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Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Invest in Research to Improve Dialysis Treatment

September 30, 2011
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Corresponding Document: Speech

New technology may soon be available to improve the quality of life for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) by reducing the length and number of hemodialysis sessions.

Funding for the University of Saskatchewan to develop and commercialize an improved hemodialysis treatment system was announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister of First Nations and Métis Relations, on behalf of the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Enterprise and Minister Responsible for Trade.

The development of an improved treatment system is a great example of cutting-edge research taking place right here in Saskatchewan,” said Minister Yelich. “Our Government is proud to support this project as it has the potential to enhance the lifespan and quality of life for hemodialysis patients, as well as significantly reduce the costs of hemodialysis in both the short- and long-term.

Saskatchewan is known as a leader in innovation and research,” said Minister Cheveldayoff. “This new technology demonstrates our ability to be a leader in the medical industry and we anticipate it will make a positive impact on people from across this province and around the world.

Through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA), the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are investing a combined $789,000.

Funding will be directed towards the development and commercialization of a product designed, fabricated and manufactured in Saskatchewan, suitable to be marketed to medical institutions throughout Canada and around the world. The new treatment system will be more efficient than current technology, reducing the frequency of hemodialysis treatments and time per session – a great advantage, particularly for residents in rural and remote communities. The technology promises to improve quality of care and increase life expectancy in ESRD patients, while drastically reducing the costs of hemodialysis locally, nationally and globally.

Living with chronic kidney disease comes with great cost not only to the patient, but to their families and to the health care system,” said U of S Vice-President Research Karen Chad. “This research has broad potential for impact in improving the quality of life for people in our province, our country, and indeed around the world.

Both Canada and Saskatchewan are contributing $25 million each over four years to the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in western Canadian communities.

For additional information, contact:

Nicholas Insley
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
nicholas.insley@wd.gc.ca  
Tel: (613) 954-1042

Joanne Johnson
Communications Director
Enterprise Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan
Tel: (306) 798-0503

Michael Robin
Research Communications
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Tel: (306) 966-1425

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