The donation goes to the Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC), Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia Hospital Foundation (UBC) to assist in the research into antiviral treatments. Led by Professor Art Cherkasov, VPC and UBC scientists have joined forces with experts around the world, including collaborations with Cambridge in the UK, Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, University of North Carolina Pharma Science, and Enamine in Ukraine.
Research teams around the world are looking to develop vaccines, antibodies or inhibitors to fight the coronavirus. The VPC’s platforms, developed for cancer drug discovery, have been repurposed to address today’s health crisis.
Darren Entwistle, President and CEO at TELUS, said: ‘‘We are encouraged by the incredible expertise of the researchers that make up this global consortium as they rapidly search for Covid-19 treatments. As a world leader in social capitalism, it is our hope that this inaugural TELUS donation to a leading institution at the forefront of healthcare research will positively impact the lives of Canadians and of others internationally.
“As TELUS actively helps customers and citizens to support better health outcomes during this unprecedented time, we are also providing funding to bolster public healthcare capacity, enabling virtual healthcare to reduce risk of exposure, repurposing our mobile health clinics to support Covid-19 testing, and sourcing medical supplies and technology for healthcare workers.”
Dr Larry Goldenberg, Director of Development at VPC and UBC, added: “TELUS’ generous support will fast track the ability to screen this shortlist and provide British Columbia and global colleagues an enormous push towards developing an antiviral small molecule therapeutic for Covid-19 as quickly as possible. Funding will help to expand our resources including scientists, research assistants, reagents, equipment and operational costs. We encourage more organisations to help fund this vital research.”