The New Brunswick Center for Precision Medicine in Moncton will open this year. It was built as a collaboration between the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute and the Université  de Moncton.

It’s the first purpose-built precision medicine centre in Canada.

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation said in a news release it has contributed $374,000 to the centre – $250,00 to support staffing; and $124,000 for the purchase of equipment.

The NBCPM research centre is also a “bio-incubator” designed to support the growth of bio-medical startups in New Brunswick. The centre will allow biomedical startups to access valuable technology, network with other startups, and undertake experimental projects in precision medicine.

Precision medicine is a recent trend in healthcare where the unique biological factors of the patient, and the specific details of how the disease is impacting the patient, are taken into consideration to build more effective treatment plans than traditionally possible. However, this customized approach requires more specialized diagnostic and treatment tools. This has created an ecosystem with a high demand for technological innovation.

Biomedical startups in the field have relatively easy access to dry-labs, which don’t use live samples but computer models using previously gathered data. While dry-lab testing is an important part of the process, a bottleneck exists for access to wet-labs, which are designed to safely deal with microbes, chemicals, drugs, and other biological samples. In these labs, experiments can be conducted to collect new, real-world data and to put theoretical solutions to the test.

The NBCPM will increase access to wet-labs for New Brunswick bio-medical startups. The release says startup teams will be able to rent space and equipment that is only available in a wet-lab.

The release said: “By acting as a hub for the bioscience industry, a generator of important partnerships and intellectual property, and an incubator for fledgling startups, the Center for Precision Medicine can be many things to many people in New Brunswick.”