2015-2016

CANet ANNUAL REPORT

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About CANet

The Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet) is a national research network established through the Federal Government’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE). CANet brings together health care professionals, academia, government, industry, not-for-profit, and patients to support new ideas and ground-breaking research. Ultimately, CANet will provide innovative therapies and solutions to reduce premature deaths and suffering caused by heart rhythm disturbances.

CANet is unique as it draws on the country’s already established collaborations. Our multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach is designed to foster innovation and excellence. This allows the network to come up with fresh ideas, set clear research priorities, build efficient, patient-centred healthcare solutions, and create competitive advantage for Canadian industry.

CANet will put the right tools, in the right hands, at the right time: tools that will empower people to manage their own health, empower caregivers to improve patient care at the bedside and in the community, and empower the healthcare system to provide timely, effective, and efficient services to people and populations. These tools will improve heart rhythm health and enrich the lives of Canadians.

Academic Collaborations: 116 Network Investigators

Society: 77 not for profit, academic and hospital partners

Industry: 15 Industry Partners

Vision

Access for all Canadians to early detection, effective prevention, efficient and timely treatment of arrhythmia and related conditions, through a transformed, patient-driven care model.

Mission

CANet’s mission is to use our internationally recognized research groups to assemble key stakeholders, work with patients and other end-users to strike key priorities, generate new knowledge about the roles of novel technology to identify patients at risk of arrhythmia, and work as a cohesive team to develop, implement, and evaluate new technologies and health strategies.

Network Goals

Over the next 5-10 year period, the network’s strategic research targets are:

  • 10% drop in sudden cardiac death
  • 20% drop in atrial fibrillation hospitalization and emergency department visits
  • 30% drop in syncope hospitalization and emergency department visits
  • Commercialize 5-7 new technologies
  • Launch 30-40 new experts in public and private research
  • Generate $40 million in additional research investments from partners

Support

CANet is made possible by the Networks of Centres of Excellence – a program of the Federal Government of Canada to mobilize Canada’s best research, development and entrepreneurial expertise.

CANet gratefully acknowledges host support from Western University and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and our private, public and government partners.

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Western logo
Schulich logo

Message from our Chair of the Board

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We are pleased to share with you our most notable developments after our first full year of activity. As we move into our second year, we would like to thank our network members and partners for their time, energy and commitment to helping us make this year so rewarding.

We have a Board of Directors made up of international leaders who are engaged and committed to making this network a resounding success. CANet is now fully functional with a clear governance and management structure and strategic plan.

The formation of the strategic plan has been a true collaboration between our network investigators, our partners, the board and the administrative centre. Our goals are ambitious; however, this collaboration will also be critical in executing the plan and ensuring our future success.

At the core of the Network’s success are our connections with the best and brightest arrhythmia researchers in the world, our trainees, our fully-engaged patients and our committed partners. Together, we work toward the future, which is shaped by a clear vision: generating new innovations in arrhythmia treatment and technologies that transform care, focus on the individual needs of patients, and allow them to take control of their care.

We are committed to world-class patient-focused excellence in research; international collaborations; and solutions-driven outcomes that will impact the lives of the millions of Canadians suffering from Arrhythmia-related illnesses. We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of the novel, interdisciplinary research that’s happening in our Network.

Dr. Pierre Boyle
Board Chair

Message from our Scientific Director

quote

We are extremely proud of the progress our network made this year. Our Administrative Centre is fully formed and we are fortunate to have this strong and dedicated team of professionals.

Dr. George Wells has been critical in advancing the research program through the data management strategy in his role as Associate Scientific Director. With his guidance and advice, we all share a common goal to improve the lives of the millions of Canadians affected by arrhythmias.

We successfully developed, launched and completed several research funding programs for our Network – designed to accommodate research proposals at all stages of development – from discovery to application-based. The Network‘s research is focused on tackling three medical conditions: sudden cardiac death, atrial fibrillation and syncope. We have successfully recruited three Track Captains – established leaders with national and international reputations – who will lead each track. The mandate for the Track Captains is to organize, lead, promote, collaborate and bring out the talents within their tracks in order to meet our ambitious targets.

We are also thrilled about the progress of our Patient Advisory Committee – led by Vincent Dumez (Co-director, Collaboration and Patient Partnership Unit, University of Montreal, QC). CANet is committed to empowering patients to manage their health by participating both as educators and researchers to formulate problems and evaluate solutions.

This year, CANet officially welcomed five new private sector national and international partners to our Network – a 50% growth over last year. We are excited about the creation and use of new technological innovations to advance care in a more effective, affordable, and sustainable manner.

Our Network of world-class researchers is focused on finding solutions that will ease the burden on the health system and provide a better quality of life for those suffering from heart rhythm disturbances.

Dr. Anthony Tang
Scientific Director and CEO

The Growing Challenge of Arrhythmias


TANGIBLE BENEFITS FOR CANADIANS

Heart rhythm disturbances affect millions of Canadians resulting in tragic sudden unexpected deaths, reduced quality of life, and reduced productivity. Heart rhythm problems include sudden cardiac death – the leading cause of death in Canada, killing 40,000 Canadians yearly and projected to be the number one cause of mortality and morbidity in the world by 2020); atrial fibrillation (affecting 350,000 Canadians and a fast growing epidemic in the developed and developing world); and syncope. The ED visits for syncope cost an average of $38.5 million per year. About 10 per cent of these patients will get admitted for an average of 8 days at a cost of $127 million a year in Canada. CANet is harnessing the talents of the best arrhythmia researchers, engineers and social scientists in Canada with an end goal of making new discoveries and transforming them into products, services and improved processes to achieve national and global impact.

Management and Governance

We have established a world-class Board of Directors including public, private and academic representation. The Board and its sub-committees are developing long-term plans, aligned with the goals of CANet. The strategic plan for the organization is complete and includes a clear horizon and solution-driven mandate. The Administrative Centre is now fully functional with a complete staff complement. We welcomed Dr. Bryce Pickard as Managing Director and COO in January. The governance of CANet is now functioning with a complete set of policies and procedures that are unique to the Network needs.

Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP)


CANet is fostering a new generation of HQP to maximize future success and will promote and accelerate the growth of emerging Canadian industries and contribute to the success of existing ones. This year, our HQP program – led by Dr. Martin Gardner, included multiple training opportunities, workshops, competitions, and awards. We also launched CHAT (CANet HQP Association for Trainees) which provides a valuable resource for trainees to converse with like-minded colleagues and take part in events and competitions which will help to further strengthen their research and career development. CHAT is headed by two trainees, who also represent the Network’s trainees as members of the Training and Education Committee. CANet-CHAT Forum is in development and will provide a valuable resource for CHAT members to update, store and obtain unique statistics of their own development to be used for grant applications, job interviews, performance review metrics and further career tracking and development. As of March 31, the Network has 98 trainees and continues to grow.

"The C-Spin workshop was a fantastic networking and learning event made possible by a trainee award from CANet," said Dr. Katherine Allen. "By interacting with some of the biggest experts in our field, I learned a tremendous amount - not only about clinical trials but also about current hot topics in the arrhythmia field."

Research

The Network has successfully developed, launched and completed several research funding programs for its Network Investigators – designed to accommodate research proposals at all stages of development – from discovery to application-based.

Lead by Dr. George Wells, CANet has been developing Heart-SIGN. Heart-SIGN is an informatics platform in collaboration with IBM, provincial government representatives, and CANet’s Data Management Committee (DMC).

Heart-SIGN will provide the informatics platform to monitor and track the progress of the Networks deliverables (10/20/30), and will enable the achievement of these goals with richer analysis and enhanced potential for new discoveries related to sudden cardiac death, atrial fibrillation, and syncope.

The SRG Program is the Network’s flagship research funding competition geared toward both discovery and application-based research. The SRGs support small and large-scale multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral research projects that are presented in the context of a program of research. For the 2015 competition, six Programs/Projects were funded across Canada totaling $2,406,900 over 3 years and bringing in $5,462,580 in matching funds (cash/in-kind). Listen to our researchers talk about their research:

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Atrial Fibrillation

Led by Track Captain Dr. Allan Skanes with a goal of 20% drop in AF hospitalization and ED visits.
- Dr. Parkash and Dr. Andrade

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Syncope

Led by Track Captain, Dr. Bob Sheldon with the goal of a 30% drop in syncope related healthcare utilization
- Dr. Thiruganasambandamoorthy

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Sudden Cardiac Death

Led by Track Captain Dr. Brent Mitchell with a goal of a 10% drop in SCD
- Drs. Krahn and Hamilton

Networking and Partnerships

CANet held its first Annual Scientific Conference in Quebec City, QC, September 16-17, 2015 in cooperation with CHRS (who held their annual meeting adjacent). More than 120 delegates attended the conference which included clinicians, researchers, research professionals, patients, government and industry representatives from medicine, social sciences and engineering. The conference was proudly sponsored by Medtronic and Baylis Medical.

The Network has partnered with several organizations throughout the past year in order to strengthen collaborations and focus the arrhythmia community on achieving these targets. Since application, CANet has welcomed:

  • Five new private sector national and international partners into the community since application for a total of 15 private sector partners
  • Three new post-secondary institutions bringing the total to 29
  • 20 new community partners, bringing the total to 48
  • 12 new investigators (Growth of 104 to 116)

Some key organization partnerships include Canadian Heart Rhythm Society (CHRS), Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), MedDev Commercialization Centre for Medical Devices (MDCC), Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) and the Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network (C-SPIN).

Generating Knowledge

CANet will be the leader at every stage of the innovation pipeline to ensure that we continually and successfully address the unmet needs of Canadians and ensure the outputs of our network will have significant societal impact on both health and wealth creation.

The goal of Knowledge Mobilization within CANet is to generate social and economic benefits by ensuring the rapid flow of ideas and innovations from researchers to Canadian receptors.

CANet has a strategy in place to engage end/knowledge users, with short term outcomes of new knowledge (patents), positive partner relationships and relevant research and positive health and societal long term outcomes. We are in the process of conducting an online needs assessment/environmental scan to ensure our KT strategy and activities are aligned with the needs of our researchers and end users. Moving forward, CANet will provide KT support to the investigators and will identify existing and new knowledge opportunities within currently funded projects and with our partners.

The Network has several promising leads for commercialization including a new ablation device, remote monitoring technologies and blood pressure monitoring device.

“Access to CANet’s leading-edge network of investigators allows us to validate our therapies and move them to the market – and bring relief to patients, faster,” - Kris Shah, president of Baylis Medical.

Communications

During our first full year in operations we launched a new fully bilingual website, e-newsletter, and social media channels.

Publications: 271 Publications by CANet investigators

Website – 5900 unique visitors viewing 30,000 pages from May 29-April 30

Social media: Twitter: 179 new followers since launching in June 2015 (to April 30) with a total of 101,565 impressions

Facebook: 81 Likes and our largest reach in one week was 20.8K

Internal Comms: 126 subscribers to mailchimp with 50% open rate and 15 % click rate (exceeding the industry average for emails sent out by not-for-profit groups (22.8% open rate, 2.5% click rate)

5900
Website Visitors

179
New Followers

126
Subscribers

Appendix I

Board of Directors

  • Dr. Pierre Boyle (C)
    Chair, Board of Directors
    Brossard, QC
  • Ms. Krista Connell
    CEO, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation
    Halifax, NS
  • Dr. John Capone
    Vice President, Research, Western University
    London, ON
  • Dr. Shurjeel Choudhri
    Senior Vice President, Bayer Canada
    Toronto, ON
  • Mr. Vincent Dumez
    Pac Chair, Co-Director, Office of Collaboration and Patient Partnership
    UNIVERSIÉ DE MONTRÉAL, MONTRÉAL, QC
  • Mr. Mark Feldman
    President, Goodhope Management Ltd
    Toronto, ON
  • Mr. Neil Fraser
    President and CEO, Medtronic of Canada Ltd.
    Brampton, ON
  • Dr. Anne Gillis
    Past-President, Heart Rhythm Society
    Calgary, AB
  • Dr. Paul Morley
    Founder & Chief Science Officer, Zelos Therapeutics
  • Dr. Francois Philippon
    Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec
    Ste-Foy QC
  • Carol Stephenson
    Past Dean, Ivey School of Business
    London, ON
  • Calvin Stiller
    Stilco Corporation
    London, ON
  • Bobbe Wood
    Past-President and CEO, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
    Maple Ridge, BC
  • Dr. Anthony Tang
    Scientific Director and CEO
    London ON
  • Dr. George Wells (OBS)
    Associate Scientific Director
    Ottawa ON
  • Dr. Bryce Pickard (OBS)
    Managing Director and COO
    London Ontario

Appendix II

Administrative Centre

  • Dr. Anthony Tang
    Scientific Director and CEO
  • Dr. George Wells
    Associate Scientific Director
  • Dr. Bryce Pickard
    Managing Director and COO
  • Dr. Kevin O’Neil
    Director of Research
  • Fiona Hill-Hinrichs
    Director of Communications and Knowledge Mobilization
  • Kristy Hao, CPA
    Manager of Accounting and Contracts
  • Norah Cuzzocrea
    Communications and Projects Coordinator
  • Brandy Chandler
    Executive Assistant

Appendix III

Our Collaborators

See Our Collaborators

Appendix IV

Our Network Investigators

See Our Network Investigators

Appendix V

Financials

Statement of Financial Position

March 31, 2016, with comparitive information for 2015

Line

2016

2015

Assets

Current

Cash

15,684

-

Accounts Receivable

19,719

1,217

Prepaid Expenses

12,324

-

Due from the University

6,568,180

2,287,679

Total Current Assets

6,615,907

2,288,896

Capital Assets

602,105

-

Total Assets

7,218,012

2,288,896

Liabilities and Deferred Contributions

Current

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

144,325

18,078

Deferred contributions

6,300,070

2,270,818

Deferred capital contributions

594,522

-

Total Liabilities and Deferred Contributions

7,038,917

2,288,896

Net Assets

179,095

-

Total Net Assets

7,218,012

2,288,896

Commitments

See accompanying notes to the financial statements

Statement of Operations

For the year ended March 31, 2016, with comparitive information for 2015

Line

Networks of Centres of Excellence

Non-funding agencies

2016

2015

Revenue

Networks of Centres of Excellence grants

2,242,748

-

2,242,748

69,182

Partner contributions

-

188,381

188,381

11,619

In-kind contributions

-

293,680

293,680

8,302

Amortization of deferred capital contributions

-

148,630

148,630

-

Other revenue

-

20,609

20,609

118

Line

2,242,748

651,300

2,894,048

89,221

Expenses

Research grants and awards

1,269,339

-

1,269,339

-

Salaries and benefits

576,891

-

576,891

35,310

In-kind expenses

-

293,680

293,680

8,302

Travel and networking

161,190

5,427

166,617

26,658

Amortization expense

1,896

148,630

150,526

-

Annual scientific conference

144,125

-

144,125

-

Audit and professional fees

34,706

6,568

41,274

2,500

Communications

32,892

-

32,892

-

Supplies and other

14,324

3,928

18,252

3,203

Sponsorship

-

10,000

10,000

-

HQP training and awards

4,218

300

4,518

-

Rent

-

3,672

3,672

-

Computers and equipment

3,167

-

3,167

13,248

Line

2,242,748

472,205

2,714,953

89,221

Excess of revenue over expenses

-

179,095

179,095

-

Net assets, beginning of year

-

-

-

-

Excess of revenue over expenses

-

179,095

179,095

-

Net assets, end of year

-

179,095

179,095

-