Jan. 20, 2012

(Edmonton, Alberta) January 20, 2012…Innovative new drug therapies and health products that improve lives and generate new economic opportunities could soon become a reality as a result of a collaborative initiative announced today.

A federal investment of $500,000 through Western Economic Diversification Canada and an additional investment of $500,000 by Pfizer Canada will enable the Alberta Pfizer Collaboration Fund, now a $2.5 million initiative, to identify and support promising health care innovations with market potential.

“Our Government’s investment will allow Alberta’s health researchers and innovators to work directly with industry to turn today’s discoveries into the medicines, therapies, and medical products of tomorrow,” said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. “Initiatives such as this are vital to supporting the development of our advanced technology sectors while creating high value jobs and economic growth.”

The Alberta Pfizer Collaboration Fund will invest in commercially promising health and medical research conducted in Alberta’s academic and research institutions in order to bring concepts or ideas to market more quickly. The initiative also provides an important opportunity for innovators to benefit from the technical, business, and commercialization expertise offered through Pfizer Canada, while ensuring that intellectual property remains with Alberta’s researchers and institutions.

“Alberta has a vibrant and growing medical research and life sciences community and Pfizer is proud to collaborate with federal and provincial orders of government to support and develop this outstanding expertise,” said Ghislain Boudreau, Vice President, Public Affairs at Pfizer Canada. “Our investment today complements the original partnership and initial $500,000 investment in 2011 with Alberta Advanced Education and Technology and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions.”

Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions will manage and administer both the fund and the call for project proposals.

“This is the first AIHS industry partnership opportunity and the timing is excellent. This partnership will help move the wealth of ideas, knowledge, and ingenuity we have in our provincial health research community into application and ultimately transform health and well-being for Albertans and people around the world,” said Dr. Jacques Magnan, CEO of Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West, and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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