TORONTO, July 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) will receive $420 million over five years from the Government of Ontario to continue its research into the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute will also occupy two floors of Phase II of the MaRS Centre in addition to its current laboratories and offices at its headquarters in the MaRS Centre. The announcement was made today by Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director.
Today's announcement means continued support for the Institute in fulfilling the ambitious goals set out in its second Strategic Plan for 2010-2015, which focuses on the adoption of more personalized approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment. OICR's current research activities in genomics and bioinformatics will be expanded in the new space in Phase II, allowing the Institute to increase its capacity to make new discoveries and move them out of the laboratory into the clinic for the benefit of patients. The funding will also enable the Ontario Health Study to complete its recruitment plans for the Study which will lead to better prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases.
"Over the past five years OICR has networked top scientific talent from the province and recruited 35 international stars of the cancer research world, to meet the cancer challenge," said Dr. Hudson. "We have one of the highest rates of patient enrolment in cancer clinical trials in North America. The trials, conducted in 23 adult and five paediatric cancer centres in Ontario, brings new cancer therapies to Ontario cancer patients sooner. With renewed funding we will continue this important work, ensuring the most promising cancer research in Ontario will be turned into new treatments and provide new hope for cancer patients worldwide."
"Our government is proud of OICR's commitment to life-saving research," said Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation Glen Murray. "By helping to commercialize Ontario discoveries, the Institute strengthens our innovation-based economy and creates jobs for Ontario families."
The Institute's clinical and translational research activities are strategically chosen to focus on areas of the highest potential impact on patients. They build on Ontario's existing global strengths - medical imaging, clinical trials, cancer stem cells and bio-therapeutics. OICR has complemented these strengths with world-leading programs and facilities in genomics, bioinformatics and high-throughput screening. OICR's commercialization efforts have led to numerous achievements including the formation of 10 spinoff companies, attraction of private capital, and product development in diagnostics, medical devices and therapeutics.
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, launched by the Government of Ontario in 2005. The budget for OICR, its research partners and collaborators exceeds $160 million per year through leveraging of the Ontario government's investment with partnerships with federal funding agencies, philanthropic organizations and industry. This supports more than 1,400 investigators, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario. It has research hubs in Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and Toronto. OICR has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing, from early stage research to Phase II clinical trials.
For more information, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca