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mi_logoTORONTO, Jan. 12, 2015  — MaRS Innovation, the commercialization agent for Ontario’s 15 leading academic institutions, today announced that it has formed a research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC and its Canadian affiliate, Janssen Inc., to advance three technologies focused on cardiac, diabetes and depression, respectively.

This announcement was covered in Lab Product News.

“These three projects reflect the quality of innovation present in Toronto’s research community for our industry partners, and Toronto’s progress in addressing healthcare issues of international concern,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation. “Johnson & Johnson Innovation is a long-term strategic partner of MaRS Innovation and of our members; our collaboration reflects the benefits to accessing our members’ deal flow through MaRS Innovation. Through these deals and other scientific exchanges, we see increased interest in Toronto’s innovation and entrepreneurship community.”

The projects’ principal investigators are researchers from the University Health Network (UHN), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the University of Toronto. This announcement follows Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s December 2013 commitment to collaborate on early-stage drug development projects.

Improving cardiac surgery outcomes — Through work at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, researchers are developing new technology to detect electrical drivers in patients with atrial fibrillation, a common type of arrhythmia. Preliminary testing suggests this technology may increase the success of atrial fibrillation catheter ablation, which depends upon accurately locating focal electrical sources when scanning the heart.

Blood test for depression — Investigators at CAMH and Indoc Research (formerly known as the Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network) are testing a new peripheral blood biomarker for major depressive disorder that may help to identify when a patient is experiencing or at risk of developing the disorder. The biomarker may also help researchers to develop new therapeutics for treating the condition.

Diagnostic for gestational and type 2 diabetes — University of Toronto research has identified a specific metabolite elevated in both gestational and type 2 diabetes patients. Researchers are examining if this metabolite could serve as a predictive diagnostic for the diseases.

About MaRS Innovation

MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for Ontario’s exceptional discovery pipeline from 15 leading academic institutions. As a single-entry point to member-based activity of $1 billion in annual research and development, MI is a gateway for investors and licensees to access technology assets. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its 15 member institutions, MI is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities. MI’s portfolio includes the most promising assets from its members’ pipeline, which it advances into global markets through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation.

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