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MaRS Innovation (MI) has signed a co-funding agreement with the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology to capitalize and accelerate the use of Toronto-based life sciences technologies during the early stages of pharmaceutical and medical device development.

The Translational Innovation Partnership Program (TIPP) is the first co-funding agreement of its kind for MI.

Parimal Nathwani, vice-president of commercialization, MaRS Innovation
Parimal Nathwani, vice-president of commercialization, MaRS Innovation

“This co-managed fund represents a unique public-private partnership that is strategic for MI as it provides a complementary mechanism to address the commercialization gap for Toronto and Canada,” says Parimal Nathwani, vice-president of commercialization for MI. “This gap opens up wide and early in the life sciences, both nationally and globally. Fabulous ideas must gain sufficient support to make it to proof of concept, let alone to clinical trials. This partnership will help our members’ innovative therapeutics and medical devices take their first major step toward the national and global marketplace.”

During the three-year agreement, both organizations will commit a defined capital pool to co-fund high potential projects that will be selected by a joint management committee.

The goal of the partnership is rapid translation of technologies to preliminary proof of concept within 12 to 24 months. Leveraging financial and product development resources through this relationship will provide an effective mechanism for commercialization of MI member technologies through licensing or company creation.

This relationship establishes MI’s ability to foster strong corporate relationships,” says Nathwani. “MI’s member institutions are renowned for their success in securing traditional research grants to support basic research. However, procuring translational funding has proven challenging. By providing additional funding mechanisms and obtaining engaging and valuable industry feedback to drive market ‘pull’ strategies rather than market ‘push’ strategies, MI will facilitate successful commercialization of early stage technologies.

“MI will continue to treat all disclosures received from its member institutions, nearly 300 in totally so far, as high priorities for assessment under the MI model,” adds Nathwani. “We are committed to the development of innovative deals for all technology sectors including Physical Sciences and Information Technology, akin to the one with Johnson & Johnson in the health sciences sector, that match the caliber of the innovations we consistently see.”

About MaRS Innovation

MaRS Innovation logoMaRS Innovation‘s integrated commercialization platform harnesses the economic potential of the exceptional discovery pipeline of 14 leading Toronto academic institutions. MaRS Innovation is a non-profit organization with an independent industry-led Board of Directors, funded through the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program and contributions of its member institutions.

Designed to enhance the commercial output of Toronto’s outstanding scientific research cluster, MaRS Innovation will make a significant contribution to Canada’s economic outlook and the quality of life for Canadians and others around the world. MaRS Innovation will advance commercialization through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation. Our mission is to put Canada on the global innovation stage, by better connecting research with industry and strengthening Canada’s competitive capacity in knowledge based businesses — in short, to launch a new generation of robust, high-growth Canadian companies that will become global market leaders.

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