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Sudbury medical research facility would be an 'investment'

The head of a new medical research centre in Sudbury is confident city council will come up with the $2 million his group is looking for, even though councillors have already given a cool response to the request.

The head of a new medical research centre in Sudbury is confident city council will come up with the $2 million his group is looking for, even though councillors have already given a cool response to the request.

Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada CEO Dr. Francisco Diaz-Mitoma said he believes there are some misconceptions about this project.

Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada CEO Dr. Francisco Diaz-Mitoma says pharmaceutical companies are already investing millions of dollars, but AMRIC needs a facility before more deals can be made. (AMRIC)

"I think people perceive that they are giving money away. I think it should be more like an investment,” he said.

Diaz-Mitoma says while AMRIC is tied to the Sudbury hospital, they are separate organizations.

Some city councillors wondered why they should give an extra $2 million when Health Sciences North already receives $1 million city tax dollars every year.

Diaz-Mitoma said pharmaceutical companies are already investing millions of dollars, but AMRIC needs a facility before more deals can be made.

The Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada aims to educate and train students and postdoctoral fellows. The head of the Sudbury based institute says a $2 million investment by the city will help the organization build a facility. (AMRIC)

The requested $2 million in city dollars would help build that centre.

Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk wondered why pharmaceutical companies aren't covering these costs.

Diaz-Mitoma said drug companies don't pay for labs, but will spend millions on the research done in them.

"Pharmaceutical companies will also invest more in Sudbury, but we need to have the proper facilities,” he said. “Right now we don't."

Diaz-Mitoma said a multi-million-dollar deal with a major pharmaceutical company funding heart-attack prevention research in Sudbury will be announced in the coming weeks.

Sudbury council is expected to make a decision on AMRIC’s funding request next month.

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