Peterborough-Kawartha – Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are the fourth leading cause of death in Canada, and predicted to move up to second place by 2050. Attention to cleanliness and disinfection of surfaces plays a large role in the reducing of HAIs. However, historically it has been difficult to measure cleaning effectiveness and meaningfully improve practices. There is a clear need for a system that can identify infectious agents, such as MRSA, C. difficile, and influenza.
Today, Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced $1,485,816 in federal funding through Genome Canada to support Peterborough-based business Charlotte Products Ltd., and its project leader Mark McInnes, along with Dr. Shana Kelley, from the University of Toronto, in developing technology that will allow hospitals, long-term care facilities and others to rapidly detect and identify infectious agents on services.
“As a world leader in genomics research, Canada is producing dramatic breakthroughs in science, and transforming our understanding of the world around us,” said Monsef. “We are proud to support Charlotte Products Ltd. and Dr. Kelley in their important work to keep Canadians healthy and safe.”
The project, Devices for Detection and Identification of Surface Microbial Contamination in High-Risk Facilities (full details in background section below), is part of the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) which funds translational research and development projects that address real-world challenges and opportunities as identified by industry, government, not-for-profits, and other “receptors” of genomics knowledge and technology. It is one of four projects selected for funding in Round 10 of GAPP, for a total investment of $13.8 million ($4.8 million from Genome Canada and $9 million from co-funding partners including provincial governments, private sector and not-for-profit organizations).
Charlotte Products Ltd. is also investing more than $1.4 million into the project with Dr. Kelley. The total budget for the project is $4,493,000.
This week, Minister Duncan has announced $22.7 million in funding to support 37 research projects as a result of three funding competitions through Genome Canada. An additional $33.4 million is being invested by provincial governments, business and research partners for a total of $56 million in support for these projects spanning sectors such as health, agriculture, natural resources, and the environment.
“Genomics collaborations not only improve the health of Canadians and expand our understanding of the genomics field – they will help create jobs and economic growth,” concluded Monsef. “Today’s investment will help Charlotte Products Ltd. grow and, in turn, continue support for a stronger middle class.”
Devices for Detection and Identification of Surface Microbial Contamination in High-Risk Facilities
Charlotte Products Ltd. (CPL), a family-owned Peterborough company, has developed an environmental monitoring system and optical sensor technology, called Optisolve Pathfinder®™, to complement its innovative, award-winning cleaning products. Dr. Shana Kelley is working with the company to further enhance the OptiSolve offering to allow for recognition and identification of specific pathogen species. Dr. Kelley and her team will combine novel nanomaterials with a genomics-based approach to allow for precise identification of pathogens that cause HAIs. The resulting technology, Optisolve Insight, will allow hospitals, long-term care facilities and more to rapidly detect and identify infectious agents, such as MRSA, C. difficile, and influenza, with the resultant benefits of proactive prevention and quick interventions.
The service and technology will significantly reduce HAIs while enabling environmental services and IPAC managers and to avoid taking a “worst-case scenario” approach to infection outbreaks, which can include bed closures and cancellation of procedures. The result will be improved health of patients, residents, staff, and visitors as well as healthcare savings. This first-to-market technology will contribute to economic growth and employment for highly qualified personnel.
- Minister Duncan’s announcement includes support for recipients of three Genome Canada programs: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition, Disruptive Innovation in Genomics and Round 10 of the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP).
- Genomics research is driving innovation across sectors: including health, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, mining, energy, the environment.
- Since 2000, the government has made $1.5 billion in targeted investments for genomics research through Genome Canada.
- The global genomics market is expected to reach 27.6 billion US dollars in the next six years.
- Monsef announced $260,598 in scientific research grants to Trent University on January 30, 2019.
For more information:
Special Assistant (Communications) to the Hon. Maryam Monsef
Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha