Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

March 02, 2015 16:30 ET

Harper Government Supports Innovation in Immunotherapy Treatments

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 2, 2015) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced funding of $2,167,000 to The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) to support the development and commercialization of innovative treatments for human disease in the field of immunotherapy.

Through this project, called the 'Immunotherapy Initiative', CDRD will collaborate with academic and private sector partners to develop new technologies and potentially identify new targets for immunotherapy. The funding will support CDRD in acquiring specialized equipment that will be used to develop these novel therapies.

Immunotherapy is a powerful therapeutic approach that uses the human body's immune system to treat disease by inducing or suppressing an immune response. Unlike traditional pharmaceutical drugs which directly target or interact with affected cells, immunotherapy harnesses the power of the immune system to kill cancer cells or suppress inflammation and the effect can be long-lasting, without the need for frequent therapies. Therefore, immunotherapy has the potential to effectively treat cancer and other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition to the potential for the development of new treatments, this initiative will bolster and strengthen B.C. and Western Canada's dynamic life-sciences sector and advance this region's position in an emerging global market.

Quick Facts

  • CDRD is Canada's national, not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre with a mandate to mitigate the risk of discoveries stemming from publicly funded research to create viable investment opportunities for the private sector.
  • It is estimated that the potential market opportunity for immunotherapy will exceed $35 billion by 2023, and that in ten years, immunotherapy will likely form the backbone of 60% of all developed-world cancer management regimes.

Quotes

"Our Government is proud to support projects such as this with exciting potential for the development of innovative new treatments for disease. In addition, we are creating opportunities for growth in British Columbia's already dynamic life sciences sector."

- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"Funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada has enabled us to expand our capacity to develop and commercialize innovative immunotherapy treatments for human disease. Not only has this created highly skilled jobs, it provides Canadian researchers access to new commercialization opportunities in this exciting and rapidly expanding area of drug development."

- Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO, The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)

Additional Links

- Canada Strengthens Medical Research in British Columbia: http://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/77_12766.asp

- Centre for Drug Research and Development: www.cdrd.ca

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Contact Information

  • Emily Goucher
    Office of the Minister
    Western Economic Diversification
    613-954-8097
    emily.goucher@wd-deo.gc.ca

    Julia White
    Manager, Communications
    The Centre for Drug Research and Development
    604-827-1226
    jwhite@cdrd.ca

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