TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), today congratulated Dr. John Bell and his collaborators on the announcement of $25 million in new funding from the Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence to launch Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment (BioCanRx). BioCanRx is a national initiative that will accelerate the development of the most promising biotherapeutics for cancer from discovery through to clinical trials, including cancer-killing viruses, immune cell therapies and synthetic antibodies.
Dr. Bell is a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), a professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Program Director of OICR's Ontario Regional Biotherapeutics Program (ORBiT). The collaborative initiative will be headquartered at The Ottawa Hospital.
"The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is proud to be a partner in BioCanRx and to see the accomplishments of the ORBiT Program recognized and forming the basis of a national platform to move laboratory discoveries into clinic," said Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of OICR. "I would like to congratulate Dr. Bell and his team on this exciting new initiative, which promises to advance the most promising biotherapeutics and to improve patient outcomes."
OICR has supported the work of Dr. Bell through funding for the ORBiT Program. Dr. Neil Berinstein, Director of Translational Research at OICR and an expert in the strategic and operational development of cancer vaccines, will provide critical expertise to BioCanRx. The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN), an organization based at OICR, will provide the clinical trial expertise critical to the development of new anti-cancer bio-therapeutic products. 3CTN is a founding member of BioCanRx.
"This Ontario-based initiative has enormous potential to help cancer patients here and around the world. The Ontario government is pleased to support the ORBiT Program and researchers like Dr. Bell who are making this province a global leader in cancer research," said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation.
For more information please see the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute release about the BioCanRx announcement
Biologically based treatments such as cancer-killing viruses, immune cell therapies and synthetic antibodies are among the most promising cancer treatments to emerge in the past decade. They offer targeted, effective options that help mobilize the body's natural defenses, with the added benefit of being less toxic and invasive. BioCanRx will help accelerate the most promising discoveries from the lab through to proof-of-concept, manufacturing and clinical trials. With partners positioned throughout the development continuum, BioCanRx seeks to make Canada more competitive in biotherapeutics and reduce the human and financial cost of cancer.
OICR is an innovative cancer research and development institute dedicated to prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, supported by the Government of Ontario. OICR's research programs provided support to more than 1,700 investigators, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario. OICR has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing. For more information, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.
SOURCE: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
For further information: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Christopher Needles, Manager, Strategic Communications, Email: [email protected], Telephone: 416-673-8505, Mobile: 416-319-5252; @OICR_news