Ontario earmarks $100M for gene research

Even as Canada's biotech industry struggles to survive a savage liquidity crisis, the Ontario government has set aside $100 million to fund new gene-related research work.

Research and Innovation Minister John Wilkinson says that the money will most likely be earmarked for specific projects by the end of this year, with "collaborative, transformational and internationally significant" programs getting first priority. The money will be granted through a peer-reviewed process.

The Ontario government says that it hopes the funds will stimulate basic biomedical research work, which in turn will lead to new therapies. And it says that the money should go a long way to retain and recruit top talent in the gene research field.

"It's a sizeable investment and one that will really make a difference," said Janet Rossant, a senior scientist and research chief at the Hospital for Sick Children. "It does signal that Ontario understands the importance of investing in research."

- read the report from HealthZone