During the past 18 months, Canadians have gained significant clarity on the need to address our health innovation challenges such as the funding and expertise gap to move scientific discoveries from the laboratory to preclinical development and clinical trials. As a result, Canada cannot take advantage of the many investments it has made in discovery science and remains a target for foreign takeovers. Many of our exciting technologies, and the scientists that discover them, leave for our neighbour to the south.
To compete in this global market and advance Canada’s innovation efficiency, it is critically important to invest in R&D funding shortfalls and organizations delivering measurable value. The 2021 Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy is an important step in this direction. It is aligned to the current BioCanRx modus operandi: accelerating the development of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer for the benefit of patients.
By addressing structural issues that hamper bench to bedside translation, we will be better situated to advance made-in-Canada innovation, such as vaccines and immunotherapies. The national BioCanRx network bridges the gap between promising early-stage technologies and their clinical evaluation by taking a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, ecosystem approach. Taking invention to innovation requires essential ingredients: preclinical research funding, training, GMP biomanufacturing and clinical trial funding. This all works together in minimum time to support the ultimate end user: the patient.
Our country is home to incredible, inventive minds. Laboratories in academic, government and private facilities are at the cutting-edge of great science. Strong partnerships and mission alignment between these sectors mean everyone is working to advance common priorities, share risk and accelerate impacts. BioCanRx urges all federal parties to commit to predictable, long-term investments in this comprehensive approach so Canada will be ready to apply it to any scientific challenge and improve future economic prosperity and the well-being of Canadians.
BioCanRx is Canada’s Immunotherapy Network. Our vision is to cure patients and enhance the quality of life of those living with cancer. We invest in leading edge immune oncology research translating world-class technologies from the lab into early phase clinical trials. BioCanRx is the only national not-for-profit network composed of academic health centres focused on connecting and aligning research investments, expertise, infrastructure, skills training, biomanufacturing and private sector partnerships to bring novel made-in-Canada immunotherapies to patients.