CellCAN, a new national Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Network officially began operations today in Montreal.
Based at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, the new Network will support clinical development of regenerative medicine.
“Regenerative cell therapies offer almost unlimited possibilities that will transform the very nature of medicine and will have a significant impact on our health systems,” said Dr. Denis Claude Roy, a member of the Joint Strategy Working Group for the Canadian Stem Cell Strategy and Director of CellCAN, in a press release.
With Canada ranking among the top countries in the world in stem cell research, the goal of CellCAN is “to provide the essential bridge between research and clinical and commercial applications, helping regenerative medicine and cell therapy to successfully meet expectations.”
CellCAN will bring together the main stem cell therapy centres and different stakeholders involved in stem cell research — scientists, governments, researchers, clinicians, funders, industry, charities, patient representatives and the public.
“Specifically, CellCAN will promote exchanges, cooperation, partnership, development and innovation in regenerative medicine and cell therapy,” said Dr. Roy.
Over the next four years, CellCAN will receive $1.6 million through the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program, which provides national funding on behalf of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, along with Industry Canada and Health Canada.
The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation will closely support and partner with CellCAN in its efforts to facilitate and increase access to stem cell therapies for heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and other diseases that affect Canadians.