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McMaster secures $10.5M grant for commercialization of biotech breakthroughs

Minister Kirsty Duncan announces $10.5M grant for McMaster University's Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization.
Minister Kirsty Duncan announces $10.5M grant for McMaster University's Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization. Sara Cain, 900 CHML

Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan made a stop in Hamilton Monday to announce McMaster University’s cut of nearly $80 million in federal funding.

READ MORE: McMaster University lands $19 million in federal health research dollars

The Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization on the west end of the campus will receive $10.5 million over four years for its work with medical isotopes.

“It will lead to better diagnostics for cancer and heart disease and it will also lead to jobs right here in Hamilton,” said Duncan.

The centre’s founder, John Valliant, says the funding will help put biotech breakthroughs on the market. It’s a collaborative process involving academics and private sector partners.

“Our model was to spin out companies, put the new discoveries in the companies and then get international investment,” he said.

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The result has been the creation of Fusion Pharmaceuticals and NuGeneris Inc. The two companies are working together at the centre on Longwood Street South in Hamilton to develop radiopharmaceuticals.

“It’s making a new cancer therapy,” he said, referring to Fusion. “That company is taking that investment and putting it through clinical trials.”

NuGeneris Inc. is the manufacturing arm of the operation. Valliant says the pair have already managed to create products that are being used worldwide.

“Tens of thousands of patients have received really unique diagnostics and therapeutics as a result of this investment.”