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Genome Canada, Partners Commit C$24.6M for Genome Research Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genome Canada announced today that it has partnered with various Canadian provinces, businesses, and research institutes to provide C$24.6 million ($19.3 million) to support five projects using genomics for biomedical, agricultural, and industrial applications.

Genome Canada has committed C$8.1 million through its Genomic Applications Partnership Program, with the remainder coming from provincial governments, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations.

Grant recipients include a team led by Calgary Lab Services and the University of Calgary researchers, which was awarded C$6 million to continue developing a metabolomics-based device for the rapid detection of common bloodstream infections, as well as the assessment of antibiotic susceptibility; a group led by Triumvira Immunologics and McMaster University scientists that was awarded C$2.3 million to validate specially engineered T cells for use in the treatment of liquid and solid tumors; and collaborators from BGI Research and the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, who will receive C$4.6 million to develop a test that uses gene expression signatures to identify women at risk for preterm births.

Other award recipients include researchers from BioAmber and the University of Toronto, who have been granted C$5.7 million to use genomics to engineer yeast for the production of sugars that can be used to manufacture nylon; and a group led by Elanco Animal Health, Eli Lilly, and Concordia University scientists, who were awarded C$6 million to use genomics in the production of lysozymes that can be used as animal feed additives.

"Applied research and development projects such as these are effectively harnessing the power of genomics to benefit Canadians," Genome Canada President and CEO Marc LePage said in a statement. "Problems are defined by the end-user, which ensures genomic solutions are geared toward concrete outcomes including improved healthcare and better products and services that give Canadian businesses a competitive edge in global markets."

In June, Genome Canada announced it had partnered with various pharmaceutical companies to provide C$33 million in new funding to the Structural Genomics Consortium, a public/private group conducting publicly available basic research to advance drug discovery.