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New Ottawa Hospital–based network will focus on improving the quality of life of Canadians

December 15, 2014 – Ottawa – Industry Canada

Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Orléans, today announced that BioCanRX, one of four new Networks of Centres of Excellence, is receiving $25 million over five years to support collaborative research aimed at developing novel Canadian therapies to fight against cancer.

BioCanRX will help accelerate the most promising discoveries from the lab through to proof of concept, manufacturing and clinical testing. By incorporating patient outreach into the research program, the network will help spread knowledge to end users and receive critical feedback about cancer treatment. BioCanRX will seek to make Canada more competitive in biotherapeutics and reduce the human and financial cost of cancer.

This investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. The competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term.

NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists, as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.

Quick facts

  • The following networks have been selected as Networks of Centres of Excellence:
    • New
      • Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life—AGE-WELL (Toronto, Ontario)
      • Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment—BioCanRX (Ottawa, Ontario)
      • Canadian Glycomics Network—GlycoNet (Edmonton, Alberta)
      • Canadian Arrhythmia Network—CANet (London, Ontario)
    • Renewed
      • NeuroDevNet (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • With these new grants, the Networks of Centres of Excellence program currently funds 14 networks.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
  • The Networks of Centres of Excellence program corresponds to all three pillars of the renewed science, technology and innovation strategy: knowledge, people and innovation. Each network develops highly skilled people, builds research knowledge and shares this expertise with business to improve processes and technologies.


"I'm delighted to celebrate the launch of BioCanRX here in Ottawa. The Government of Canada is pleased to support innovative research that will contribute to our shared goal of improving cancer treatment for Canadians."

– Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Orléans

"Our government is committed to investing in world-class research networks, including BioCanRX, that will develop new technologies and processes to treat cancer. Through our updated science, technology and innovation strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians."

– Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"BioCanRX will help accelerate the most promising research discoveries from the lab to the development of biologically based treatments for cancer. On behalf of the federal research funding agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is proud to support networks that integrate expertise from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations to generate and implement solutions to health issues."

– Dr. Jane Aubin, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President of Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"Biologically based cancer therapies hold the potential to be both curative and less toxic than many of our current treatment strategies. That in itself is very exciting. But what is really unique about this funding is it allows Canadian scientists to work together to develop several therapeutic strategies in parallel and then to test these both alone and in combination with each other with the goal of finding the most effective way to help our bodies' own defences fight cancer. In this case, the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts."

– Dr. John Bell, Scientific Director of BioCanRX, Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa

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Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Media Relations
Industry Canada

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