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Canada’s Stem Cell Network Welcomes Renewed Federal Commitment for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Research

March 19, 2019 (Ottawa) Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada has signalled its continued confidence in Canadian stem cell and regenerative medicine research with a multi-year investment of $18 million through the Stem Cell Network (SCN). For nearly two decades, SCN has been working to develop a diverse and collaborative national network of research experts, industry and not for profit organizations who are committed to accelerating stem cell-based therapies and technologies into the clinic. This effort has resulted in cutting-edge clinical trials for conditions such as type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, blood cancers and septic shock.

“It is an exciting time to be working in the stem cell field and on behalf of the Canadian research community, which continues to punch above its weight globally, I would like to thank the government for its continued partnership,” said Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Scientific Director of SCN.  “Ministers Duncan and Bains understand that taking a stem cell-based therapy from bench to bedside is a careful, complicated and methodical journey, but it is one that will lead to immense benefits for Canadians and our economy. We are now at a point at which we expect many new and novel therapies to move forward.”

Chronic diseases come with an economic burden of $190 billion per year, of which $68 billion are direct health care costs. Relieving this burden for even a single disease will have immense and positive benefits for all Canadians. Stem cell and regenerative medicine have the disruptive potential to do just that.  Regenerative medicine is an increasingly competitive market, expected to be worth $66 billion by 2022. As a leader in the sector, SCN is now well positioned to continue its work with the community to build clinical and commercial capacity across the nation.

“A recent international expert panel assessed the Stem Cell Network and its strategic plan and deemed SCN to be impact driven, solution focused and delivering high value for money,” said Cate Murray, Executive Director & COO of SCN. “The government’s renewed support allows us to deliver on our plan, a plan that will drive innovative research into the clinic, provide unique training for the next generation and deliver regenerative medicines to Canadians.”

At a glance: The Stem Cell Network

  • SCN’s vision is to capitalize upon Canada’s competitive advantage in stem cells for the benefit of Canadians
  • Since 2001, SCN has invested $100M in innovative translational research, training and outreach. A further $100M has been leveraged through partner support.
  • 170 world-class research groups and 2,500 trainees from across Canada have benefitted from SCN support.
  • SCN has catalyzed 18 clinical trials and 17 startup biotechnology companies.

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Media contact:
Lisa Willemse, Interim Director of Communications
lwillemse@stemcellnetwork.ca