New strategy, special financing to advance disease treatment, prevention or
diagnosis programs of Ontario bioscience companies

Province responds to recommendations of Ontario Bioscience Industry Organization (OBIO) council of life-science sector chief executive officers

TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ - A new commercialization strategy providing access to an initial round of special financing from the Government of Ontario will help the province's bioscience companies fund advancement of their programs to treat, prevent and diagnose disease. Ontario spends more than $5 billion a year on drug therapies and devices, most of which are imported.

Initial one-time special financing of $7 million exclusively for Ontario-based bioscience companies is being provided by the Government of Ontario. OBIO is recommending that eligible companies be permitted to match this money with funds from other investors, giving it the potential to make this a $14-million financing.

These new commercialization and financing initiatives respond to OBIO's report, "Industry Generated Recommendations for Sustainability and Growth of Ontario's Bioscience Industry in 2010 and Beyond", presented to the province in 2009. The report - - resulted from a series of regional CEO-working groups and online consultations, and has been the basis for discussions between OBIO, senior public servants and MPPs in 2010.

Gail Garland, president and chief executive officer, OBIO, said: "We are grateful to the Ministry of Research and Innovation for its swift response to support Ontario's bioscience industry with urgently needed funds. OBIO has developed proposed guidelines for deployment of these funds with the advice of finance-industry experts and bioscience-company CEOs."

OBIO's guidelines for disbursing the initial financing round were developed at the request of the Ontario government. The guidelines cover recommendations for eligibility, investment, and administration, approval and due diligence.

About OBIO

Ontario Bioscience Industry Organization (OBIO) is Ontario's leading advocate for the life-science sector. A private sector, membership-based organization, OBIO engages in policy advocacy and government relations activities to enable successful development and commercialization of life-science technology through investment, strategic alliances, stakeholder engagement and industry promotion in Ontario. OBIO is supported by Members and Sponsors, among whom are Amgen Canada, AstraZeneca Canada, Dalton Pharma Services, Dalton Medicinal Chemistry, The Equicom Group, Gowlings, HealthComm, Merck Frosst, Pfizer Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Purdue Pharma Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Rx & D and VWR.


For further information: For further information: Gail Garland, President & CEO - (416) 575-7805,; Cathy Carter, HealthComm - (905) 338-0825

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