Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said it will contribute $7.2 million(Canadian $10.3 million) over the next five years to fund geneticresearch at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Toronto'sMount Sinai Hospital.

The financing, coupled with $3.5 million (Canadian $5 million) fromthe Canada/Ontario Infrastructure Works program, will helpconsolidate and expand the Lunenfeld institute's biotechnologydevelopment efforts with the creation of the Centre for HumanGenome Research and Molecular Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.

The funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb is the second contributionfrom the New York-based pharmaceutical company to the LunenfeldResearch Institute. In 1990, Bristol-Myers Squibb provided morethan $4 million (Canadian $5.75 million) in research financing overfive years.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's funds have been used to support work beingdone by the Lunenfeld institute's director, Alan Bernstein. His teamis engaged in research focusing on genetics, cancer anddevelopmental biology. One of the major projects involves the p53tumor suppresser gene. Mutations of the p53 gene are found in about50 percent of all cancers.

In return for its contributions, Bristol-Myers Squibb has first right ofrefusal to develop products from the Bernstein team's researchefforts. Potential treatments for cancer, heart disease and asthma areamong the initial targets.

Jodi Macpherson, spokeswoman for the Lunenfeld ResearchInstitute, said the Centre for Human Genome Research andMolecular Medicine will represent the largest biotechnologydevelopment effort in Canada. When complete, the center will add150 new research positions. _ Charles Craig

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.