Government of Canada invests in bringing innovative cancer treatments to market
$15 million investment in Montréal's C3i will accelerate Canadians' access to innovative cancer immunotherapies
July 7, 2016 – Montréal, Quebec – Networks of Centres of Excellence
Canada's publicly funded health care system is a source of pride and a defining value for Canadians. They rely on it for timely access to universal, high-quality and innovative treatments and services that are based on need, not on the ability to pay. To support Canadians battling cancer, the Government of Canada is investing $15 million over five years in the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i). Immunotherapy is an emerging area of medicine that uses the power of the immune system to combat cancer. When brought to market, C3i's form of cancer treatment stands to revolutionize cancer care by providing access to non-toxic, highly efficient cures that do not rely on chemotherapy.
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, made today's announcement alongside Gaétan Barrette, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services. They celebrated the launch of the Centre, made possible with funding through the most recent Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program competition.
Operating out of Montréal's Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, C3i will combine clinical diagnostics, access to clinical trials and regulatory support to bring effective and affordable cancer remedies to Canadians and the world.
"The CECR program helps to bridge the gap between lab-based research and a commercially viable product. Today's announcement is yet another example of the great scientific research that is being done across the country, and it speaks to the tremendous efforts that these researchers are making to produce therapies that will revolutionize cancer care in Canada. On behalf of our government, I want to congratulate the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy."– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science
"Our research ecosystem needs to be balanced in a way that supports the constant interchange between discovery and innovation. Commercialization centres satisfy a very specific need by providing a solid connection between the ideas generated by foundational research and the expertise that can take the most promising ideas toward commercialization."– B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Chair, Networks of Centres of Excellence Steering Committee
"By harnessing the power of the immune system, we have the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment. These are game-changing therapies, and with this support C3i can work to ensure a brighter future for cancer patients. At the same time, Canada has the expertise in this area to become a world leader and take advantage of the tremendous business opportunity presented by immunotherapy. C3i will act as a catalyst to support this development."– Lambert Busque, Chief Medical Officer, Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy
"This valuable contribution from the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program will enable the life sciences innovation ecosystem in Quebec to make these new therapeutic approaches available sooner to doctors and their patients. We are therefore proud to support, through the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé, the establishment of C3i in Montréal, which will strengthen Quebec's expertise in cancer immunotherapy."– Gaétan Barrette, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services
- Operating out of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, C3i will be a one-stop shop for the development, translation and commercialization of groundbreaking cancer treatments.
- CECRs match research expertise with the business community, facilitating the development of products and technologies at a stage in the commercialization process where it is otherwise difficult to attract private sector investment. They ensure that more of the inventive products and processes developed in Canada make it to market here as well as abroad.
- The CECR program currently funds 23 centres working in such areas as information and communications technologies, health, natural resources and energy. Created in 2007, the program invests $30 million per year in Canadian innovation.
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The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), which manages the CECR program, operates a suite of national funding programs on behalf of the three federal granting agencies: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. NCE programs support large scale, multi-disciplinary collaborations between universities, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations, which focus Canada's research capacity on economic and social challenges, help commercialize and apply research breakthroughs, increase private sector R&D, and train highly qualified people.
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