April 19, 2018 - The National Post article "Good economics and good health: How Canada’s pharmaceutical companies make an impact" describes how pharmaceutical companies partner with academic institutions to expedite therapeutic discoveries. In its interview with Brad Wheeler of the University of British Columbia's University-Industry Liaison Office, the Vancouver Prostate Centre is mentioned as a specific example.
A four-paragraph excerpt from the article is below.
"An EY (Ernst and Young) report commissioned by Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) pegs the pharmaceutical industry’s overall direct and indirect economic value at $19.2 billion (2016), and that figure only tells part of the story. Through unique work and key partnerships, the sector plays an important role in helping researchers bring new medicines to patients who need them.
Brad Wheeler is a technology transfer manager at the University of British Columbia who works as a liaison for university-affiliated labs and the companies that then license their intellectual property and distribute those medicinal inventions. He sees firsthand how the pharmaceutical sector works best when these large companies work with academic institutions and smaller start-ups to foster innovation.
“The pharmaceutical industry has substantial research capacity, particularly in some of the tasks associated with medicinal chemistry,” says Wheeler, “Whereas the Vancouver Prostate Centre is very good with the biology of prostate cancer — it’s a complementary relationship.”
It is an example of how large pharmaceutical companies partner with smaller organizations in the public and private space to create new treatments for Canadians living with illness. While many innovations in healthcare originate in academic research, often it is only through the resources of the pharmaceutical industry that the research findings make it through the many steps needed to get to your medicine cabinet; a process that is generally too costly for academia to take on alone."