Three Ways Life Sciences Consulting Improves Your Safety Record

When your business or practice is running clinical trials, quality assurance for patient safety is critical. Life sciences consulting experts are able to observe how your clinic runs its trials and make suggestions on how to improve processes and conditions in your facility. Consider these three ways in which the health sciences auditing process can help your clinical trial’s safety record.

Improving Your Quality Assurance
Consulting firms can come in at any time to check out your quality assurance program. The quality assurance setup for your trial may not cover everything that the auditors or regulatory experts think it should. The consulting firms can help you to set up helpful databases and make recommendations about what to track. They can also offer tips on ensuring that human errors are minimized by implementing a checking system for verification before any patient receives a medication or medical intervention.

Early Identification of Concerns
Sometimes in a trial for a new medication or new use of a medication or medical device, patients may begin to report side effects, new symptoms or a worsening of their conditions. With a life sciences consulting firm, issues such as toxicology will be brought to the forefront. These regulatory experts can review toxicology results and make recommendations about whether or not a certain participant should stop using the medication or if the person should halt treatment and drop out of the trial. The auditing might also find that certain types of toxicology results are missing from laboratory reports. Insufficient data is a common problem that plagues the health sciences and medical research. The auditing team may recommend that more tests be added in order to identify potential areas of concern.

Implementing Safety Recommendations
Clinical trials require strict safeguards and privacy guidelines to protect participants from harm. If the auditors and regulation experts discover any issues, they will write them up and provide your clinic with recommendations on how to make the situation safer for the participants. For example, the auditors may discover that a certain drug being tested in a clinical trial tends to cause sleepiness in people who take it. They may recommend that you tell participants in the trial to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for a specific period of time after taking the medication. This keeps participants safe. It also allows the trial to continue progressing with a lesser risk of unintended injury or other consequences on the participants.

How Does HAACP Certification Improve Customer Service?

If you run a restaurant, a grocery store or any other company that serves or sells food to customers, you and your workers should have a HACCP certification. Doing so may ensure better food quality as well as reduce liability issues for your business. What are some other reasons why key employees in your company should go though a food safety certificate program?

🍴 Show Customers That You Care About Your Products

When customers know that your company takes pride in knowing how to properly store and serve food, they have more confidence in what they are buying. In the restaurant industry, good service could be the difference between creating a thriving eatery or one that closes down quickly. This is because margins are traditionally thin, and the loss of even a few sales could make it unprofitable to operate.

🍴 Industry Standards Could Change

In addition to going through a HACCP certification program, it may also be a good idea to take a GMP certification class. This may help you get a better idea as to how food should packaged and transported as well as what temperature it should be stored at. Getting such a certification may be important for business owners that want to sell their branded products to grocers or others who sell frozen food. In addition to learning what the standards are now, it can help you stay abreast of any future changes to relevant rules and regulations.

🍴 Teach Your Customers How to Keep Food Safe

Customers love to learn more about how to safely store or prepare their favorite foods at home. Since content is a great marketing tool, creating a tutorial video or a series of articles explaining how to keep chicken safe in the fridge or when to throw out soup may help spread the word about your brand. In some cases, you may be able to use information learned from a certification program as the basis for facts used in an article or video.

🍴 Prove That Your Brand Goes Beyond Minimum Expectations

A health inspector could come to your restaurant at any time to check the quality of your food or the kitchen in which it is stored. However, you want to show customers that you care about their well-being at all times. Being able to say that you or other key employees have taken a food safety program shows that the establishment actively creates a culture of safety and compliance.

If a customer gets sick, he or she could sue your company for damages. If successful, that customer could receive an award large enough to bankrupt your organization. Therefore, make it a point to take food safety classes or other steps that can help create a culture of compliance with the law.

What Is The Registered Education Savings Plan In North America?

One of the biggest costs for parents in North America such as Canada or USA is the cost of post-secondary education. Of course, if you are wealthy this will not be a concern, but for average parents it is a major source of worry. Obviously, there are some children who decide that they do not want to attend a college or university.

However, if your children do want to go to college and you are not prepared, you could find yourself facing a very large financial obligation. This typically occurs when parents are expecting to have some financial relief with their expenses.

What Is A Registered Education Savings Plan?
Also known as RESP, this type of plan is critical to your financial future and the health of your finances if you have children who have expressed an interest in attending a post-secondary school. This is a program that is sponsored by the government (Revenue Agency and Canada Customs). The savings plan can grow at a tax free level. However, money that is paid from the savings plan can be taxed as a source of income for the child.

These plans are administered by a Promoter. The Promoter is typically a private person or company. This entity will collect all monies and invest them appropriately. Each student or beneficiary can have up to $4000 contributed to their savings plan annually. There is also a limit of $42,000. Although a student can have more than one savings plan, the limits are still in effect for each plan.

In order to apply, a child has to be a Canadian resident and have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). This information has to be provided to the Promoter before the savings plan is created.

The Different Types Of RESPs
There are several different types of Retirement Savings Plans. The first type of plan is known as the Non-Family plan. This plan allows only one beneficiary, but anyone can contribute to the plan at any amount they want to pay.

The next type of plan is the Family plan. With this type of plan, there can be more than one beneficiary as long as the beneficiaries are blood relatives or have been adopted by the persons who are making the contributions. There are no other restrictions on the plan as far as how much is paid and when it is paid.

The final type of plan is the Group plan. This is usually offered by foundations who determine how much is paid and when it is paid.

A Retirement Savings Plan is a great way to financially secure your children educational future. It provides families with the financial cushion needed for post-secondary educational opportunities.

SABC 2011 Student Presentation Videos

Greater Toronto: Toronto student’s supercomputer network to find cure for CF
Coming soon.

Toronto-area Student, 16, Uses Supercomputer to Invent New Drug Cocktail to Fight Cystic Fibrosis, Wins Top Prize in National Science Challeng

Greater Toronto Area, Greater Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Winnipeg students win top national honours for high school biotechnology projects

While many 16-year-olds are content with PlayStation, Toronto-area student Marshall Zhang used the Canadian SCINET supercomputing network to invent a new drug cocktail which could one day help treat cystic fibrosis.

The Grade 11 student at Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill so impressed eight eminent scientists at the National Research Council Canada laboratories in Ottawa they awarded him first prize today in the 2011 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada.

Jonathan Khouzam, Simon Leclerc, Francis Marcogliese, all 19, of Montreal’s CÉGEP Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, won the 2nd place prize for finding a way to produce a great sorbet without geletin, potentially opening a large new vegetarian market for the popular frozen dessert. Geletin is derived from the skin and bones of animals.

First and second place winners receive $5,000 and $4,000 respectively. The trio from Montreal also won a special $1,000 prize for the project deemed by the judges to have the greatest commercial potential.

Marshall and the Montreal team will compete against US and Australian teams at the International BioGENEius Challenge in Washington, DC, June 27, held in conjunction with the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) Annual International Convention.

The other top prizes were collected by:
* 3rd place ($3,000): Shannon Watson, 18, a Grade 12 student at Ottawa’s Cantebury High School, who identified bacteria in a pro-biotic fermented milk product from Zambia that inhibit the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria;
* 4th place ($2,000): Yasamin Mahjoub, 16, a Grade 11 student at Sir Winston Churchill High School, Calgary, who showed that hormones produced by pregnant women protect neurons from the effects of iron accumulation in the brain, suggesting a new line of inquiry into the causes and treatment of multiple sclerosis; and
* 5th place ($1,000): Siyuan Cheng, 14, a Grade 9 student at Fort Richmond Collegiate, Winnipeg, who combined the standard drug treatment for leukaemia with a lung cancer drug to greatly increase the numbers of leukemia cells being killed.

14 truly cutting-edge biotechnology projects
On Monday, remarkable students from every province presented the judges with 14 truly cutting-edge biotechnology projects related to health, agriculture and the environment. All were previous prize-winners at regional SABC competitions held across Canada in April.

All 13 to 19 years old and enrolled in Grades 9 through 12, the students were mentored by university professors and others who volunteer their expertise and many hours over several months each year to assist these young researchers.

How a 16-year-old used a supercomputer to find a promising new treatment for cystic fibrosis
Grade 11 student Marshall Zhang impressed many experts when he used the Canadian SCINET supercomputing network to discover a new and potentially effective drug cocktail to treat cystic fibrosis.

The results demonstrated the usefulness of computer-based approaches to discover drug-like compounds.

“Marshall’s findings show that computational methods can drive the discovery of compounds that may offer effective treatment for cystic fibrosis,” says his project mentor Dr. Christine Bear, a researcher at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Research Institute.

CF is a common, fatal genetic disease where the lungs’ normal protective coating of thin mucus becomes thick and sticky — an inviting environment for serious, sometimes fatal bacterial infections. A genetic mutation is responsible for most cases of CF. Leading research currently in clinical trials suggests that specific drugs may help correct this defect.

At Dr. Bear’s lab at Sick Kids, Marshall used sophisticated SCINET computer modeling to investigate what these drugs might be doing to ‘correct’ the genetic defect at the molecular level. On the computer, he identified how two drugs each interacted with one specific part of the mutant protein. He then proved his ‘virtual’ findings were correct using living cells in culture.

Marshall correctly suspected that using two drugs together might prove more effective because they interacted with different parts of the mutant protein.

“The cells treated with the two drugs were functioning as if they were the cells of healthy individuals,” says Marshall.

“The thrill of knowing that I was on the forefront of current knowledge was absolutely the best thing about my experience,” says Marshall, adding that the lab experience and “getting a taste of real research has definitely driven me towards pursuing science in the future.”

“I think that Marshall has tremendous potential to be a scientist in the future because of his intelligence, motivation and determination,” adds Dr. Bear.

* * * * *

The national competition finalists:
Greater Montreal (2nd place, and special judges’ prize for the project with greatest commercial potential)
Jonatham Khouzam, Simon Leclerc and Francis Marcogliese, all 19-year-old CEGEP students at College Jean de Brebeuf, Montreal
Students develop vegetable-based stabilizers, remove animal ingredients from sorbet
Eastern Ontario (3rd place)
Shannon Watson, 18, Grade 12, Canterbury High School, Ottawa
What fights bad, antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Good bacteria in fermented milk from Zambia
Calgary (4th place)
Yasamin Mahjoub, 16, Grade 11, Sir Winston Churchill High School
Effects of pregnancy on multiple sclerosis suggest a new line of treatment
Manitoba (5th place)
Siyuan Cheng, 14, Grade 9, Fort Richmond Collegiate, Winnipeg
Grade 9 student opens door to treatment of incurable leukemia
British Columbia
Vincent Ye, 18, Grade 12, Dr. Charles Best Secondary School, Coquitlam
Student uses 3D imaging to show how drinking alcohol shrinks brain cells
Catherine Fan and Jessica Li, both 17, Grade 12, Old Scona Academic High School
Students’ discovery may go to clinical trial as a new treatment for common hospital infection
Nova Scotia
Samantha Wright-Smith, 16, Grade 11, South Colchester Academy, Brookfield
Student grows bacteria that could aid oil spill cleanups
New Brunswick
Camille Champigny, 15, Grade 10, École l’Odysée, Moncton
Coming to grips with the health dangers of pesticides
Northern Manitoba
Emily Klekta, 16, Grade 11, Swan Valley Regional Secondary School, Swan River
Student finds faster way to grow vegetables in short, cold climate growing season
Hannah Boone, 14, Grade 9, St. Paul’s Jr. High School, St. John’s and Megan Howse, 15, Grade 10, O’Donel High School, Mt. Pearl
Is green tea the ticket to better heart health?
Prince Edward Island, Samuel Mundy, 18, and Hardy Strom, 17, Grade 12, Three Oaks Senior High School, Summerside
Students find fungus that eats oil
Southwestern Ontario
Jessie MacAlpine, 15, Grade 10, Huron Park Secondary School, Woodstock
Turning an noxious weed into a green herbicide
Pranay Pratijit, 15, Evan Hardy Collegiate, Prakriti Pratijit, 13, Walter Murray Collegiate, Saskatoon
Students develop wheat with major health benefits
Greater Toronto
Marshall Zhang, 16, Grade 11, Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill
Student explores supercomputer network to look for cure for cystic fibrosis

* * * * *
Chaired by Dr. Luis Barreto, former Vice President, Immunization and Science Policy, Sanofi Pasteur Limited, the distinguished national judging panel consists of:
Dr. Roman Szumski, Vice President, Life Sciences, National Research Council Canada
Dr. Pierre Meulien, President and CEO, Genome Canada
Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Dr. Ron Pearlman, Associate Scientific Director, The Gairdner Foundation
Dr. Denis Kay, Director, BioTalent Canada
Dr. Lesley Warren, Professor, Biogeochemistry, McMaster University
Brian Krug, 17, of John F. Ross C.V.I., Guelph, second place national SABC winner 2010.

The SABC was initiated by Canada’s Sanofi Pasteur Ltd. in 1994 as a regional science competition and has since expanded to national and international levels.

Now in its 18th year, the Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge is a high-level event that introduces students to the real world of biotechnology by carrying out research projects of their own design. Each student team works with a mentor in their community, who provides expert advice and access to equipment and supplies. The projects and presentations are judged at the NRC by senior officials of the federal public service and private sector, and by the previous student winner of the SABC national competition.

University-level mentoring is a distinguishing characteristic of the competition, as is the emphasis judges place on the ability of competitors to communicate science ideas.
The competition drives students to broaden their horizons and challenge their intellect. Each of the student teams work with a mentor in their community who provides expert advice and access to equipment and supplies. Many of the students who compete go on to careers in biotechnology, healthcare, agriculture, and the environment.
More than 100 organizations Canada-wide are partnered in this educational outreach initiative.

National competition supporters:
* Sanofi Pasteur and sanofi-aventis
* BioTalent Canada
* National Research Council of Canada
* Genome Canada
* Canadian Institutes for Health Research
* The Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program.
Winning student teams share their cash prize with their school. In some cities, regional winners also receive university scholarships or summer jobs.

The competition mirrors the real world of scientific research by
* Requiring students to submit research proposals for evaluation by a scientific evaluation committee;
* Providing up to $200 in advance funding to approved student projects;
* Assigning mentors to each team to provide expert advice and access to equipment and supplies; and
* Having each student project judged by fellow students (peer review) and by judges representing government, business, academia and the education community.

A distinguishing characteristic of the competition is the emphasis judges place on the competitors’ communication of science ideas.
Many regional competition events include lectures by leading local biotechnology researchers, science workshops for students and teachers, and exhibits on biotechnology.

* * * * *

About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company’s heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information:

About BioTalent Canada
BioTalent Canada helps Canada’s bio-economy industry thrive globally. As a non-profit national organization of innovators leading our bio-economy, BioTalent Canada anticipates needs and creates new opportunities, delivering human resources tools, information and skills development to ensure the industry has access to job-ready people. BioTalent Canada is a Canadian sector council, one of many partnership organizations created to address skills-development issues in key sectors of the economy. For more information:, BioTalent Canada 613-235-1402 x.229

Bioscience Education Canada Newsletter Fall 2011

Volume 3 Issue 1

In this Issue:

  • Sanofi Aventis BioTalent Challenge Changes Its name
  • SBCC (Greater Toronto Area) April 17-19, 2012, competition location to be determined, award ceremony at MaRS.
  • Bioscience Lectures and Workshops
  • Green Mining Experience at McMaster
  • Ontario Genomics Institute “Genomics Teaching Prize”
  • Gowlings Biotech Essay Contest on “Canada’s Top Biotechnology Story of the Year”
  • Bioscience Education Canada (BEC)