Health Research At Sunnybrook Will Save Lives



    McGuinty Government Investing $23M In 'World-First' Health Care
    Discoveries

    TORONTO, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - A 'world-first' system to better diagnose and
treat cardiovascular disease - and save lives - is the goal of a new
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre project.
    The project is one of two cutting-edge research projects at the
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to receive funding from the McGuinty
government. The government is funding the projects in partnership with
industry to support the province's top researchers in areas where Ontario can
compete and win in the global marketplace.
    Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson made the announcement
today with MPP for Don Valley West Kathleen Wynne.

    Ontario is investing:

    
    -   More than $14 million to create better imaging tools to diagnose,
        monitor and treat cardiovascular diseases. Sunnybrook's new approach
        is a world-first and will lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis,
        potentially less invasive surgical procedures and, ultimately, better
        health outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease.

    -   Over $8 million to explore the use of focused ultrasound surgery for
        a wide range of medical conditions, from soft tissue tumours to
        neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and other
        neurodegenerative diseases. Because of its reduced invasiveness, this
        approach speeds treatment time and patient recovery--and reduces
        health-care costs.
    

    The $22.9 million for the two projects is part of nearly $115 million
invested by the government to support 19 cutting-edge research projects across
Ontario. The research at universities, institutes and hospitals will receive
matching funding from 107 major industry and other partners.
    "To ensure Ontario can compete and win in the global economy, our
government is investing in leading research in our province," Wilkinson said.
"The strong partnerships among our top researchers, global business leaders
and government will help provide Ontarians with better healthcare services, a
higher quality of life and more opportunities for success."
    "Sunnybrook's state-of-the-art facilities house some of the best research
talent in the world," said Wynne. "These projects announced today will help
ensureToronto remains at the forefront of medical research and continues to
build the skilled workforce we need to prosper in the 21st century."
    "The Ontario government firmly recognizes that health research and
innovation offers two great benefits," said Dr. Barry A. McLellan, President
and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "We can continue to improve our
quality of life and healthcare here at home and produce new tools for
diagnosis and treatment that we can market to the world. Sunnybrook is proud
to be a key part of that process."

    
    Together, these investments form part of the McGuinty government's plan to
support research excellence that can be developed into new products and
services that will boost Ontario's economy and support Ontario families. Other
initiatives include:

    -   Launching the $160 million Ideas-to-Market strategy that supports
        emerging companies, which includes the Ontario Venture Capital Fund;
    -   Providing a 21 per cent Capital Tax rate cut for all businesses
        retroactive to January 1, 2007, on the way to full elimination in
        2010;
    -   Announcing in the 2007 Fall Economic Statement an additional
        $50 million in strategic investment to further strengthen Ontario's
        environment for scientific research that will lead to new
        discoveries, higher quality of life and new jobs.

    For more information about the Ontario Research Fund, please visit
www.ontario.ca/innovation.


    Disponible en français

                          www.ontario.ca/innovation
    


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUNNYBROOK RECEIVES $22.9 MILLION
    FOR RESEARCH THAT WILL SAVE LIVES

    Today's announcement represents the second round of funding under the
Ontario Research Fund's Research Excellence program. In this round, the
government is providing $22.9 million to support two world-class projects at
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Funding will be matched by 11 industry and
other partners participating in the projects.

    Improving non-invasive surgical procedures to treat cancer patients
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Focused Ultrasound Devices for Noninvasive Surgery and Drug Delivery

    Developing and commercializing promising focused ultrasound devices
    Lead researcher: Dr. Kullervo Hynynen
    Total project cost: $25,268,480
    Provincial funding: $8,422,827

    Focused ultrasound surgery has a massive potential to be a leading
non-invasive therapy for a wide range of medical conditions from soft tissue
tumours to neurological disorders.
    Researchers at Sunnybrook Hospital are working with private sector
partners to explore the use of focused ultrasound surgery as a leading
non-invasive therapy for a wide range of medical conditions, from soft tissue
tumours to Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
    Focused ultrasound energy uses high energy waves in therapeutic and
surgical applications. For example, it can be used to direct intense heat at
cancer cells to kill them. Because the treatment is precise and non-invasive,
both the recovery time for the patient and surgical costs are reduced.
Additional benefits include improved patient safety, fewer side effects and
shorter hospitals stays. The initial research will investigate whether
prostate cancer tumours could be treated more quickly than with present
practices. Other types of cancer tumours such as breast, throat and rectal
cancer will also be subjects in the later stages of their research.

    Key private sector partners:

    Energid Technologies Corporation, Philips Medical Systems,
UltraDiagnostics Inc

    
    Key Facts:

    -   Worldwide therapeutic ultrasound revenues are expected to exceed
        $2 billion by 2011.
    -   The research team will work to enhance focused ultrasound therapy and
        to open new clinical opportunities for this technology.
    -   This research will lead to significant benefits by either reducing
        the costs of devices and treatments, or by enabling the development
        and delivery of new treatments.
    -   This project will help position Ontario as a leader in the
        development and distribution of focused ultrasound technology systems
        around the world.
    -   Dr. Hynynen, the principal investigator will establish a team of nine
        researchers and 25 additional junior and support personnel.

    Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence Program
    ---------------------------------------------------

    This second round of funding under the Research Excellence program will
invest $114,709,614 to support 19 world-class projects at nine Ontario
universities, institutes and hospitals. Funding will be matched by 107 major
industry and other partners participating in the projects.
    For more information about the Ontario Research Fund, please visit
www.ontario.ca/innovation.

    Contacts:

    Perry Blocher                        Sandra Watts
    Ministry of Research and Innovation  Minister's Office
    416-326-7717                         416-314-7067

    Disponible en français

                         www.ontario.ca/innovation 2
    


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUNNYBROOK RECEIVES $22.9 MILLION
    FOR RESEARCH THAT WILL SAVE LIVES

    Today's announcement represents the second round of funding under the
Ontario Research Fund's Research Excellence program. In this round, the
government is providing $22.9 million to support two world-class projects at
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Funding will be matched by 11 industry and
other partners participating in the projects.

    Improving Health Outcomes For Patients With Cardiovascular Disease
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Imaging for Cardiovascular Therapeutics (ICT)
    Developing better tools to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease
    Lead researcher: Dr. Graham Wright
    Total project cost: $43,471,452
    Provincial funding: $14,490,484

    Cardiovascular disease was once a sudden killer. But with new treatments
and a greater understanding of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries),
prevention is becoming a realistic goal. As a result, new approaches are
emerging aimed at better diagnosis and treatment - but their full
commercialization potential has yet to be realized.
    Researchers at Sunnybrook Hospital are working with private sector
partners to apply a range of the imaging technology to create better tools to
diagnose, monitor and treat cardiovascular diseases. Sunnybrook's new approach
is a `world-first' because currently, patients wait for individual imaging
tests including MRI, x-rays and CAT scans. With this new all-in-one,
streamlined process which is unique to Sunnybrook, the patient will remain in
the same room and receive all of the imaging diagnostics at the same time.
    This will lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis, potentially less
invasive surgical procedures and ultimately, better health outcomes for
patients with cardiovascular disease.

    Key private sector partners:

    Bayer HealthCare, Boston Scientific, GE Healthcare, Medtronic, MediRecon,
Siemens, St Jude Medical, Pfizer

    
    Key Facts:

    -   The North American market for cardiovascular devices is estimated to
        grow to more than $40 billion by 2011.

    -   Currently available technology requires a multi-step approach where
        different images (MRI, x-Rays and CAT scans) are recorded at
        different times. This creates gaps in the timeline for detecting
        cardiovascular disease and results in longer wait times for patients.
    -   The Sunnybrook project will integrate efforts to create a
        comprehensive program in imaging for cardiovascular therapeutics that
        will lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis and more effective
        treatments - including pharmacology, biology (cells) and medical
        devices.
    -   This project will be critical to realizing these health benefits and
        tapping into the multi-billion dollar diagnostic imaging,
        pharmaceutical and interventional devices industries.
    -   Dr. Wright will create a team of 52 investigators supported by
        56 trainees to conduct the five-year project.

    Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence Program
    ---------------------------------------------------

    This second round of funding under the Research Excellence program will
invest $114,709,614 to support 19 world-class projects at nine Ontario
universities, institutes and hospitals. Funding will be matched by 107 major
industry and other partners participating in the projects.

    For more information about the Ontario Research Fund, please visit
www.ontario.ca/innovation.

    Contacts:

    Perry Blocher                        Sandra Watts
    Ministry of Research and Innovation  Minister's Office
    416-326-7717                         416-314-7067

    Disponible en français

                         www.ontario.ca/innovation 2
    




For further information:

For further information: Perry Blocher, Ministry of Research and
Innovation, (416) 326-7717; Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416) 314-7067

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

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