CFI Innovation Grant for the Centre for Pharmaceutical Oncology


The Centre for Pharmaceutical Oncology at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is the recent recipient of a major grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The Centre, in partnership with the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre led by Professor Sachdev Sidhu at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, received an Innovation Grant for large infrastructure funding for “Engineered Biologics - Targeted Diagnostics and Therapeutics.” This funding, totaling almost $3.3 million, is expected to be matched by the Ontario Research Fund and private sector contributions for a total value in excess of $8.2 million.

“Approximately half of these infrastructure funds are designated for the Faculty’s Centre for Pharmaceutical Oncology to establish the core equipment required to discover and develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer based on fully human monoclonal antibodies to be engineered by our partners at the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre,” noted Professor Raymond Reilly, Director of the Centre for Pharmaceutical Oncology.

The equipment includes new microPET and microSPECT molecular imaging systems, a mass spectrometry instrument, liquid chromatography analysis capabilities, flow cytometer, and other instruments essential for pharmaceutical sciences research. This equipment will be used by a multidisciplinary pool of Principal Investigators, Post-Doctoral Fellows, and graduate students in the many laboratories at the Faculty that conduct groundbreaking oncology research.

The Centre for Pharmaceutical Oncology is one of the Faculty's new research centres of excellence and is dedicated to exploiting discoveries in cancer biology to develop new diagnostic tools and targeted therapeutics for the disease and advancing the most promising of these discoveries to early phase clinical trials in cancer patients at the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network hospitals.

“These major infrastructure funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation will launch the Centre on an exciting and powerful trajectory to make important discoveries to address the cancer problem, which ultimately will effect more than 2 in every 5 Canadians over their lifetime,” said Professor Reilly. “We are thrilled that the Canada Foundation for Innovation has seen the tremendous value in the research we are conducting at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, as evidenced by this significant investment in core equipment for our multidisciplinary and collaborative Centre.”

“In the end, the research conducted by investigators like Professors Raymond Reilly, Christine AllenStephane AngersGang Zheng, and Shana Kelley at the Faculty and collaborators at the University Health Network and Donnelly Centre through the support of this award will allow the Centre and the University of Toronto to take an internationally leading role in cancer research,” noted Professor Heather Boon, Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

Created by the Government of Canada in 1997, the Canada Foundation for Innovation strives to build our nation’s capacity to undertake world-class research and technology development to benefit Canadians. The foundation invests in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, allowing universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to attract and retain the world’s top talent, train the next generation of researchers, support private-sector innovation, and create high-quality jobs that strengthen Canada’s position in today’s knowledge economy.

The 2015 Innovation Fund enables institutions and their best researchers to strive for global leadership by conducting world-class transformative research and technology development in areas of institutional strategic priority; forge and foster productive, value-added partnerships within and among institutions, sectors and disciplines that will nurture creativity and innovation which will result in the effective and sustainable use of the research infrastructure and facilities; and identify and develop plans and potential pathways to social, health, environmental and economic benefits for Canada, including better training and improved skills for highly qualified personnel.