A First Pancanadian Strategic Forum

Laying the groundwork for patient-centered medical treatments of the future

Montreal, March 9th, 2017 - CellCAN is proud to hold its first pancanadian strategic forum, Cell & Gene Therapy Revolution: Get Ready!, in Montreal. This groundbreaking event, which will be hosting major players from across the country, will lay the necessary foundation for a major dialogue amongst its participants in order to secure, make accessible and promote a booming branch of tomorrow's medicine that has the potential to cure serious diseases such as cancer.

During this forum, international leaders in the field of science, manufacturing, regulation and business will examine the sector's scientific and economic outlook as well as the obstacles related to commercialization. Public investment in scientific and technological innovations, as well as Canada's position in the field of cell therapy on an international level, will also be discussed. Speakers for the forum include Janet Rossant (Toronto), John Bell (Ottawa), Jerome Ritz (Boston) and Adrian Gee (Houston). In addition, we will also hear from patients who will testify to their personal treatment experience.

Dr. Denis-Claude Roy, CEO of CellCAN, who will chair the forum, emphasizes that the two-day event will confront the challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that the unprecedented development of cell and gene therapies is executed in a coherent and ethical manner:

"The medical revolution arising from rapid advancements in cell and gene therapy is happening as we speak. Its strategic importance is such that even the Government of Canada has put forward its own initiative to assess the current oppurtunities for regenerative medicine in Canada and determine what is required in order to remain a leader in this field. Our forum is the first strategic event of its kind within the country to bring together all players in the industry in order to leverage Canada's leadership in this field," declared Dr. Roy.

An anticipated report to be presented during the forum

During the forum Dr. Janet Rossant, President and Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Regenerative Medicine Workshop by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), will present the findings of the workshop report, including the challenges and opportunities for regenerative medicine in Canada.

The experiences of various international examples, such as California (CIRM), Great Britain (Catapult) and Japan (Jetro), will also be addressed during panel discussions in order to determine how to accelerate cell therapy based on the initiatives and strategies used nationally. Notably, innovations in cancer therapy using CAR-T cells and innovations in viral and gene therapy by means of the CRISPR/Cas9 system will be discussed.

Organized in partnership with the Center for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) and BioCanRX, this first pancanadian strategic forum is a unique opportunity to identify concrete avenues of action, from research to commercialization, in order to help those working in the field to be better equipped to address the most innovative therapies that are now at our doorstep.

A mobilization that holds great promise

In line with the forum and the disclosure of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) Building on Canada's Strengths in Regenerative Medicine workshop report, leaders within this emerging sector have joined forces to advance the field and have created the Regenerative Medicine Alliance of Canada (RMAC). CellCAN is proud to be a founding member of this new organization. Across Canada, an unprecedented momentum in regenerative medicine can be felt. The RMAC will serve as a support strategic activity across the regenerative medicine sector. Members will work collaboratively to share their knowledge and identify strategies that will benefit the growth of the sector. Bolstering and aligning programs, training, policy and communication will all be central themes addressed by RMAC.

To learn more about the forum and the event program: www.cellcan.com/forum2017_fr.

Quick facts about cell and gene therapy in Canada:

  • Stem cell science belongs to Canada and it is powering regenerative medicine. The global market for regenerative medicine is expected to exceed US$49 billion by 2021. Canada is well positioned to compete by moving its innovative treatments and therapies out of the lab and into the clinic.
  • Right now, Canadian doctors are testing stem cells to heal hearts, repair severed spinal cords and fix arthritic knees. Researchers believe that within the next few years, diabetics will be freed from daily insulin injections by stem cell transplants.
  • Already, stem cells have cured thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma (cancers of the lymph nodes) and other blood-based cancers via bone marrow transplants. Stopping MS in its tracks is now possible. Finding a cure for Parkinson’s is within reach.
  • Canadians James Till and Ernest McCulloch proved the existence of adult stem cells in the early 1960s. Their research serves as the field’s foundation, and has paved the way for exceptional achievements by a new generation of Canadian scientists.


About CellCAN
CellCAN is a nonprofit organization that is part of the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centers of Excellence and was established in April 2014 by Canadian researchers in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Its mission is to bring together stakeholders and mobilize knowledge across Canada to advance the research and clinical development of regenerative medicine and cell therapy. It aims to improve on the health of Canadians by accelerating and facilitating the development of stem cell therapies. CellCAN strives to fully exploit this potential by providing an unprecedented level of collaboration among all key players in the field of cell therapy by bringing together Canada's leading cell therapy centers whose research teams are working hard to improve our health. 

Florence Meney

Véronique Arsenault




You have questions regarding your health, or the health of a loved one, wondering what cell therapy or regenerative medicine can do for you? Looking for solutions for your research projects? We can put the strength of our network at your service. Write to us!


There are many types of stem cells.