Attracting jobs and investment at biotech conference
Ontario Partnering With California On New Medical Therapies
Researchers in Ontario and California are partnering on a project to make it easier to turn cutting-edge stem cell research into medical breakthroughs. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty made the announcement at the BIO 2008 Conference, where he is working with biotechnology leaders to promote Ontario and attract investment.
The province is investing $1 million in a partnership with California's Gladstone Institutes. Gladstone researchers are leading efforts to implement one of the most significant recent scientific discoveries: that it is possible to change ordinary skin cells into stem cells. Ontario researchers -- at the University of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children -- have developed the technology and expertise to produce these cells in quantity. The scientists will work together to advance this new area of stem cell research and discover breakthrough medical therapies.
Stem cells have the potential to be powerful tools in repairing tissue and fighting illness. This research offers the potential to reproduce every cell type in the body and offers new opportunities for personalized stem cell medicine. Until now, the most common source of stem cells has been human eggs or embryos, which has been controversial.
- Ontario has the third-largest concentration of life-sciences companies in North America. There are 850 companies with revenue of more than $14 billion and employing 43,000 people.
- Ontario scientists were the first to discover stem cells in the 1960s and the province continues to be a global leader in stem cell research today.
“Ontario is on the leading edge of some of the most exciting and significant research that's being undertaken today. And breakthroughs in biotechnology provide a big career break for people in start up companies.”
“Our government is committed to scientific research that will help save lives and improve quality of life. This new partnership will keep Ontario at the cutting-edge of global stem cell research and contribute to better health care for Ontarians — and a stronger knowledge-based economy.”
“Ontario and California are both leaders in stem cell research — a field that has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of disease. Through this partnership, scientists in our two jurisdictions will share their knowledge and work together to realize that potential.”
Dr. Janet Rossant