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Canada Pledges C$25M to Create Cancer Research Network

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Government of Canada announced yesterday the funding of the country's first national cancer research network, pledging C$25 million (US$21.5 million) over five years to quickly translate the most promising laboratory research into cancer therapies. Private sector and non-profit partners, including Genome British Columbia, will contribute an additional C$35 million (US$30.1 million).

The Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment (BioCanRx) program has assembled a team of more than 40 researchers from 17 academic institutions, eight industry partners, and 20 community partners including non-profits and provincial-level organizations.

"What is really unique about this funding is it allows Canadian scientist to work together to develop several therapeutic strategies in parallel, and then test these both alone and in combination with each other with the goal of finding the most effective way to help our bodies' own defenses fight cancer," John Bell, scientific director of BioCanRx, said in a statement.

Specific research projects include genomics-intensive immune monitoring to support clinical trials and T-cell therapies.

"The translational aspect of this project is incredibly important as it brings together the best and brightest minds in our country," Alan Winter, president and CEO of Genome British Columbia, said.

BioCanRx is one of four new Networks of Centers of Excellence established by Canada. Other networks will connect research on arrhythmia, glycomics, and aging. Canada renewed the funding for an existing network devoted to neurological development. With the new additions, the NCE program currently funds 14 total networks. 

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