In this period of national emergency, we remain committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our employees, customers, research partners, as well as the research participants under our supervision.

Continuation of Services
We plan to continue to offer full board IRB meetings on a weekly basis and delegated reviews of submissions on a daily basis. Please count on our support and expertise to assist you in managing exceptional situations and making decisions that take into consideration research participants’ well-being, while securing compliance with the normative requirements governing research in humans.

Priority Reviews
Veritas IRB will prioritize the review of initial submissions, unanticipated problems and modifications to IRB-approved research arising as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and requiring timely action. Other submissions will be processed based on our SOPs’ priority assessment scale. Please be assured that we will do everything that is necessary to maintain our usual turnaround times for these reviews.

Protocol Deviations and Unanticipated Problems
During the pandemic, your research team may need to revisit its practices and procedures. It may not be feasible to draft study protocol amendments, and deviations from the study protocol may become unavoidable during this time. These may raise concerns about the welfare and rights of your research participants and the integrity of your study data.

Should the proposed deviation(s) have already occurred, please complete the Veritas IRB Significant Protocol Deviation Reporting Form so that we may forward to the IRB for review and acknowledgment.

Alternatively, should you be anticipating an eventual deviation from the study protocol, you may complete the Veritas IRB Unanticipated Problems Involving Risk to Participants or Others Reporting Form, on which you may report the COVID-19 outbreak as the unanticipated problem. The proposed Protocol Waiver request(s) may be described either directly in that form, in a separate email communication, memorandum, or other pertinent documents.

Such information will be immediately forwarded to the IRB for review as a priority and will be reviewed within 3 business days.

Once a formal protocol amendment has been drafted, this may be submitted to the IRB for review and approval.

Communication of New Information
The current situation is unprecedented. In order to assist our research community, we will continue to provide updates on our ethics review activities as well as any other pertinent information that may be of assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to consult our website or follow our LinkedIn page for updates. Also, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or require assistance.

Martin Letendre
Martin Letendre

As President of Veritas IRB Inc., Martin is responsible for managing the business operations and for leading its Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). Martin is a member of the Quebec Bar and brings close to twenty years of experience in biotechnology law and research ethics. Martin was actively involved in the creation of an on-line tutorial for the institutional research ethics boards affiliated to the Quebec Ministry of Health. Martin also chaired the Research Integrity Committee of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and was a member of Canada's federal research agencies' Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research (PRCR). Martin currently is a member of the Human Research Standards Organization (HRSO) board of directors and technical steering committee. Martin holds a Masters Degree in Law and Bioethics from McGill University, a LLB and a BA in philosophy from Université de Montréal.

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