Astellas Pharma Canada pledges additional funding in support of Canadian National Transplant Research Program

Goal is to improve patient health outcomes for organ and tissue transplant recipients

MARKHAM, ON, July 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc. has announced a new partnership with the recently launched Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP), a novel research initiative that brings a collaborative and transdisciplinary approach to advancing research and patient care in the field of transplant.

Astellas has pledged $1 Million over a period of five years to support Canadian investigators in the transplant field as they work to address barriers to tissue and organ donation, with the ultimate goal of improving long-term outcomes and quality of life for transplant patients.

The program is led by Dr. Lori West at the Alberta Transplant Institute, University of Alberta, and Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert at the Université de Montréal.  It brings together 105 investigators and 86 collaborators from 13 different universities and research centres across Canada.

"By bringing the transplant research community together with industry, we will be able to investigate barriers to improve the availability of transplants for all patients who need them, to improve the safety of transplants so we can have better long-term results and fewer complications, as well as to improve the efficacy of transplants so we can improve the quality of life of patients who have been transplanted," says Dr. Lori West, Director of the CNTRP and Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Immunology at the University of Alberta.  "Industry engagement with the university-based academic researchers of the CNTRP will be exceedingly helpful in guiding subsequent innovation by engaging basic science and clinical researchers in the continuum of discovery.  Stronger bridging with industry will accelerate health outcome improvements and create an environment for innovation, on which the CNTRP will build commercial partnerships towards better health for Canadians."

The program has the potential to have a transformative effect on the field of transplantation.  The hope is not only to increase scientific knowledge to improve current healthcare practices, but also to drive further research that will ultimately translate into novel treatments and enhanced donation policies for the future. The CNTRP is the first program in the world to unite and integrate the solid organ transplant, bone marrow transplant and the donation and critical care research communities together in a groundbreaking national research endeavour.1

"Astellas has a proud history of supporting the Canadian transplant community," says Michael Tremblay, President, Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc. "We are pleased to be able to provide additional support for key research activities that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for transplant patients here in Canada, and beyond."

About the Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP)

The Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP) is a national initiative designed to increase organ and tissue donation in Canada and enhance the survival and quality of life of Canadians who receive transplants. The research goals of the CNTRP:​

  • Increase the availability of transplants 
  • Extend the longevity of grafts 
  • Improve the long-term survival and quality of life of transplant patients 
  • Develop and enhance the pool of researchers and clinicians in the field of transplantation 
  • Integrate and coordinate transplantation research nationwide

More information about CNTRP can be found at

About Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.
Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., headquartered in Markham, ON, is a Canadian affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. In Canada, Astellas has an intense commercial focus on five therapeutic areas - Urology, Immunology, Infectious Disease, Dermatology and Oncology.

For more information about Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc., please visit the corporate website:

1 Harper Government supports Canadian National Transplant Research Program. Press release, dated April 22, 2013.

SOURCE: Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.

For further information:

Naomi Côté
Corporate Communications
Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.
(905) 946-5621

Dr. Lori West
Director, Canadian National Transplant Research Program
(780) 492-3200


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