Government of Canada invests in regenerative medicine research to support Canadians’ health

News release

Funding will help combat blood disorders, heart disease, diabetes and vision loss

March 2, 2020 – Montreal, Quebec

Stem cells are the body’s building blocks, responsible for growing and repairing tissues. Used in regenerative medicine, they hold immense potential to treat major illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. Since first discovering the existence of stem cells, Canadian researchers have been world leaders in this cutting-edge field, working to bring this technology from the lab and into hospitals to improve and save countless lives.

Today, on behalf of Minister Navdeep Bains, William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science), announced an investment of $6.9 million through the Stem Cell Network’s competitive research funding program, which supports some of the country’s most promising stem cell research.

The funding will support nine translational projects and four clinical trials across the country aimed at bringing new therapies to the clinic and fostering continued growth in Canada’s regenerative medicine sector. This includes supporting 200 researchers and trainees at 27 Canadian research institutions in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario, as well as direct partnerships with several emerging biotechnology companies.

Parliamentary Secretary Amos made the announcement at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, home to two of the projects announced today. One is a clinical trial that is testing a promising new protocol to make blood stem cell transplants available to more patients with severe leukemia, and the other is a biotechnology partnership that is advancing a stem cell-based approach to vision loss.

Quotes

“Stem cell and regenerative medicine are a made-in-Canada success story, and the kind of modern, high-risk, high-reward research that drives innovation and benefits all of us. The Government of Canada is proud to invest in our world-class researchers and scientists that are saving the lives of Canadians and countless others around the world.”
– William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science)

“When we invest in science, we invest in better, healthier lives for everyone. Our government’s support will help Canadian researchers further their ground-breaking work to tackle some of the most serious illnesses we face today. Congratulations to all of the recipients, and thank you for your work to keep Canada on the cutting edge of discovery and innovation.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry

“These projects reflect the strength of Canada’s stem cell research sector and its collaborative community. Through the efforts of this community, the Stem Cell Network is closer to realizing its goal of translating stem cell-based therapies from bench to bedside for the benefit of Canadians.”
– Dr. Michael Rudnicki, O.C., Scientific Director & CEO, Stem Cell Network

« Nous sommes très fiers de recevoir ce financement qui confirme l'excellence et la reconnaissance de l'Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont comme étant le plus important pôle de recherche au Québec et l’un des plus développés au Canada en thérapie cellulaire et ce, dans les domaines de l’hématologie-oncologie et de l’ophtalmologie. Les progrès des dernières années dans ces domaines sont porteurs d’espoir pour les personnes touchées par le cancer et les maladies oculaires. C'est notamment grâce au soutien financier du Réseau de cellules souches que nos chercheurs continuent d'avoir les leviers nécessaires pour faire avancer les connaissances et les traitements novateurs dans ces domaines, au grand bénéfice de tous. »
– Sylvain Lemieux, président-directeur général du CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal

Quick facts

  • The investment made today includes $2.6 million to fund four clinical trials, three of which are based in Quebec and are being led by women researchers.

  • Today’s funding is matched with partner support valued at more than $11 million.

  • The disease areas targeted by these projects include severe blood disorders, vision loss, type 1 diabetes, muscular dystrophy and heart, lung and liver diseases.

  • The global regenerative medicine market is estimated to grow to more than $81 billion by 2023.

Associated links

Contacts

Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
343-291-1710
veronique.simard2@canada.ca.

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

Lisa Willemse
Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Stem Cell Network
613-402-3974
lwillemse@stemcellnetwork.ca

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Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Follow Stem Cell Network on Twitter: @StemCellNetwork

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