Fanny Sie, MaRS Innovation’s head of imaging technologies, was quoted in Tanya Powley‘s article, “Printing whole organs remains a long way off,” for the U.K.’s Financial Times on June 11, 2015, regarding the technology’s potential to transform existing healthcare practices.
MI does wish to note that the article inaccurately attributes the PrintAlive device’s development to MaRS Innovation; MI is working with the University of Toronto inventing team, led by Dr. Axel Gunther, to commercialize the device.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Bioprinting could save pharmaceutical companies a lot of money, according to Fanny Sie of MaRS Innovation, a Toronto-based company. The company has developed the PrintAlive Bioprinter, which can print skin that could be used to treat people with large scale burns. The printed tissues could be used by pharmaceutical companies to test the toxicity of new drugs, and help them decide if it is worth starting costly animal and then human clinical trials.
The announcement was made in advance of the 2015 BIO Convention, which takes place from June 15 to 18 in Philadelphia, PA. MaRS Innovation is participating as part of the Ontario delegation and will have kiosk space in the Ontario pavilion (#615).
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and MaRS Innovation announced their research partnership to advance three technologies focused on improving cardiac surgery outcomes, developing a blood test for depression, and identifying a diagnostic metabolite for both gestational and type 2 diabetes patients. The projects’ principal investigators are researchers from the University Health Network (Peter Munk Cardiac Centre), theCentre for Addiction and Mental Health(with Indoc Research) and theUniversity of Toronto.
“Johnson & Johnson Innovation is an excellent partner that understands exactly the kind of technology pipeline MaRS Innovation represents,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO. “Renewing their longstanding relationship signals the value they see in this partnership with MaRS Innovation, our members and researchers within our network.”
TORONTO (October 20, 2014) — Vasomune Therapeutics, a biotechnology start-up founded by Drs. Dan Dumont and Paul Van Slyke of Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) in partnership with MaRS Innovation, has received $1.5 million, in part through Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), to advance Vasculotide, the company’s lead Tie-2 activating agent, towards clinical development.
The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Dr. Pierre Meulien, president and CEO of Genome Canada, announced the funding as part of 12 selected projects under Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), on October 15 in Wallenstein, Ontario.
“We believe that our technology is well positioned to accelerate from preclinical research into clinical development based on its strong data package,” said Parimal Nathwani, president and CEO of Vasomune Therapeutics. “This award, in combination with industry funding, validates the Vasculotide opportunity and gives us the required funds to advance the drug candidate toward the clinic.”
In preclinical studies, Vasculotide has shown to be an effective treatment for multiple renal diseases including acute kidney injury (AKI), which in humans is a possible outcome of kidney function loss that manifests in nearly a third of high-risk cardiac patients. AKI may result from short-term interruptions in blood flow during surgery; 11 percent of patients who develop AKI after bypass surgery will die. People who survive AKI are at risk of developing longer-term kidney complications such as chronic kidney disease or End Stage Renal Disease. Vasomune’s founders conceptualized and designed Vasculotide to bind to the Tie-2 receptor, which is responsible for maintaining vascular health (and thus blood flow).
With this new funding, a third from Vasomune and MaRS Innovation, a third from Genome Canada and a third from a leading multinational pharmaceutical company, Vasomune can transition its program into manufacturing optimization, pharmacokinetics and toxicology studies to prepare for clinical development in early 2016.
MI portfolio company actively seeking additional products for licensing and development
TORONTO and SAN DIEGO, Jan. 9, 2014 — A unique collaboration of life science leaders, including the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust, MaRS Innovation Ventures Trust and MaRS Phase II Investment Trust, have formed Triphase Accelerator Corporation, an oncology development accelerator.
Formed in 2010, Triphase Accelerator Corporation is a cancer-focused biotechnology development company that aims to reduce the time and expense between an investigational new drug application and “proof-of-concept” at Phase II.
Triphase, spun out of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), develops and advances late pre-clinical, Phase I or early Phase II potential products. Triphase and its founding investors are in a position to take advantage of the excellent research and development capabilities in the Toronto healthcare and innovation ecosystem.
The Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT), MaRS Innovation Ventures Trust, and MaRS Phase II Investment Trust, are all Toronto-based equity investors in Triphase.
After company formation, Triphase entered into a strategic relationship with Celgene Corporation. Through this arrangement, Celgene obtained rights of first refusal on the first three oncology products Triphase advances to clinical proof-of-concept (POC), plus a right of first negotiation on three more future oncology products which may be acquired by Triphase.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation and its affiliate Janssen Inc. in Canada announced new collaborations with two Canadian early-stage drug technology development centres, Montreal-based NEOMED and Toronto-based MaRS Innovation, to identify and advance promising bio/pharmaceutical technologies that have the potential to impact human health.
Through these collaborations, technical experts from the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Boston, Massachusetts will work with NEOMED and MaRS Innovation to identify investment opportunities emerging from well-validated scientific research discoveries within their communities of academic institutions and biotechnology companies.
Obesity, cancer, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, or the more general stresses of an aging population: no matter which area of concern holds our collective gaze from moment to moment, improving health outcomes and healthcare is the No. 1 challenge for the world’s economy.
Canada has the holistic approach and translational research necessary to address health care’s pervasive challenges, with particular strengths in biotechnology.
In 2007, the Government of Canada made advancing translational research a top priority through the Science and Technology Strategy, with emphasis on cancer, metabolic disorders and, most recently, neurology, as part of the government’s response to the burdensome realities of neurodegenerative disorders.
Scientific research has made significant progress in unraveling the underlying causes of disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, but translating these findings into useful clinical treatments is the key to attaining meaningful accomplishments. Only clinical treatment successes will alleviate pressure on the economy.
Transformational research is the essential first step in this process, but even more importantly, it needs to be put in the hands of those who can translate it into realistic and useful outcomes for patients in particular and society in general.
Thanks to research analytics that capture publications, citations, and other significant metrics, we know Canadian researchers punch above their weight, particularly in medical research. Canada’s challenge is not the quality or quantity of our research ideas but our ability to commercialize those ideas and translate them into market-ready products.
Designed to bridge the challenging gap between innovation and commercialization, the CECR program matches clusters of research expertise with the business community to share the knowledge and resources that bring innovations to market faster.
MaRS Innovation was among the first CECRs to be created in 2008, largely based on the founding belief of its members that Toronto is a fertile research land for precisely this kind of translational activity.
Nearly 14,000 delegates—representing over 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centres and related organizations across the United States and more than 60 countries—attended the 2013 BIO International Convention from April 22 to 26, 2013.
The event drew biotechnologists, pharmaceutical industry executives and life sciences researchers, along with sector-based organizations and associations, to Chicago.
According to a press release issued by the conference organizers, BIO 2013 offered “a record number of partnering meetings and panel sessions on the latest science, policy issues and business opportunities and challenges facing the biotechnology industry.”
A $4-million public-private partnership will promote research innovation involving three academic commercialization centres in Canada
CHICAGO, Illinois – April 22, 2013 – Merck Canada will be announcing today at the BIO International Convention that it is reinforcing its commitment to the Canadian life sciences research innovation sector.
This partnership announcement was covered by PEHub.
IRICoR will work in conjunction with MaRS Innovation and the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) to identify, develop and commercialize technologies in healthcare. All three CECR institutions – identified as CECR in 2008 by the federal government – share a common objective: facilitating and accelerating the commercialization of research breakthroughs that will improve the quality of life of Canadians and others around the world.
Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation, delivered a guest lecture on February 1,2013 at the Revitalizing Medical BioTechnology Commercialization symposium, hosted by Stanford University‘s NIH Graduate Training Program in Biotechnology.
The one-day event brought academic, venture capital and industry thought leaders together to reflect on the challenges facing technology transfer processes across the biotech industry.
What if you could use a cancer tumour’s proteomic profile to make it easier to target and destroy?
Targeting specific proteins on the surface of individual tumours—or, more precisely, targeting a cell receptor that naturally allows substances to pass into a cell—would allow clinicians to more effectively deliver drugs designed to deactivate cancer-promoting genes within the tumour, while minimizing the addition of toxins to the patient’s body.
This is personalized medicine’s promise for cancer treatment: targeted therapies that stand a better chance of success, with reduced side effects, based on the unique profile of a patient’s tumour, either administered on their own or in combination with traditional chemotherapy.