Toronto (March 22, 2006) - University Health Network (UHN) today welcomed support from the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology (COSAT) in the creation of the Development Acceleration Award – an unrestricted grant made available to UHN to help accelerate the commercialization of research breakthroughs in diagnostics, medical devices and new therapies.

With a growing focus on the need for innovation and research across Ontario, this commitment from COSAT supports early stage product development activities in the healthcare sector. The commitment will enhance UHN researchers means to advance cutting-edge research discoveries towards practical application, and in so doing provide new and effective health options to patients everywhere.

"As an academic hospital, we strive to understand, prevent, and treat diseases by developing ground-breaking therapies," said Dr. Bob Bell, President and CEO, UHN. "The creation of the Development Acceleration Award by COSAT will help us to continue working towards our goal of seeing innovation brought to life."

The Development Acceleration Award could provide approximately $1 million over three years for project advancement at UHN. It is funded equally and jointly by COSAT and UHN Global Ventures. In addition to several other areas, the partnership is expected to support development projects in gene-targeted therapies; neuromodulation via deep brain stimulation, cortical stimulation and localized drug delivery; tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; and the development of novel models for drug development. "At COSAT, we are always looking for opportunities to support researchers as they work to advance innovative discoveries that could eventually help improve human health," said Dr. Christine Côté, Vice President, Emerging Technologies and New Ventures, COSAT. "We're very pleased to make our first COSAT award in Canada to the outstanding research community at UHN".

"In an increasingly competitive and truly global economy, opportunities belong to the economies that innovate - which move ideas from the lab and into the marketplace," said Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation, Dalton McGuinty. "This new partnership between UHN and Johnson & Johnson's COSAT will help Ontario stay at the forefront of important, life enhancing medical breakthroughs that will build a better quality of life here, and around the globe."

The announcement of the Development Acceleration Award took place in Toronto's Discovery District at the MaRS Centre – a convergence innovation centre dedicated to improving commercial outcomes from Canada's foundation of science and technology innovation. UHN researchers and business development professionals are based there.

About Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is the world's most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical and medical devices and diagnostics markets. The more than 200 Johnson & Johnson operating companies employ approximately 115,600 men and women in 57 countries and sell products throughout the world. COSAT was formed within Johnson & Johnson in 1978 to be a catalyst for collaboration and innovation both within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, and with external partners in academia.

About University Health Network

University Health Network consists of Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research projects in transplantation, cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, and genomic medicine. University Health Network is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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