Industry Canada

Industry Canada

December 15, 2014 11:36 ET

Harper Government Invests in New Cancer Research Network

New Ottawa Hospital-based network will focus on improving the quality of life of Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 15, 2014) - Industry Canada

Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, today announced that BioCanRX, one of four new Networks of Centres of Excellence, is receiving $25 million over five years to support collaborative research aimed at developing novel Canadian therapies to fight against cancer.

BioCanRX will help accelerate the most promising discoveries from the lab through to proof of concept, manufacturing and clinical testing. By incorporating patient outreach into the research program, the network will help spread knowledge to end users and receive critical feedback about cancer treatment. BioCanRX will seek to make Canada more competitive in biotherapeutics and reduce the human and financial cost of cancer.

This investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. The competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term.

NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists, as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.

Quick facts

- The following networks have been selected as Networks of Centres of Excellence:

New

  • Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life-AGE-WELL (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment-BioCanRX (Ottawa, Ontario)
  • Canadian Glycomics Network-GlycoNet (Edmonton, Alberta)
  • Canadian Arrhythmia Network-CANet (London, Ontario)

Renewed

  • NeuroDevNet (Vancouver, British Columbia)

- With these new grants, the Networks of Centres of Excellence program currently funds 14 networks.

- Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

- The Networks of Centres of Excellence program corresponds to all three pillars of the renewed science, technology and innovation strategy: knowledge, people and innovation. Each network develops highly skilled people, builds research knowledge and shares this expertise with business to improve processes and technologies.

Quotes

"I'm delighted to celebrate the launch of BioCanRX here in Ottawa. The Government of Canada is pleased to support innovative research that will contribute to our shared goal of improving cancer treatment for Canadians."

- Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans

"Our government is committed to investing in world-class research networks, including BioCanRX, that will develop new technologies and processes to treat cancer. Through our updated science, technology and innovation strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians."

- Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"BioCanRX will help accelerate the most promising research discoveries from the lab to the development of biologically based treatments for cancer. On behalf of the federal research funding agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is proud to support networks that integrate expertise from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations to generate and implement solutions to health issues."

- Dr. Jane Aubin, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President of Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"Biologically based cancer therapies hold the potential to be both curative and less toxic than many of our current treatment strategies. That in itself is very exciting. But what is really unique about this funding is it allows Canadian scientists to work together to develop several therapeutic strategies in parallel and then to test these both alone and in combination with each other with the goal of finding the most effective way to help our bodies' own defences fight cancer. In this case, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts."

- Dr. John Bell, Scientific Director of BioCanRX, Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa

Associated links

NCE competition results

NCE program information

Currently funded NCEs

Science, technology and innovation strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment

Canada First Research Excellence Fund

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@NCE_RCE

Backgrounder

Announcement of NCE competition results

Since its creation in 1989, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program has successfully brought together the best minds in many disciplines and sectors in efforts to solve major social, economic or health issues for Canadians.

The program supports large-scale, collaborative research networks that harness the creativity and inventiveness of Canadian health, natural, and social scientists and engineers. Funded networks integrate expertise from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations in a shared effort to generate and implement solutions to problems. In 2013-14, partner organizations of the networks added $63.4 million of cash and in kind support to the funding from the NCE. International acclaim has led other countries, including Australia, South Africa and some within the European Union, to incorporate the NCE model into their programs.

The NCE program currently supports 14 research networks.

Today's announcements of the Canadian Arrythmia Network in London and the Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment in Ottawa comprise two of four new NCEs being awarded funding as a result of this competition. One existing network was also renewed.

NEW NETWORKS

Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment - BioCanRX ($25 million)

Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario

Biologically-based treatments such as cancer-killing viruses, immune cell therapies and synthetic antibodies are among the most promising cancer treatments to emerge in the past decade. They offer targeted, effective options that help mobilize the body's natural defences, with the added benefit of being less toxic and invasive. BioCanRx will help accelerate the most promising discoveries from the lab through to proof-of-concept, manufacturing and clinical testing. Expected results also include training highly skilled people and steering new Canadian biotherapeutic products towards commercialization. By incorporating patient outreach into the research program, the network will help spread knowledge to end users and receive critical feedback about cancer treatment. With partners positioned throughout the development continuum, BioCanRx seeks to make Canada more competitive in biotherapeutics and reduce the human and financial cost of cancer.

BioCanRX includes collaboration of the following partners:

Academic

Host Institution: The Ottawa Hospital / Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
McMaster/Fraunhofer Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing - BEAM
University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine

Industry

Boehringer-Ingelheim
Genentech
Jennerex [now Sillajen]
MarabaCo [now Turnstone]
Sanofi-Pasteur
SciGenom
Takara Bio
Versant Ventures

Provincial

Alberta Innovates
BC Cancer Agency
Genome BC
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Other

Cancer Research Society
Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
Cure: Blood Cancer
Hair Donation Ottawa
Leukemia Lymphoma Society of Canada
Lymphoma Canada
National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation
Ovarian Cancer Society
Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
Terry Fox Research Institute

Canadian Arrhythmia Network - CANet ($26.3 million)

Headquarters: London, Ontario

The Canadian Arrhythmia Network (CANet) brings together clinicians, engineers, patients, industry and government in an effort to reduce premature deaths and suffering caused by heart rhythm disturbances. CANet's approach will be to put the right tools into the right hands at the right time: tools that will empower people to manage their own health, caregivers to improve patient care, and the healthcare system to provide timely, effective and efficient services to the population. This approach will be used to tackle disturbances such as sudden cardiac death, which is currently the leading cause of death in Canada, killing 40,000 yearly. Through early detection and intervention, the network seeks to transform arrhythmia care practices in Canada.

CANet includes collaboration of the following partners:

Academic

Host Institution: Western University
Carleton University
Dalhousie University
Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Prairie Vascular Research Network
Southlake Regional Health Centre
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Université Laval
University of British Columbia
University of Manitoba
University of Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa
University of Victoria

Industry

Analytics for Life
Baylis Medical Company Inc.
Biosense Webster Canada, Johnson & Johnson
Biotronik Canada Inc.
Boston Scientific Canada
Colibri Technologies Inc.
PHEMI
IBM Canada Limited
Medtronic of Canada Inc.
Siemens Canada Limited
St. Jude Medical Canada Inc.

Provincial

Alberta Health Services
Cardiac Services British Columbia
Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia
Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors
Quebec, Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux
Saskatchewan, Ministry of Health

Other

Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Hearth Rhythm Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Mitacs Inc.

Contact Information

  • Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    343-291-2700

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca

    Martin Leroux
    Media and Public Affairs Officer
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
    613-943-7618