ABIC Fund 2019 Winners Announced

Edmonton, Alberta – September 24, 2019 – Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., the University Hospital Foundation, and the Government of Alberta are proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Alberta Boehringer Ingelheim Collaboration (ABIC) Fund.

The ABIC Fund is a public-private philanthropic partnership developed to support innovation and industry-driven, applied research in Alberta’s life sciences sector, and was first announced in June of this year. The ultimate goal is to advance health innovation projects with a focus on developing solutions to address treatment gaps in the area of respiratory disorders, in particular Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and its associated co-morbidities including diabetes, obesity and heart failure. In Canada, two million people are living with COPD, an incurable, progressive lung disease that is associated with shortness of breath, chronic cough and mucous production. Learn more about how these ground-breaking investigators are driving transformative change at abicfund.ca.

 2019 Winners of the ABIC Fund

The recipients were announced today at BioAlberta’s Awards Gala and Annual General Meeting in Edmonton, which celebrates outstanding achievements in the industry. Each of the selected recipients of the fund are focused on helping to identify, develop and implement effective solutions from early diagnosis to end-of-life in people with respiratory disorders, addressing one of three identified healthcare gaps:

  • Early Diagnosis and Coordinated Screening: Numerous COPD patients in Alberta remain undiagnosed
  • Patient Awareness and Education related to COPD: Lack of disease self-management programs
  • Connecting Patients to Services: Connecting patients to available and appropriate services for COPD patients

The selected ABIC Fund recipients are:

  • Dr. Michael Stickland, PhD, Professor in the Pulmonary Division, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, Director of the G. F. MacDonald Centre for Lung Health, Scientific Director for the Alberta Health Services Respiratory Strategic Clinical Network o Breathe Easy Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Scale, Spread and Sustain – Pulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary ambulatory intervention that includes assessment, exercise training, self-management education, and psychosocial support.

The project will provide pulmonary rehabilitation program resources to patients/families and health care professionals in order to improve shortness of breath, exercise tolerance and quality of life in patients with COPD, with the potential of reducing the consequent increase in acute care demand for this population.

  • Heather Sharpe, RN, PhD, CRE, CTE, Assistant Scientific Director of the Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network (RHSCN), Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Medicine o Identifying Early COPD Using Health Administrative Data – The project will use health administrative data to find out if we can identify trends in health care use by individuals newly diagnosed with COPD, in order to find new ways to identify patients at the early stages of their disease, since COPD often goes undiagnosed, so that preventative treatment can be initiated. This has the potential to improve quality of life and delay the need for prolonged hospitalizations and frequent emergency department visits.

“We are proud to support these innovative projects to improve the outcome of patients with chronic diseases such as COPD,” says Uli Brödl, MD, Vice President, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. “Patients are at the heart of everything we do, and we are dedicated to developing novel solutions that drive transformative change for a better patient experience.”

“By connecting the support of our generous community members to public-private philanthropic partnerships like the ABIC Fund, we are able to have a greater impact on healthcare innovation,”

– says Christy Holtby, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships with the University Hospital Foundation. “The fund recipients are tackling serious health issues and have the possibility of pioneering innovative solutions that will improve the lives of patients. The University Hospital Foundation is so grateful for the ongoing support from community members to help fund this forward-thinking collaboration.”

Alberta is uniquely positioned for these partnerships because of the strength of its life sciences sector, the proven willingness of many organizations to partner with a common vision, and the provincial government’s commitment to increasing economic diversification, by building Alberta’s knowledge economy.

“We are pleased to support Alberta-based innovation and industry-driven applied research projects in respiratory diseases,” says Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism with the Government of Alberta. “Not only do these projects advance patient care and research for Albertans, they also highlight the many opportunities that exist in the province to attract investment from health multinational enterprises.”

Through this partnership between Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., the Government of Alberta and the University Hospital Foundation, the power of collaboration between industry, the public and philanthropic sectors are brought together with the shared vision of translating goals into real-world practice. Together, the collaboration will uncover evidence that will allow the organizations to make major changes in how they battle these chronic diseases and enable Canadians to live better lives.

University Hospital Foundation

The University Hospital Foundation raises and manages funds to advance patient care, research and healthcare education at the University of Alberta Hospital, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Kaye Edmonton Clinic. Through Strategic Partnerships, the University Hospital Foundation brings together industry, the public sector, and philanthropic collaborations to advance and translate Alberta’s innovations into solutions that impact the health of all Albertans. With this collaborative approach to invest in shared areas of interest, the Foundation’s philanthropic investment – and that of our partners – is multiplied. www.GivetoUHF.ca

Government of Alberta

The Ministry of Alberta Economic Development, Trade and Tourism focuses on economic growth and diversification by supporting innovation and research; expanding access to capital for small and medium-sized enterprises; promoting trade, investment and market access initiatives; and leading Alberta’s negotiations on trade agreements. http://economic.alberta.ca

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of Boehringer Ingelheim, a research-driven pharmaceutical company. In doing so, the focus is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.

Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the top 20 companies in the pharmaceutical industry. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas of human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 17.5 billion euros. R&D expenditure of almost 3.2 billion euros, corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales.

As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment.

More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found on www.boehringer-ingelheim.com or in our annual report: http://annualreport.boehringer-ingelheim.com.

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