Investment in bioinnovation critical to health care: U of T, industry leaders

As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, the University of Toronto is joining with health and pharmaceutical industry leaders to stress the need for increased Canadian support of bio-innovation and bio-pharmaceutical research, development and infrastructure.

Christine Allen, U of T’s associate vice-president and vice-provost, strategic initiatives, recently joined executives from Pfizer Canada, Telus Health and Sun Life at a virtual summit hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to discuss the importance of health technology and infrastructure in Canada.

Allen, an internationally recognized expert in the research and development of novel technologies for cancer detection and treatment, said growing the country’s capacity to produce life-saving treatments will require investing in a “pipeline of bio-medical innovations” and highly qualified personnel to support everything from scientific discovery to product development.

“We absolutely need investment in high-risk, high-reward research and pivotal studies that raise the readiness levels of new therapeutics and technologies that are emerging from academic institutions and hospital research institutes,” said Allen, who is also a professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

The event was held as Ottawa seeks input on boosting Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences ecosystem after COVID-19 exposed gaps in the country’s capacity to produce life-saving vaccines and drugs to meet Canadians’ needs in a pandemic.

You can watch a video of the event here: Canadian Chamber of Commerce Health Technology and Digital Infrastructure Panel

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(By Geoffrey Vandeville)