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Friday, June 19, 2015

Ontario Invests $25 Million in Stem Cell Research

Ontario is investing $25 million over five years to support new treatments and therapies for people living with chronic diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

Today Minister Moridi was at the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto where he announced funding for the institute's 150 leading stem cell and regenerative medicine scientists, clinicians and engineers.

Regenerative medicine is a body of research that is revolutionizing health care by studying how to replace or regenerate cells, tissues and organs that have been damaged by chronic disease. It also has significant commercialization opportunity, as new breakthroughs lead to innovative diagnostics, tools and products with strong market potential.

Stem cells were first discovered in Ontario. Supporting world-class research at the institute will bolster the province's position as a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research and commercialization, as well as attract more international clinical trials and private sector investment. Other stem cell therapy research that is currently being conducted in Ontario includes:

  • A research project that is investigating how to fix damaged hearts with heart muscle derived from stem cells
  • A research project that is studying how to restore degenerative vision loss

Investing in research and commercialization is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
 
Quick Facts:

  • Ontario’s $25 million investment was highlighted in the 2015 Budget.
  • Chronic diseases contribute $190 billion annually to health care and other costs across the country.
  • The current global market for tissue engineering and cell therapy is projected to reach $19.4 billion by the end of this year.
  • To date, Ontario has committed $159 million to more than 147 research projects that help provide better health outcomes for individuals suffering from degenerative diseases.
  • The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine is the commercial arm of the institute.

Quotes:

"Stem cell research is laying the pathway towards better therapies and cures for devastating conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. Our ongoing commitment to the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine will help ensure our province remains a world leader in regenerative medicine, offer significant economic benefits and improve our health care system and the lives of all Ontarians."

— Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation

"Ontario is exceptionally rich in terms of research talent, commercial capacity and a strong health care system, which is why it is a powerhouse in the field of regenerative medicine. We are extremely pleased with this government’s support and investment in the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which we will turn into stem cell therapies, technologies and innovation for Ontario's future health and prosperity."

— Janet Rossant, Executive Director, Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine

"The investment into the OIRM will draw more companies to Ontario's substantial clinical infrastructure, trigger industry-led investment in advanced manufacturing and attract risk capital to finance new start-ups. The province's investment will galvanize Ontario’s position as a global leader in the commercial application of regenerative medicine therapies."

— Michael May, CEO, Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine

Media Contacts:

Belinda Bien
Minister’s Office
647-823-5489
Belinda.Bien@ontario.ca

Brigitte Marleau
Communications Branch
416-325-2479
Brigitte.Marleau@ontario.ca
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