Archived — Government of Canada Supports Partnership to create Innovative Medical Imaging Technologies

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For immediate release
May 18, 2012

Toronto, Ontario — Sunnybrook Research Institute will lead a partnership focusing on innovative treatment options for cancer and heart disease through new image-guided therapies, thanks to a federal investment announced today by John Carmichael, MP for Don Valley West, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"Our contribution will support the Sunnybrook Research Institute's efforts, in partnership with private-sector companies and Western University, to develop new technologies that will increase the competitiveness of the medical imaging industry in Canada, help diversify our economy, and create high-value jobs," said MP Carmichael. "Our government is proud to support such an innovative project that will bring better, less invasive treatment options to cancer and cardiac patients here and around the world."

Through a contribution of $6.91 million, the Sunnybrook Research Institute, in partnership with 19 industry partners and Western University, will accelerate the commercialization of four new image-guided therapy systems by developing, testing and licensing the new technologies. Currently used to diagnose health problems, the imaging technologies will be redesigned so that patients can be treated through minimally invasive procedures on an outpatient basis, reducing the need for hospital stays and the length of recoveries.

This project is providing valuable laboratory, commercialization and business support to image-guided therapy companies in southern Ontario, which is expected to stimulate new product research and development and market opportunities. This support is also expected to lead to high-value jobs, attract investment and create economic growth across southern Ontario.

"Sunnybrook Research Institute is a world leader in the field of image-guided therapeutics research, and in commercializing its discoveries. This investment will accelerate our capacity to invent game-changing medical imaging technologies, and move them rapidly into the market, for application in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other complex health conditions," said Dr. Barry McLellan, President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

The contribution is being provided through FedDev Ontario's Technology Development Program, designed to encourage the public and private sectors to collaborate on the development of large-scale, advanced technologies that will result in new market opportunities for southern Ontario.

For more information on this project and the Technology Development Program, please refer to the backgrounder.

The investment announced today supports the Government of Canada's science, technology and innovation agenda, which is focused on increasing the country's productivity, creating jobs and growing the economy.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario

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For more information, contact:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-947-2956

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-585-2917


Backgrounder

About Sunnybrook Research Institute

Sunnybrook Research Institute is a not-for-profit research and teaching hospital located in Toronto that was established in 1991 as the research enterprise of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In 2007, The Institute was awarded a grant to establish the Centre for Research in Image-Guided Therapy (CeRIGT). Set to open mid-2012, CeRIGT will lead world-class research and develop image-guided therapy technologies in southern Ontario.

Contribution to Sunnybrook Research Institute

FedDev Ontario is providing Sunnybrook Research Institute with a non-repayable contribution of up to $6.91 million through FedDev Ontario's Technology Development Program to accelerate the development and commercialization of four new types of treatment and monitoring systems that integrate features from existing image-guided therapy.

This investment will be used to further develop the following systems:

  • Focused ultrasound surgery: Focused ultrasound surgery is a non-invasive therapy that delivers magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided ultrasound energy to precise regions of the body to destroy tumours and other lesions. Partners working on this project will focus on bringing this improved technology to market.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging intervention: MRI is a widely used diagnostic tool that uses the property of nuclear magnetic resonance to image the nuclei of atoms inside the body. Partners working on this project will use MRI to guide and monitor certain treatments, such as non-invasive surgery to unblock arteries.
  • Therapy response monitoring: Currently, no tools exist that provide early feedback on whether or not chemotherapy has proved effective on patients. Partners working on this project will seek to develop a system that combines different types of ultrasound technology to allow physicians to monitor and adjust treatments more effectively, particularly in cancer patients.
  • Hybrid catheter for imaging of coronary atherosclerosis: Partners working on this project will combine optical and ultrasound imaging technologies into a powerful catheter platform to generate a single, combined image. This type of image is designed to allow surgeons to accurately detect the composition of blood vessels and plaque with minimal patient impact.

Work on these projects will take place at Sunnybrook Research Institute's CeRIGT in Toronto and at Western University's Robarts Research Institute and Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics Centre in London, Ontario.

Participating private-sector partners are as follows:

Participating private-sector partners
Partner Location
Small-to medium-sized enterprises
Artenga Inc. Ottawa
Baylis Medical Company Inc. Mississauga
Colibri Technologies Inc. Toronto
Evrika Research Technologies Inc. Toronto
Focused Ultrasound Instruments Toronto
Harmonic Medical Toronto
Huron Technologies International Inc. Waterloo
Imricor Medical Systems, Inc. Minnesota, U.S.
Innovere Medical Inc. Toronto
Monteris Medical Winnipeg
Segasist Technologies Inc. Toronto and Waterloo
Seno Medical Instruments Inc. Texas, U.S.
SenseGraphics AB Sweden
XZACT Medical London, ON
Multinational corporations
GE Healthcare Greater Toronto Area (U.S. Headquarters)
MedImmune LLC Across U.S. (U.K. Headquarters)
Pfizer Canada Inc. Greater Toronto Area (Quebec Headquarters)
Philips Medical Greater Toronto Area (Netherlands Headquarters)
Sentinelle Medical Greater Toronto Area (U.S. Headquarters)
Total private-sector investment $6,910,563

For more information about the Sunnybrook Research Institute, visit: http://sunnybrook.ca

Technology Development Program

The Technology Development Program will strengthen southern Ontario's economy by providing financial support to accelerate bringing innovative and transformative technologies to the global market.

Through the program, FedDev Ontario is investing in projects that will significantly contribute to the development of globally-competitive, market-ready technologies with the potential to develop new business opportunities or benefits for an industry, sector or region in southern Ontario.

The Technology Development Program encourages the private and public sectors to collaborate on innovative, breakthrough technologies that are one to seven years from market.

Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, please refer to the program guidelines available on the FedDev Ontario website at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

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