Funding announced for next generation prostate cancer research

January 23, 2014 – BRI Biopharmaceutical Research Inc.

VANCOUVER – Today the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is announcing it will match funding from BRI Biopharmaceutical Research Inc (BRI) for a total of $750,000 over a three year Industry Partnered Collaborative Research Grant. This money will enable ongoing research collaborations between Dr. Yuzhuo Wang’s laboratories at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC), and BRI to develop new state-of-the-art experimental cancer models.

These models, which closely resemble patients’ malignancies, will help researchers discover and develop anti-cancer drugs that improve the treatment options for cancer patients. Dr. Wang and his team at the BC Cancer Agency and VPC are recognized internationally for their pioneering work in the field of prostate cancer modeling, and are responsible for creating a novel method for establishing transplantable xenograft models. This same method will be applied to establish a new panel of patient-derived cancer models.

This type of patient-derived xenograft model will provide a realistic and practical approach for testing the effectiveness of new anticancer drug therapies,‖ said Dr. David Kwok, President and CEO at BRI. ―I am very pleased with the financial support from CIHR over this three year period to co-fund our development of such models. This contribution and recognition from CIHR points to the urgent need for newer and better anticancer drugs.

The BC Cancer Foundation is proud to support Dr. Wang’s research since 2005,‖ said Doug Nelson, President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. ―Cancers occurring below-the-waist make up 37 per cent of all diagnosed cancer cases. Our donors recognize the need for more research in this area, and have responded by participating in the Foundation’s annual Underwear Affair event, which has been pivotal to funding the work of Dr. Wang over the years.

Additional information:
• Dr. Wang’s work on patient-derived xenograft models was recently published in Cancer Research
• His research standardizes a bank of transplantable patient-derived prostate tumor xenograft models that, for the first time, capture the diverse biological and molecular heterogeneity of primary prostate cancer.
• The work is an invitation to the wider scientific community to use the next-generation xenograft models as a publically available resource for prostate cancer discovery and translational research.
• Prostate cancer research can be hampered by a lack of preclinical models. Dr. Wang’s methods can be used to establish and maintain the panel of xenograft lines across laboratories; thus minimizing variability between investigators and improving collaboration and communication.

Biopharmaceutical Research Inc. is a private contract research laboratory, Vancouver, BC, Canada, providing specialized laboratory research services to pharmaceutical companies worldwide since 1998. At BRI, preclinical and clinical drug research services from discovery to IND-enabling and clinical bioanalytical studies have enabled the successful NDA market registration of several prostate anticancer drugs in the US and the EU.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community
partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI), a world leader in translational health research, is the research body of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. VCHRI includes three of BC’s largest academic and teaching health sciences centres — Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre — as well as many other hospitals and public health agencies across Vancouver Coastal Health. VCHRI is academically affiliated with UBC Faculty of Medicine and is one of Canada’s top funded research centres receiving between $80-100 million in research funding annually. Over 1500 personnel are engaged in a variety of research centres, programs and evolving research areas.

The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. Visit to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) is a UBC and VGH Centre of Excellence and Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). The Centre’s research focuses on the discovery of molecular mechanisms of cancer progression, therapeutic resistance, and the development of new treatments, services, and products to improve cancer patient care. The VPC comprises a multi-disciplinary team of 21 senior bench and clinical scientists and more than 130 staff in three state-of-the-art facilities. For more information visit

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of North America’s largest and most prestigious public research and teaching institutions, and one of only two Canadian institutions to be consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. Surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian West, it is a place that inspires bold, new ways of thinking that have helped make it a national leader in areas as diverse as community service learning, sustainability and research commercialization. UBC attracts $550 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants. For more information, visit:

Media contacts:
BRI Contact:
Clara Faan, VP Business Development
604-432-9237 extension 224

To arrange an interview with Dr. Wang:
Jenn Currie
Communications Officer
BC Cancer Agency
Media pager: 604-871-5699