. A new drug, referred to as the biggest innovation in cystic fibrosis treatment, is changing that. As of November 2021, Trikafta, developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, is available to Nova Scotians with cystic fibrosis for free through the province’s pharmacare program.

Nova Scotia Health’s research team in Respirology, supported by the Clinical Trials Unit within the Health Innovation Hub, has been a key partner with Vertex Pharmaceuticals on clinical trials for cystic fibrosis treatments since 2010.

I think that people assume that all of this research takes place somewhere else – in the big centres like Calgary, Toronto or the United States. But we keep getting asked back by Vertex, so that shows the quality of research we are doing and the data that we are delivering. I feel that the people that are sent here to monitor for us are really happy with what we do.

Andrea Dale, respiratory therapist and research coordinator, Respirology 

Nova Scotia Health’s Clinical Trials Unit, as part of the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, is helping to make these kinds of good news stories possible by fostering strong and coordinated research efforts, enabling relationships like the one with Vertex, and contributing to the larger health ecosystem in Nova Scotia. Read more.

Want to get involved?

Clinical trials require volunteers to test new treatments. These treatments may include medications, natural health products, devices, surgical techniques and/or education interventions. Learn more.

At Nova Scotia Health, all research projects and clinical trials involving patients, staff, data, or resources are reviewed and approved by our Research Ethics Board (REB) before research begins. The REB ensures that all research projects meet the requirements of the Tri-Council Policy Statement, ICH-GCP Guidelines and Health Canada Division 5 Food and Drug regulations, all of which protect the safety and well-being of research participants.

Clinical Trials