MONTREAL, QC & VANCOUVER, BC-A group of Canadian stem cell and regenerative medicine leaders are teaming up to advance Canada’s position in the Field, with last week’s launch of a new national group called the Regenerative Medicine Alliance of Canada (RMAC).
Founding members of the RMAC include the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), CellCan, Medicine by Design, the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine, ThéCell, the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation and the Stem Cell Network.
According to these partners, the goal of RMAC will be to advance Canada’s stem cell science and regenerative medicine sector by aligning national activity in the field. It will act voluntary organization comprised of national, provincial and regional organizations and its members all have mandates relevant to stem cell research and/or regenerative medicine. Moreover, its members will work collaboratively to share information and identify strategies that will benefit the growth of Canada’s regenerative medicine expertise. Bolstering and aligning programs, training, policy and communication will also be central themes addressed by RMAC.
The initial concept for this alliance was conceived by members of the regenerative medicine community during a workshop on the state of regenerative medicine in Canada. The workshop was held by the Council of Canadian Academies in 2016 and led to a special report, Building on Canada’s Strengths in Regenerative Medicine. The report notes the importance of strategic coordination amongst the stem cell and regenerative medicine community in Canada, and the need for such an Alliance.
Several researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa played a role in developing the report, including Dr. Michael Rudnicki, who is also interim chair of RMAC, Dr. Duncan Stewart and Dr. Harold Atkins. In addition to their roles in Ottawa, Dr. Rudnicki also leads Canada’s Stem Cell Network, while Dr. Stewart leads the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Tina Ceroni, a patient advocate who benefited from stem cell transplantation at The Ottawa Hospital, also participated in the workshop.
“On behalf of RMAC members we welcome the Council’s report, which details Canada’s global strength in stem cell research,” said Dr. Rudnicki. “It comes as no surprise that Canada continues to punch above its weight and that Canadian researchers are producing high impact work. Science is our competitive advantage.”
Dr. James Jaquith, head of Medicinal Chemistry at The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and head of CDRD’s Regenerative Medicine Program commented, “Joining RMAC is an extension of CDRD’s commitment to regenerative medicine, a key strategic area of focus for us, and to developing novel approaches in the pursuit of better therapeutics for patients. We look forward to working more closely with RMAC members, sharing our infrastructure, knowledge and networks to fully realize the contribution the regenerative medicine sector can make to Canada’s’ economic growth and prosperity.”