Alberta and Biogen Idec focus research on Multiple Sclerosis

A new Alberta-based research program may improve diagnosis and treatment for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Premier Dave Hancock announced the Alberta – Biogen Multiple Sclerosis Experimental Therapeutics Program at the BIO 2014 International Convention, the world’s foremost conference for the biotechnology and life sciences industries. The program is supported by the US-based pharmaceutical company, Biogen Idec, the Government of Alberta and the University of Alberta.

“I’m encouraged by this global partnership that will help us access new markets, enhance our competitiveness and create better health outcomes for Albertans. This province is home to a highly regarded MS research community, but we also face a high rate of people with the disease, so working with our partners on innovative ways to treat and manage MS here in Alberta and around the globe, will provide real, tangible benefits.”

~ Dave Hancock, Premier and Minster of Innovation and Advanced Education

“As a company dedicated to supporting innovation in MS research and care, Biogen Idec, Canada is proud to be part of this important partnership. Supporting innovative research that could one day advance MS care and treatment is important to us, and collaborations like this are critical to pursuing those advances.”

~ Dr. Len Walt, Associate Director, Medical Affairs, Biogen Idec, Canada

“The University of Alberta is home to a new translational science institute – the Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute – which features a world-class MS research program. Friends and family caring for those with this debilitating disease recognize that while progress has been made, much remains to be discovered. The University’s dedicated MS research team seeks a cure, and this novel public-private partnership leverages the expertise of all involved in order to translate strong science into improvements in MS care.”

~ Dr. Douglas Miller, Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta

The research program builds on the world-class MS research experience in Alberta and bridges basic research, pre-clinical and clinical research with the goals of:

  • developing new biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of MS; and,
  • developing new and emerging therapies to halt and possibly reverse clinical disability in people with MS.

The program also supports the recommendation to advance MS research and evaluation in The Way Forward: Alberta’s Multiple Sclerosis Partnership.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.