HAMILTON ON and LONDON ON, 23 April 2012 – Cancer research in Ontario, aimed at developing the next generation of radiopharmaceuticals, received a financial boost today. The Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) received a new four-year investment from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) of more than $2.9 million. The funding will enable CPDC to continue its groundbreaking work in developing and commercializing new radiopharmaceuticals that will help physicians to improve the non-invasive diagnosis and staging of cancer, select the best targeted therapies, assess the effectiveness of treatment in days rather than months, and improve outcomes for adult and pediatric cancer patients.

The funding was announced today by Dr. Calvin Stiller, Chair, OICR Board of Directors, at Western University’s Research Park in London, ON. CPDC received the funding as part of an overall $9.9-million investment in the OICR Imaging Translation Platform, a program led by Dr. Aaron Fenster and Dr. Martin Yaffe, focusing on accelerating the development of imaging tools and techniques for earlier detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This investment provides the not-for-profit centre of excellence with a second round of funding for its unique, innovative programs that have already made significant progress in bringing new molecular imaging probes for cancer diagnosis to Ontario.

Since its startup in 2008, CPDC has worked with partners in health care, academia and industry to bring new radiopharmaceuticals to Ontario for clinical trials focused on breast, prostate, pancreatic, bone and cervical cancers and also pediatric lymphoma. CPDC is manufacturing the molecular imaging probes for collaborative studies at leading hospitals and the Centre expects that its products and services will be supporting more than a dozen clinical trials by the end of the year. CPDC’s growing staff of more than 60 is also working with researchers and pharmaceutical companies to identify promising radiopharmaceuticals still in the laboratory that can be advanced to the clinic and commercialized using the expertise and capabilities that CPDC offers.

“CPDC plays a key role in supporting OICR’s goal to move promising diagnostic and therapeutic imaging technologies to practical use in personalized patient care and to bring commercial benefits to Ontario’s growing knowledge economy,” said Dr. Thomas Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. “The Centre is a flagship organization that has made rapid progress in bringing new medical imaging probes to Ontario and serves as a model of how collaborative efforts can advance medical discoveries to commercialization.”

“It is tremendously gratifying to be acknowledged by OICR and the provincial government for our achievements in bringing new probes to Ontario, fostering commercialization and translational cancer research, and to earn the confidence that brings new funding to support our work for another four years,” said Dr. John Valliant, CEO and Scientific Director of CPDC. “This is an exciting time for CPDC, for our host McMaster University and for cancer research in Ontario. Through partnership with CPDC, researchers and clinicians from across the province are able to develop and access radiopharmaceuticals for imaging studies and ultimately to provide personalized diagnosis, improve patient outcomes and reduce costs to our health care system. CPDC provides radiopharmaceuticals to leading imaging hospitals in Ontario and is helping to network imaging centres across the country.”

About Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC):

CPDC discovers, develops and distributes molecular imaging probes for the early diagnosis of diseases and to assess the effectiveness of treatments. An important part of Ontario’s health system, CPDC provides a reliable, daily supply of imaging probes to hospitals across the province. CPDC also works collaboratively with industry and academic partners, offering the research, manufacturing and regulatory expertise needed to move innovative probe technology and new therapeutic drugs from R&D labs to clinical use. CPDC is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, part of the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program, and is supported by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, GE Healthcare, McMaster University, Cancer Care Ontario and VWR. To learn more, visit CPDC at www.imagingprobes.ca.