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UBC Attracts over $40M to Host Networks of Centres of Excellence in Nanomedicines

By April 23, 2019No Comments

The NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN) has been awarded $18.5 million in new funding from the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), a federal program that connects teams of scientists across Canada to collaborate on research with significant health, environmental and societal impacts. This funding is matched by more than $22 million from industry and other not-for-profit agencies.

The funding will maintain and extend Canada’s standing as a leader in the development of nanomedicines — “smart” medicines that employ various forms of nanotechnology — to detect and treat cancer and many other acquired and hereditary diseases.

Pieter Cullis, NanoMedicines Innovation Network

Pieter Cullis, scientific director, NanoMedicines Innovation Network

“This NCE investment in the NanoMedicines Innovation Network will expand collaborations between researchers working on nanomedicines across Canada, with the potential to enhance the quality of life for millions,” said Prof. Santa J. Ono, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor.

The NMIN is led by Pieter Cullis, a professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology in the faculty of medicine at UBC, and brings together scientists from 17 academic institutions across Canada, 15 companies and eight not-for-profit research and granting institutions.

“The future for nanomedicines is truly astonishing as they have the potential to detect disease more accurately, to make old drugs dramatically more effective and to enable gene therapies to treat most human diseases,” said Cullis.

The NMIN aims to develop nanomedicines that will deliver drugs, such as anticancer drugs, more specifically to the sites of disease; enable gene therapies that employ RNA and DNA to treat a wide variety of acquired and hereditary diseases and develop diagnostics and imaging agents to detect disease earlier and monitor the effectiveness of therapies more accurately.