B.C. Industry News

Biotechnology Focus – MS Society of Canada and CDRD partner in MS research

March 4, 2014

Biotechnology Focus

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is establishing a $1 million fund with the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) to help further multiple sclerosis research in Canada.

“Over many decades, we have funded MS research that has led to significant insights about how the disease works and novel therapies for people living with MS. Through our collaboration with CDRD, we will accelerate the translation of these insights to expedite the development of effective treatments that have the capacity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of people living with MS today,” said Karen Lee, vice-president, research, MS Society of Canada.

The MS Society is working with the CDRD to identify the most promising scientific discoveries to date in MS research. Their new fund aims to identify gaps in translational MS research, to better transform discoveries into treatments and a potential cure.

“Focus on translational research is critical to ensuring that basic knowledge generated in the lab can find its way into the clinic,” said V. Wee Yong, MS researcher and professor at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Oncology, University of Calgary. “It helps researchers like me build the right partnerships to move the right discoveries through the treatment development process.”

Establishing a partnership with CDRD will give the MS Society access to the tools and expertise it needs to improve treatments and quality of life for people living with MS.

In addition, the CDRD excels at attracting industrial partners for investments and helping accelerate drug development. It collaborates with over 40 international organizations and a network of over 10,000 investigators who are all involved in translational research initiatives. Through the partnership, the MS Society taps into this network.

Who may apply?

According to CDRD and the MS Society, any academic investigator who’s eligible under the policies of their host institution may submit a Letter of Intent.

It is not necessary to have filed a patent application when submitting a Letter of Intent. However, the technology must be unencumbered, i.e., rights in the subject technology cannot have been granted or optioned to a third party by the applicant or their host institution.

The deadline for Letter of Intent submission is March 24, 2014.

The review processes will be managed by CDRD and guided by the input of experts nominated by the MS Society. The Letters of Intent deemed to have the highest therapeutic potential will be selected for further evaluation involving a Confidential Proposal.

For more information on these funds, go to www.cdrd.ca.