February 25, 2015

OICR extends collaboration with Janssen Inc. to develop clinical trials for prostate cancer

TORONTO, ON (February 25, 2015) — The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is extending its collaborative research partnership with Janssen Inc. to develop more multi-centre clinical trials and other translational research projects that address important clinical questions in prostate cancer, announced Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of OICR.

The new funds will be made available to qualifying researchers at cancer centres across Canada who are addressing important clinical questions in prostate cancer. The funding will be dispersed to researchers through the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network, which is based at OICR, through an open application process.

“We are proud to extend this successful collaboration with our partners at Janssen,” said Dr. Hudson. “Our work together is already supporting some of the most promising translational prostate cancer research in Canada. The continuation of this partnership will help extend this collaboration further, and ultimately help bring the discoveries made in research to patients sooner.”

Janssen Inc. is a leading healthcare company that offers innovative products in areas of high unmet medical need like oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

“Prostate cancer places a significant burden upon the men who are diagnosed with the disease and their loved ones,” said Dr. Janet Dancey, Scientific Director of 3CTN. “Working with Janssen to identify and support the most promising translational research in Canada for prostate cancer will help us to find improved treatment for these men with fewer and less serious side effects.”

“OICR’s partnership with Janssen is an exciting example of how collaborative, innovative research has the ability to bring very tangible benefits for Ontarians. The Ontario government is proud to support this partnership, which not only leads to critical advances in prostate cancer treatment, but also spurs economic growth in the province,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation.

OICR and Janssen first entered into partnership in 2012 and first extended the agreement in 2013. There are currently three projects underway as part of the collaboration. These projects are studying ways to better predict the development of castrate resistant prostate cancer in hopes of providing more targeted treatment with fewer side effects for patients.

Utility of miRNA signatures to predict rapid versus delayed onset of castrate resistance in prostate cancer
Dr. Christina Addison, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Addison’s lab is validating the use of miRNA expression to help doctors to better monitor disease progression and target treatment for patients.

Assessment of CRPC response through comprehensive characterization using novel biomarkers
Dr. Eric Winquist, Lawson Health Research Institute

Dr. Winquist is leading a multicentre clinical trial studying novel blood and imaging biomarkers that can be used prior to therapy to better guide treatment and evaluate how patients respond.

Assessment of new molecular imaging strategies for prostate cancer
Dr. Katherine Zukotynski, Sunnybrook Health Research Institute

Dr. Zukotynski is running a clinical study examining novel imaging biomarkers that could provide a more accurate early measure of response to therapy and have a higher prognostic value than standard imaging.

The new agreement announced today extends the initiative through 2015 and opens the eligibility for funding beyond Ontario to cancer sites across Canada.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer. An estimated 26,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 4,000 will die of the disease each year.