Ontario Partnering With California On New Medical Therapies
TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ -
Researchers in Ontario and California are partnering on a project to make
it easier to turn cutting-edge stem cell research into medical breakthroughs.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty made the announcement at the BIO 2008
Conference, where he is working with biotechnology leaders to promote Ontario
and attract investment.
The province is investing $1 million in a partnership with California's
Gladstone Institutes (http://www.gladstone.ucsf.edu/gladstone/site/gweb1/).
Gladstone researchers are leading efforts to implement one of the most
significant recent scientific discoveries: that it is possible to change
ordinary skin cells into stem cells. Ontario researchers - at the University
of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children - have developed the technology and
expertise to produce these cells in quantity. The scientists will work
together to advance this new area of stem cell research and discover
breakthrough medical therapies.
Stem cells have the potential to be powerful tools in repairing tissue
and fighting illness. This research offers the potential to reproduce every
cell type in the body and offers new opportunities for personalized stem cell
medicine. Until now, the most common source of stem cells has been human eggs
or embryos, which has been controversial.
"Ontario is on the leading edge of some of the most exciting and
significant research that's being undertaken today. And breakthroughs in
biotechnology provide a big career break for people in start up companies,"
said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Our government is committed to scientific research that will help save
lives and improve quality of life. This new partnership will keep Ontario at
the cutting-edge of global stem cell research and contribute to better health
care for Ontarians -- and a stronger knowledge-based economy," said Minister
of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson.
"Ontario and California are both leaders in stem cell research - a field
that has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of disease. Through this
partnership, scientists in our two jurisdictions will share their knowledge
and work together to realize that potential," said Dr. Janet Rossant, senior
scientist and chief of research at The Hospital for Sick Children.
- Ontario has the third-largest concentration of life-sciences companies
in North America. There are 850 companies with revenue of more than
$14 billion and employing 43,000 people.
- Ontario scientists were the first to discover stem cells in the 1960s
and the province continues to be a global leader in stem cell research
- Together, Ontario and California represent 70 per cent of stem cell
research in North America.
Read about the pioneering stem cell research by Ontario's Dr. James Till
and Dr. Ernest McCulloch (http://www.uhnresearch.ca/news/NR/NRSummer2006.pdf).
See how Ontario is supporting innovation
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/about/MRIStory.asp) and biomedical research.
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For further information: Premier's Media Office: (416) 314-8975