TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 23, 2012) - Stem cells hold great promise for treating and curing numerous diseases; however, a major challenge facing scientists is how to produce stem cells in the massive quantities required for clinical use. The McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine (McEwen Centre) and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) are partnering to establish a fund that will drive research in this area.
The McEwen Centre-CCRM Commercialization Impact Prize launches today, and will solicit innovative ideas from regenerative medicine scientists working in labs throughout the McEwen Centre. The winning team(s) will be awarded up to $600,000 to pursue research that will determine how to manufacture stem cells for clinical use and drug screening.
"This private-public funding partnership is an important step forward to accelerating the advance of a discovery from a lab bench to the patient and onto the global market. Scientists at the McEwen Centre are making significant progress towards finding a cure for diseases such as Type 1 diabetes and heart disease. Collaborative partnerships are the key to discovering the cures sooner!" says Rob McEwen, co-founder of the McEwen Centre, and Chief Owner, McEwen Mining.
Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2012. The Prize will fund up to two, 2-year projects that address the following challenges:
- Making the transition from pre-clinical to clinical mass production; and,
- Scaling up stem cell manufacturing for high throughput drug screening.
"Overcoming the scale-up and manufacturing challenge of stem cells would be a huge advancement for the regenerative medicine [RM] industry and this initiative fits in perfectly with our mandate to bridge the RM commercialization gap," explains Dr. Michael May, CEO of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. "We're very pleased to be working with the McEwen Centre, already a partner of ours, to make this happen."
The Commercialization Impact Prize budget template and application form can be found here: http://ccrm.ca/Commercialization-Impact-Prize or http://mcewencentre.com/ccrm.
About McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine
The McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine was founded by Rob and Cheryl McEwen in 2003 and opened its doors in 2006. The McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, part of Toronto-based University Health Network, is a world leading centre for stem cell research, facilitating collaboration between renowned scientists from 5 major hospitals in Toronto, the University of Toronto and around the world. Supported by philanthropic contributions and research grants, McEwen Centre scientists strive to introduce novel regenerative therapies for debilitating and life threatening illnesses including heart disease, spinal cord injury, diabetes, diseases of the blood, liver and arthritis.
About Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM)
CCRM, a Canadian not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence program and six institutional partners, supports the development of technologies that accelerate the commercialization of stem cell- and biomaterials-based technologies and therapies. A network of academics, industry and entrepreneurs, CCRM translates scientific discoveries into marketable products for patients. CCRM launched in Toronto's Discovery District on June 14, 2011.