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Genome Canada, Partners Commit C$255M to Fund Genomics Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genome Canada announced today that it has partnered with various Canadian provinces and organizations to invest a total of C$255 million ($204.4 million) in two initiatives advancing precision medicine and genomic technology development.

Under the first initiative, Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and other partners will provide C$162 million over four years to support 15 precision medicine and genomics projects underway across Canada.

Funded projects include one led by University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital investigators that aims to reducie healthcare disparities and improve diagnostic outcomes among indigenous children with genetic diseases; a University of British Columbia and BC Cancer Research Centre-led effort to develop genetic tests that can help guide the treatment of relapsed lymphoid cancers; and programs led by researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children to develop personalized therapies for cystic fibrosis, pediatric arthritis, and childhood brain cancer.

In the second initiative, Genome Canada and governmental, industry, and nonprofit partners are providing C$93 million to fund ongoing technology development efforts at research centers throughout Canada, including the Centre for Applied Genomics, which is working on new methodologies for whole-genome sequencing, genome assembly, and statistical analysis of genome-wide data; the Michael Smith Genomic Sciences Centre, which is developing new genomic data processing and bioinformatics tools; and the Centre for Advanced Proteomic and Chemogenomic Analyses, which is expanding the analysis services it offers researchers to include chemoproteomics and genome-scale analytical methods not currently available in Canada.

"What's exciting about these genomics and precision health projects is how clinically oriented they are," Genome Canada President and CEO Marc LePage said in a statement. "Most are led by clinical scientists who deal with patients on a day-to-day basis and are well positioned to apply the research to healthcare settings. Further, they are not just about developing new therapies to treat diseases, but about early diagnosis and intervention to better curb or manage diseases at their onset."

Earlier this month, Genome Canada and partners committed C$800,000 to help build an online bioinformatics resource for the DivSeek initiative. And in late 2017, Genome Canada and other groups awarded C$24.6 million to five groups using genomics for biomedical, agricultural, and industrial applications.