(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario is investing $25 million over five years to support new treatments and therapies for people living with chronic diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. Chronic diseases contribute $190 billion annually to health care and other costs across the country.
To date, Ontario has committed $159 million to more than 147 research projects that help provide better health outcomes for individuals suffering from degenerative diseases.
Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, was at the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto where he announced funding for the institute’s 150 leading stem cell and regenerative medicine scientists, clinicians, and engineers.
“Ontario is exceptionally rich in terms of research talent, commercial capacity and a strong health care system, which is why it is a powerhouse in the field of regenerative medicine,” said Janet Rossant, Executive Director of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We are extremely pleased with this government’s support and investment in the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which we will turn into stem cell therapies, technologies and innovation for Ontario’s future health and prosperity.”
Regenerative medicine is a body of research that is revolutionizing health care by studying how to replace or regenerate cells, tissues and organs that have been damaged by chronic disease. It also has significant commercialization opportunity, as new breakthroughs lead to innovative diagnostics, tools, and products with strong market potential.
The current global market for tissue engineering and cell therapy is projected to reach $19.4 billion by the end of this year.
Stem cells were first discovered in Ontario. Supporting world-class research at the institute will bolster the province’s position as a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research and commercialization, as well as attract more international clinical trials and private sector investment.
“The investment into the OIRM will draw more companies to Ontario’s substantial clinical infrastructure, trigger industry-led investment in advanced manufacturing and attract risk capital to finance new start-ups,” said Michael May, the CEO at the Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. “The province’s investment will galvanize Ontario’s position as a global leader in the commercial application of regenerative medicine therapies.”
Other stem cell therapy research that is currently being conducted in Ontario includes a research project that is investigating how to fix damaged hearts with heart muscle derived from stem cells and a research project that is studying how to restore degenerative vision loss.