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BMO Announces $1 Million Donation to Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research

May 22, 2015

TORONTO, May 21, 2015 – BMO Financial Group today announced a $1 million donation to support ongoing stem cell and regenerative medicine research in Canada.

A $500,000 donation is being made to The Ottawa Hospital’s Regenerative Medicine Program, where more than 250 basic and clinical scientists, trainees and research staff work under the leadership of world-renowned stem cell biologist Dr. Michael Rudnicki. Another $500,000 donation is being made to the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, of which $250,000 will be directed to The Ottawa Hospital’s Regenerative Medicine Program for new research initiatives, and $250,000 will be directed to the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation’s research activities across Canada.

“BMO is committed to helping The Ottawa Hospital and its regenerative medicine researchers to continue their globally-recognized work in the field of stem cell research,” said Sandra Henderson, Senior Vice-President, Eastern Ontario Division, BMO Financial Group. “This donation is a reflection of BMO’s continued commitment to innovation and contributing to the long-term well-being of the communities where we do business.”

Researchers in regenerative medicine at The Ottawa Hospital are leading world-first or Canadian-first clinical trials of stem cell therapies for diseases such as heart attack, septic shock and multiple sclerosis. They are also working to develop regenerative therapies for stroke, vision loss, spinal cord injury, muscle disease and diabetes, and are using the science of stem cells to understand cancer better and develop new treatments. The Ottawa Hospital’s Regenerative Medicine Program includes the Sinclair Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to BMO Financial Group,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, a leading Regenerative Medicine Scientist and Executive Vice-President of Research at The Ottawa Hospital. “This generous support will greatly accelerate our research and bring us closer to realizing the tremendous potential of regenerative medicine, which provides hope for treating many devastating diseases.”

“Canada is at the global forefront in stem cell science, and The Ottawa Hospital is a leader in moving this research into the clinic for patients,” said James Price, President and CEO of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation. “This investment from BMO Financial Group will advance research at the Sinclair Centre for Regenerative Medicine that will ultimately lead to new therapies that will improve health outcomes for all Canadians.”

About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $672 billion as of January 31, 2015, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

About The Ottawa Hospital
The Ottawa Hospital is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.2 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, both in English and French. It provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada, and boasts specialty centres in cancer, heart, kidney and vision care, as well as rehabilitation services. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Web site at www.ottawahospital.on.ca.

About The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s mission is to inspire and enable people to support the highest quality health care at The Ottawa Hospital and lifesaving research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation Web site at www.ohfoundation.ca.

About The Ottawa Hospital’s Regenerative Medicine Program
The Ottawa Hospital’s Regenerative Medicine Program includes 250 basic and clinical scientists, trainees and research staff working in state-of-the-art facilities such as the Sinclair Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research. Researchers are making crucial discoveries about the fundamental mechanisms that govern stem cell function, while also making exciting progress in developing new therapies for devastating diseases. http://www.ohri.ca/programs/Regenerative_Medicine/default.asp

About The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation
The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation is the national voice and champion for stem cell research. An independent, registered charitable organization, the Foundation is working to align scientists, industry, business, community leaders and the general public to accelerate the translation of stem cell research into new treatments and cures for devastating diseases. Long term, our success will not only save lives and reduce suffering, it will create economic benefits for Canada and improve health care. www.stemcellfoundation.ca

Media Contacts:
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation--Stephanie Egan, Tel.: 613-798-5555, ext. 19816 Cell: 613-324-4466
BMO Financial Group--Kathleen Savage, Toronto, 416-867-3996