Princess Margaret Cancer Centre champions Canadian excellence in health research on Roche global cancer research network

Partnership positions Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to provide Canadian perspective on a Network of 21 academic centres from around the world to access and share technology, data and expertise to advance the science of cancer immunotherapy

Roche invests up to 100 million Swiss Francs (more than $130 million Canadian dollars) to support basic and clinical research collaborations

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Hoffmann-La Roche Limited (Roche Canada) today announced that Toronto-based Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has joined the company's global cancer immunotherapy Centres of Research Excellence (imCORE) Network. The network brings together the world's leading scientific and clinical experts in cancer immunotherapy to collaborate on the investigation and development of promising new treatment approaches for the disease. The goal is to rapidly initiate pre-clinical and clinical research based on the latest scientific discoveries in cancer immunotherapy and to aggregate, as well as share data within the Network to help accelerate research for people living with cancer. 

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths in the country.1 In fact, 2 out of 5 Canadians (45 per cent of men and 42 per cent of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes.2

"Cancer is a complex disease, and one that poses a significant burden across the world," said Ronnie Miller, President and CEO, Roche Canada. "As a research-driven organization, Roche is proud to have the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre join the imCORE Network to help us better understand immune biology and cancer, and to ultimately improve treatment options, as well as outcomes for patients. We believe that by working as a truly global cancer research team, we can help transform the fight against cancer."

The imCORE Network is comprised of 21 academic centres, inclusive of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, from nine countries across the globe, working together to access and share technology, data and expertise to advance science. The aim is to identify approaches to expand the number of people who benefit from cancer immunotherapy by exploring new ways to activate a person's immune system to fight their cancer. The Network will work collaboratively with Roche to identify new avenues of research, to refine current research assumptions and to prioritize research projects to expedite the discovery and development of novel treatment regimens and options.

"The imCORE Network provides a great opportunity for academic centres like ours to collaborate and explore new concepts, both in the laboratory and in the clinic," said Dr. Lillian Siu, Medical Oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Site Lead for the imCORE Network. "This type of collective learning is exactly what is needed to make important progress in a field as fast-moving as cancer immunotherapy."

As a part of a global announcement regarding the launch of the imCORE Network, Roche has made a commitment to invest up to 100 million Swiss Francs (more than $130 million Canadian dollars) to support basic and clinical research collaborations related to cancer immunotherapy. This investment is incremental to Roche's on-going research and development of investigational medicines and treatment approaches in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

"We are delighted that Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has been selected to be part of the imCORE Network," said Dr. Bradly Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research, University Health Network. "This is a testament to the successful synergy between our Drug Development program and our Tumour Immunotherapy Program that enables us to bring high quality basic, translational and clinical research to our patients."

About the imCORE Network

imCORE is a global network of basic and clinical scientists from 21 leading academic research institutions in cancer immunotherapy who will work together with scientists from Roche (and Genentech, a member of the Roche group in the United States), with the goal of developing better treatments for people with cancer. imCORE represents Roche's most recent commitment to collaborate with the global cancer community to further understand the biology and immunology of cancer and to develop new treatments that may offer better outcomes for patients. With this goal in mind, Roche will work in collaboration with the network on existing and new investigational medicines, diagnostic technologies and emerging data. The network will also closely collaborate to identify and prioritize the most promising new treatment approaches and to rapidly conduct clinical trials to accelerate progress in the field. 

About Roche in Canada

Roche Canada was founded in 1931. The company employs approximately 900 people across the country, with its pharmaceuticals head office located in Mississauga, Ontario, and diagnostics division based in Laval, Quebec. Roche Canada is actively involved in local communities, investing in charitable organizations and partnering with healthcare institutions across the country. For more information, please visit www.rochecanada.com.

About Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has achieved an international reputation as a global leader in the fight against cancer and delivering personalized cancer medicine. The Princess Margaret, one of the top five international cancer research centres, is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Michener Institute for Education; all affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information, go to www.theprincessmargaret.ca or www.uhn.ca.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law

REFERENCES

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1 Canadian Cancer Society. Cancer statistics at a glance.  Last accessed January 30, 2017.  Available online at http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-statistics-at-a-glance/?region=on.

2 Ibid.

SOURCE Roche Canada

For further information: Naziah Lasi-Tejani, Roche Canada, T: 905-542-5598, E: Naziah.Lasi-Tejani@roche.com; Jane Finlayson, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, T: 416-946-4501 ext. 2846, E: Jane.Finlayson@uhn.ca; Abigail Bueno, Agnostic, T: 416-969-2724, E: abueno@thinkagnostic.com


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