Rx&D welcomes Ontario's Life Sciences Commercialization Strategy

LONDON, ON, April 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) supports the strong approach taken by the Government of Ontario in its Life Sciences Commercialization Strategy which was released today.

"The Life Sciences Commercialization Strategy shows that Ontario is serious about creating partnerships that will strengthen a pivotal component of the province's economy," said Russell Williams, President, Rx&D. "The timing could not be better because Ontario is launching this initiative just as industry and government representatives from around the world gather in Chicago next week for BIO 2010."

"This strategy builds on the success of the Biopharmaceutical Investment Program (BIP) and previous initiatives designed to improve Ontario's innovation climate," said Hugh O'Neill, President and Chief Executive Officer of sanofi-aventis Canada and Chair of Rx&D's Ontario Committee. "It positions Ontario and Canada to successfully compete in the global marketplace for investment funds, research and development collaborations and skilled employees."

Innovation and life sciences cut across multiple ministries. The strategy reflects the efforts and vision of the Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI). Led by the Minister John Milloy, MRI focuses on enhancing and expanding Ontario's knowledge economy.

    Three aspects of the strategy that deserve special recognition include:

    -   A determination to improve the clinical trials environment in Ontario
        by coordinating infrastructure to streamline administrative
        processes. This includes an investment of up to $17 million in new
        infrastructure for clinical trials and research.

    -   An acknowledgement of the importance of the Pharmaceutical Innovation
        Working Group (PIWG), a best-practice that connects senior industry
        leaders and Deputy Ministers from the Ministries of Research and
        Innovation, Economic Development and Trade, Finance, Health Promotion
        and Health and Long-term Care to leverage shared opportunities.

    -   A new Life Sciences Partnership Council to link the pharmaceutical
        sector, the biotech community, universities, hospitals, venture
        capitalists and the government.

This strategy clearly has the potential to fuel investments, job creation and research - and in so doing improve the Ontario economy. It should also greatly enhance Ontario's reputation as a global player in life-sciences - especially if it could be paired with a complementary strategy to improve patient access to innovative medicines.

About Rx&D

Rx&D is an association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 18,000 men and women working for close to 50 member companies and it invests each year more than $1 billion in research and development to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

For further information: For further information: François Lessard, Communications, Telephone: (613) 236-0455, E-mail: flessard@canadapharma.org

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Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

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