VANCOUVER BC — Tuesday’s announcement by Pfizer Canada that they will be investing $4.25 million into two BC research initiatives (Significant Investments in British Columbia Healthcare Set the Province at the Forefront of Research in HIV/AIDS and Cardiovascular Prevention; Vancouver – Oct. 16, 2007) is seen by LifeSciences BC as a tremendous step forward in enhancing the role of international industry in advancing towards a sustainable healthcare system in British Columbia.

This partnership between Pfizer, Providence Healthcare, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Simon Fraser University, St. Paul’s Hospital and the Heart and Stroke Foundation demonstrates how important it is for industry to work in collaboration with the healthcare system and research institutions if we are to achieve a truly sustainable healthcare system in this province, as well as a strong local life sciences industry.

“The fact that the international pharmaceutical industry is now pro-actively making investments such as this is a testament to their commitment to healthcare in this province, and is a direct result of an equally strong commitment from our Provincial Government to improve healthcare for all British Columbians. The Government is actively creating an environment which enables and welcomes this kind of valuable partnership, and only by doing so will British Columbia be able to effectively compete for such critical international funding on a long-term basis,” commented Karimah Es Sabar, President, LifeSciences BC.  “Particularly important,” she noted, “is funding which generates new solutions focused specifically on prevention.”

In September 2006, Premier Gordon Campbell launched the Conversation on Health in order to seek honest and objective input on five key questions addressing the future of healthcare in British Columbia. LifeSciences BC’s submission to this Conversation (which further examines issues originally introduced in LifeSciences BC’s 2006 Position Paper: Building World-Class Biotech Businesses in British Columbia) emphasized that the development of British Columbia’s biopharmaceutical, medical device industry and all related academic and industrial institutions who feed the life sciences industry are directly impacted by our healthcare system. In addition, the submission further notes that we must work together to implement new, innovative solutions in order to meet the reasonable expectations of BC citizens.

To that, Es Sabar added, “Clearly with this Pfizer announcement, the environment in BC is changing for the better, and it is fast becoming recognized that global companies have a vital role to play here. Both our Provincial Government and the pharmaceutical industry deserve praise for working to build this relationship, as it can only ultimately serve to improve the quality of care for patients.”

LifeSciences British Columbia is committed to continue to work with our Provincial Government and the local and international life sciences industry to actively facilitate further partnership aimed at developing innovative, preventive and therapeutic modalities. This will benefit the entire BC-based life sciences industry, and ultimately all British Columbians.

Contact:
Barry Gee
Director, Operations and Communications
LifeSciences British Columbia
Tel: 604-602-5226
Email: bgee@lifesciencesbc.ca

About LifeSciences British Columbia

Life Sciences British Columbia supports and represents the biotechnology, medical device and greater life sciences community of British Columbia through leadership, advocacy and promotion of our world-class science and industry. Via active facilitation of partnering and investment into the life sciences sector, British Columbia is fast becoming a global life sciences leader. LifeSciences British Columbia is a not-for-profit, non-government, industry-funded association.