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Pfizer Gives $5.4M for Ontario Cancer Research Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pfizer Global Research and Development will collaborate with two Ontario institutes to discover and validate targets that could be used to diagnose, predict, or treat colorectal cancer.

Under the collaboration, Pfizer will invest C$6 million ($5.4 million) in a partnership with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). The Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation also is investing C$900,000 in the Project, called PMH-OICR-Pfizer-CURE (POP-CURE), through the Biopharmaceutical Investment Program, which is part of Ontario's Next Generation Jobs Fund.

OICR and OCI will conduct genomics and molecular pathology studies and develop a large clinical biobank to identify molecular signatures that will be used to develop biomarkers for early detection, monitoring, and treatment of cancer.

The institutes also will use existing Ontario Government support to build related research infrastructure, such as equipment and tissue banks.

Ben Neel, who is director of OCI and is serving as a principal investigator on the project, said in a statement that the collaboration will "join the world class genomics and informatics programs at OICR, cutting edge research in cancer stem cell biology and functional genomics at OCI/PMH and the world's largest pharmaceutical company in a concerted effort to bring new therapies to colon cancer patients worldwide."