Pfizer Canada Inc.

Pfizer Canada Inc.
Providence Health Care

Providence Health Care
Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
St. Paul's Hospital Foundation

St. Paul's Hospital Foundation
Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon

Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon

October 16, 2007 15:00 ET

Significant Investments in British Columbia Healthcare Set the Province at the Forefront of Research in HIV/AIDS and Cardiovascular Prevention

Pfizer Canada announces $4.25 M to two B.C. research initiatives $3M to the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS for the development of a virus strain test in Canada $1.25M to St. Paul's Hospital Foundation and Simon Fraser University to establish the first Canadian Chair in cardiovascular prevention research

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2007) - Pfizer Canada is announcing today two significant healthcare research investments in British Columbia totaling $4.25 million. The first is an investment at the internationally renowned British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the second is at St. Paul's Hospital Foundation and Simon Fraser University to establish the first Canadian research chair in cardiovascular prevention.

The development in Canada of an important tropism virus strain test for HIV/AIDS with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS will receive support with a $3 million investment by Pfizer. Currently available only in the United States, this blood screening test would be one of the solutions available to deal with HIV/AIDS drug resistance in Canada because it enables identification of the tropism of the virus (either CCR5-tropic or CXCR4-tropic). This would then allow treating physicians to prescribe the appropriate treatment regimen.

Pfizer Canada is also announcing the contribution of $1.25 million to St. Paul's Hospital Foundation and Simon Fraser University for the creation of the first Canadian research chair in cardiovascular prevention research. This new, innovative Simon Fraser University chair will be named the "Pfizer/Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research at St. Paul's Hospital". Other contributions to this chair include $1 million from an anonymous donor to St. Paul's Hospital Foundation, $750,000 from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon and $1.5 million from Simon Fraser University, for a total of more than $4.6 million, one of the largest in the country. Both research initiatives are to be housed in St. Paul's Hospital, part of Providence Health Care.

"Our support of these two B.C.-led initiatives demonstrates Pfizer Canada's commitment to excellence in healthcare research in the province and for the benefit of all Canadians," says Paul Levesque, President and CEO of Pfizer Canada. "We are extremely pleased to participate in bringing to Canada a novel test - called a tropism test -- which will benefit all HIV/AIDS patients experiencing resistance to their current treatment and allow their physician to better target the appropriate treatment regimen."

"The second investment is a unique academic partnership to create the first Canadian chair in cardiovascular prevention research, and Pfizer Canada is proud to bring this vision to reality. This Chair is of paramount importance because much of what we know about cardiovascular disease is preventable," adds Mr. Levesque.

"We thank Pfizer for making this significant investment in both the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital," said Dianne Doyle President & CEO of Providence Health Care. "These initiatives will further our research agenda in two important areas of emphasis - HIV/AIDS and cardiac - and help the patients that we serve."

Tropism test beneficial to all HIV/AIDS patients in Canada

"Dr. Richard Harrigan and his team at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS will initiate a large scale program to develop and validate a rapid and novel laboratory blood test as a means of predicting HIV tropism. The tropism test allows identification of patients who respond to certain targeted HIV medications," explains Dr. Julio Montaner, Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. "The HIV patient being tested can have his specific type of tropic strain identified (either CCR5-tropic or CXCR4-tropic)."

Chair in cardiovascular prevention research - a first in Canada

"The chair's research program aims at better understanding cardiovascular diseases and prevention strategies. This is a must as cardiovascular disease can be prevented in many cases, yet it is still the leading cause of death in Canada. This new chair will leverage the public health research strength of Simon Fraser University's new and rapidly growing Faculty of Health Sciences and build on the clinical and academic programs at St. Paul's Hospital," says Dr. Michael Stevenson, President and Vice Chancellor of Simon Fraser University.

"This initiative fills an important gap provincially, nationally and internationally. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is pleased to be part of this important endeavour, supporting the advancement of life-saving research that will make a difference to the heart health of British Columbians. In BC alone, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has contributed over $100 million since the 1950s to support world-class research at BC universities and hospitals," adds Bobbe Wood, President & CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon.

"This new endowed chair is not only the first of its kind in Canada, but it is also an opportunity to recruit a world-renowned scientist focused on cardiovascular disease prevention to British Columbia," said Dr. Andrew Ignaszewski, Division Head of Cardiology at St. Paul's Hospital/Providence Health Care. "I would like to thank all of our partners for coming together to support this initiative - one of the largest endowments in cardiovascular care in the history of Canadian medicine and research. Our team is looking forward to raising funds to establish more endowed chairs in support of world-class research within Providence's new Heart and Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital."

To view the 'Chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research Backgrounder' please visit the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/CVChair.pdf

To view the 'Tropism Backgrounder' please visit the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/tropism.pdf

To view the 'BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Backgrounder' please visit the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/BCCentre.pdf

Contact Information

  • Pfizer Canada
    Sylvie Tessier
    (514) 247-9467
    or
    Simon Fraser University
    Erica Branda
    (778) 782-3353
    or
    BC Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS
    Stephen Burega
    (604) 506-3734
    or
    Providence Health Care
    Gavin Wilson
    (604) 806-8583
    or
    St. Paul's Hospital Foundation
    Anne McLaughlin
    (604) 806-8917
    or
    Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon
    Tom Gies
    (604) 671-4042