Pharmacia & Upjohn boosts breast cancer research


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”Mark Levine and Dave Martin”]The pharmaceutical and health care company Pharmacia & Upjohn today announced a contribution of $500,000 towards a program in breast cancer research conducted by renowned McMaster researcher Mark Levine.
Levine is a professor of medicine and clinical epidemiology & biostatistics, as well as director of the Clinical Research Institute at McMaster.

Pharmacia & Upjohn's contribution will support the following initiatives in breast cancer research:developing new anti-cancer therapies; increasing knowledge on why thrombosis commonly occurs in cancer and developing new strategies to prevent and treat this problem; and improving communication to women on breast cancer risk and prevention strategies.

“Pharmacia & Upjohn's generosity has the potential to generate new treatments and strategies that will have a significant impact on Canadian women,” Levine said.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women and one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women.

“This is one of Pharmacia & Upjohn's largest single investments in Canadian research,” said Dave Martin, president of Pharmacia & Upjohn Canada. “We believe our greatest legacy is to support and find new treatments that are more effective, better tolerated and provide treatment where none currently exists. Our partnership with Dr. Levine and McMaster University is a clear sign that we are fully committed to this goal.”

Levine is conducting clinical trials on the treatment of breast cancer, evaluating innovative methods to improve communication between physicians and women, and researching methods to improve the use of clinical practice guidelines in the care of women with breast cancer. He is internationally recognized for his work with breast cancer patients who have developed problems with thromboembolism.

Levine was recently awarded the National Cancer Institute of Canada/ Eli Lilly O. Harold Warwick Prize, which is presented annually to a Canadian investigator whose studies have led to significant advances in cancer control within the past decade.

Levine was also recently named the Buffett Taylor Chair in Breast Cancer Research at McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences. He has served as CEO of Cancer Care Ontario's Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre and is currently a medical oncologist at the centre.

“This generous contribution from Pharmacia & Upjohn is a testament to Mark's remarkable achievements and his international reputation as a leader in cancer research and clinical care,” said Russell Joffe, dean of health sciences at McMaster. “Mark's research has greatly improved the quality of life for women with breast cancer.”

Pharmacia & Upjohn (P&U) is a global, innovation-driven pharmaceutical and health care company whose products, services and employees demonstrate a commitment to improving wellness and the quality of life for people around the world. In Canada, the company has 300 employees across the country, with its corporate headquarters located in Mississauga. P&U is currently merging with Monsanto and the new company will be called Pharmacia.