10 The Ramsay Way 2019 | 04
Albert Road Clinic to
study benefits of stroke
medication for mood
Albert Road Clinic (ARC) is taking part in a new
trial to examine the effectiveness of treating mood
disorders with a common type of hypertension
medication. ARC will conduct the research under the
direction of Professor Malcolm Hopwood.
The CADET trial (Candesartan Adjunctive bipolar Depression
Trial) will probe the effectiveness of Candesartan for treating
mood disorders such as major depression and bipolar
disorder in adults. Candesartan is typically used to treat high
blood pressure to help prevent strokes and heart attacks, by
letting the blood pump around the body more easily.
The CADET study hopes to evaluate and provide much-needed
preclinical, epidemiological and clinical pilot data on
the mood effects of candesartan.
The research is being led by Professor Michael Berk (NHMRC
Senior Principal Research Fellow and the Alfred Deakin Chair of
Psychiatry at Deakin University), in partnership with researchers
at Deakin University, using a $2.4 million grant from the National
Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The funding
is from the Rare Cancers, Rare Disesases and Unmet Need
Clinical Trials Grant Opportunity stream.
This trial builds on an existing collaboration with Deakin
University and aims to begin recruitment in early 2020.
The research will complement a number of other trials
in operation at Albert Road Clinic which are focused on
examining aspects of mood disorders such as depression
and bipolar disorder.
Ramsay creates new National Research Unit
In July 2019, Ramsay launched new centralised research ethics and governance processes and created the
National Research Unit.
The purpose of the National Research Unit is to officially
oversee all research ethics and governance activities within
the Ramsay Hospital network. All policies relating to the
research ethics and governance processes were formally
approved on the 13 August 2019.
The new Research Ethics and Research Governance
webpages are now live on the Ramsay Australia website
so information on these processes is widely available to
sponsors, researchers and other interested parties.
Three new Ramsay Human Research Ethics Committees
(HRECs) that provide research ethics oversight for Ramsay
nationally have now been formed and initial meetings have
been held. This means there is a consolidated view of all
projects under management within Ramsay Health Care.
These HRECs are now able to accept external ethical approval
(EEA) from any registered health based NHMRC HREC, as
long as the approving certificate lists the Ramsay facility
intending to conduct the research. This process has
been established to increase the efficiency of the
system and ensures that researchers do not have
to complete multiple Ethical Review applications for
the same project, making Ramsay a more desirable location to
If you are considering conducting research within a
Ramsay facility or require further information about
Ramsay’s research ethics and governance processes,
please contact the National Research Unit
in on prostate
and lung cancers
Wollongong Private Hospital is searching for suitable
patients to take part in two separate international
studies into metastatic prostate and lung cancers.
The hospital will conduct the potentially significant Phase
3 oncology trials under the direction of medical oncologist
Associate Professor Ali Tafreshi.
Wollongong Private Hospital is one of 14 Australian sites
which are part of the Ramsay Clinical Trials Network.
All sites are subject to governance by Ramsay’s National
Research Unit, and all trials run at the unit are reviewed
by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and
conducted in accordance with the National Health and
Medical Research Council’s “National Statement on
Ethical Conduct in Human Research”.
While the unit has initially focused on oncology related trials,
the clinical trials unit at Wollongong Private Hospital is actively
pursuing opportunities for expansion.
The team is always looking to meet new specialists working
with Wollongong Private to discuss research opportunities.
It hopes to expand its clinical trials scope to include a diverse
range of specialities such as neurology, cardiology and
orthopaedics in the near future.
World-first milestones as Ramsay
ramps up clinical trials
More than 150 potentially life-changing clinical
trials are now underway at 14 Ramsay sites across
Australia in areas such as oncology, haematology,
mental health and cardiology.
Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation (RHRF) CEO Nicola
Ware said the Ramsay Clinical Trial Network has continued
to grow from strength to strength – reaching many exciting
world-first milestones along the way.
“Since January, four new facilities have joined the network:
Albert Road Clinic, Sunshine Coast University Private
Hospital, Wollongong Private Hospital and North Shore
Private Hospital. Trial activities have also resumed at
Warringal Private Hospital following the recruitment of
a new coordinator,” Ms Ware said.
Many more clinical trials are in the pipeline for the future.
Ms Ware said RHRF has continued to provide funding support
to the clinical trials network over the past year.
“As those sites currently receiving support are likely to
become self-sustaining in the near future, we expect our
support will evolve and extend to encourage new sites
to join the network,” Ms Ware said.
Clinical trials highlights
Albert Road Clinic
• The lead and only site in Australia to be trialling a
weekly anti-psychotic for schizophrenia (Lyndra)
• Involved in an Australian-first trial for a completely
novel drug treatment for severe depression (Praxis).
St George Private Hospital
• First site in the world to recruit patients to six different
Phase 1 oncology clinical trials, and is the highest
recruiting site for four of those trials.
Lake Macquarie Private Hospital
• Highest recruiting site in Australia and New Zealand
for the SPAR rectal cancer study.
Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation
(based at Greenslopes Private Hospital)
• First site in Australia to recruit a patient to the MK3475-
641 mCRPC prostate trial.
• First site in the world to recruit to a phase 2 study in
haemochromatosis; had the first patient recruited in
Australia and was the equal second highest recruiting
site in the world.
New South Wales
• The Border Cancer Hospital
(Border Medical Oncology
• Lake Macquarie Private
• North Shore Private Hospital
• Southern Highlands Private
• St George Private Hospital
• Wollongong Private Hospital
• Hollywood Private Hospital
• Greenslopes Private Hospital
(Gallipoli Medical Research
• John Flynn Private Hospital
• Pindara Private Hospital
• Sunshine Coast University
• Albert Road Clinic
• Peninsula Private Hospital
• Warringal Private Hospital
Number of clinical trial sites in Australia