Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! In addition to celebrations filled with parades, concerts, and fireworks, Canada Day offers an opportunity to celebrate Canadian contributions to the life sciences and to the medical innovations yet to come. Just this week, the Canadian Government announced the launch of an interactive website to showcase its new Innovation Agenda, which will allow innovators from around the country to connect and share ideas aimed at making Canada a global centre for innovation.   

As we consider the value of innovative ideas, it’s important to remember that progress doesn’t always happen overnight.  A look back at our country’s greatest medical discoveries shows that years of partnerships and collaborative work can substantially improve life for patients, like the discovery and production of insulin at the University of Toronto.

While breakthrough therapies are critical in addressing our most pressing health challenges, incremental innovations also play an important role in improving patient outcomes. Incremental innovations often give researchers a better understanding of a disease’s physiological pathways. We’ve seen the benefit of moderate advances in the treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer, for which life expectancies have increased in the past forty years.

We look forward to contributing to the consultation process in support of Canada’s Innovation Agenda, and are excited for the pioneering collaborations and ideas that will result from this new initiative. As we’ve seen in our country’s innovative history, sustained dedication to progress means that one small step can eventually lead to greater advances in medical discovery.