SCN announces $8.92M in funding for 24 regenerative medicine research projects and clinical trials involving more than 230 researchers, clinicians, and trainees from across Canada
OTTAWA, May 16, 2023 – Canada’s Stem Cell Network (SCN) announced today $8.92 million in funding for 24 regenerative medicine research projects and clinical trials. With in-kind and cash support from 23 partner organizations valued at $9.44 million, this investment allows Canada’s regenerative medicine community to harness a total of $18.36 million to advance research in 14 different disease areas including muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, liver disease, wound repair, and osteoarthritis
Traditionally powered by stem cells, regenerative medicine focuses on replacing, repairing, or regenerating human cells, tissues and organs. It is considered by investors, economists, and health policy experts to be the next frontier of modern medicine. The power of regenerative medicine is in its potential to halt or reverse disease instead of simply alleviating symptoms and, with the support of the Stem Cell Network, Canadian researchers are unlocking leading-edge treatments for diseases such as type 1 diabetes, retinal degeneration, lung and heart disease, as well as for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
Spanning the research pipeline from innovation to commercialization, the projects and clinical trials announced today will take place across the country and involve 232 researchers, clinicians, and trainees at 12 Canadian research institutions.
Importantly, today’s announcement is the second of two funding competitions awarded by SCN for the 2022-2025 period. The first set of research awards were announced in May 2022 and saw $19.5 million for 32 stem cell and regenerative medicine research projects and clinical trials. When combined with today’s investment, the stem cell and regenerative medicine sector will see a total of $28.4 million in funding dollars injected into the system, with $31.8 million in partner funding for 56 projects in 26 disease areas, involving over 550 researchers, clinicians, and trainees. This is by far the largest injection of funding in SCN history.
“Our government continues to prioritize investments in Canadian research and innovation. That is why we are committed to providing support to organizations like the Stem Cell Network. The projects announced today, that are focused on unlocking the potential of regenerative medicine, will keep Canada at the forefront of life-saving research that will allow us to improve the health and wellbeing of Canadians.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne,
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Canada has been a leader in regenerative medicine since the existence of stem cells was first proven by two Canadians in the 1960s. Today as we announce the results of our second and final peer reviewed funding competition for the 2022-2025 period, I am thrilled to see innovative and game-changing projects, and clinical trials that will surely keep Canada at the leading edge of the regenerative medicine field for many years to come.”
– Michael Rudnicki, O.C., Ph.D., FRS, FRSC,
Scientific Director, Stem Cell Network
“Better health starts with Canadian research. Today, SCN is proud to invest in 24 projects and clinical trials that will lead to the personalized therapies and technologies of tomorrow. Today’s announcement is also about creating a thriving knowledge economy through job creation, training next generation talent, catalyzing Canadian biotechs, and providing hope to patients and their families. Canada’s competitive edge resides within collaborative networks like SCN, and I am confident that with this investment we are building an internationally competitive regenerative medicine sector. Our future starts with research.”
– Cate Murray,
President and CEO, Stem Cell Network
About the Stem Cell Network:
The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is a Canadian not-for-profit that supports stem cell and regenerative medicine research; training the next generation of highly qualified personnel; and knowledge mobilization and transfer of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. From the lab to the clinic, SCN’s goal is to power life-saving therapies and technologies through regenerative medicine research for the benefit of all. Created in 2001, with support from the Government of Canada, the Network has grown from a few dozen labs to more than 230 world-class research groups, supporting over 270 research projects and 30 clinical trials. Since its inception, over 25 biotech companies have been catalyzed or enhanced and more than 6,400 highly qualified personnel have been trained. In 2021, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continuing trust and support in SCN with an investment of $45 million for the 2022–2025 period.
Samantha Rae Ayoub
Vice President, Communications & Knowledge Mobilization
Stem Cell Network