TORONTO and VANCOUVER, CANADA (January 12, 2016) — A novel drug therapy to reduce the severity and frequency of hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes in people with diabetes is being…
TORONTO, ON (April 23, 2014) — MaRS Innovation congratulates the Federal Government’s deepened commitment to support Canadian research and innovation, particularly in the healthcare sector. In particular, the $42 million over five years dedicated to support the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation at Baycrest Health Sciences, which includes $32 million in support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev).
Baycrest is a founding member institution of MaRS Innovation.
“As a Baycrest partner and long-time champions of the commercialization potential of its world-class science in brain and geriatric health care, MaRS Innovation welcomes this news,” says Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein, president and CEO. “We look forward to advancing existing neuroscience projects in partnership with Baycrest, such as The Virtual Brain, and to collaborating on new start-up companies and licenses related to dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.”
Other promising budget allocations for the innovation sector include:
MI’s Fazila Seker also interviewed in National Post article on what prompts medical researchers to consider crowdfunding
The WaveCheck crowdfunding campaign, which raised $53,390 on Indiegogo to support clinical trials for a clinical technique invented by researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Ryerson University, was included in a new Canadian-led study on the merits of crowdfunding to support cancer and rare diseases.
“Crowdfunding drug development: The state of play in oncology and rare diseases,” was published in Drug Discovery Today‘s June issue.
MaRS Innovation has confirmed with lead author Professor Nick Dragojlovic of the University of British Columbia that WaveCheck was among the campaigns included in the study.
Mount Sinai’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute has developed a new test that could make a big difference to men facing infertility.
A study published in a leading international journal, Science Translational Medicine, details the discovery of a key biomarker that can pinpoint the cause of infertility without the need for invasive surgery.
About half a million Canadian men are infertile, according to clinician-research Dr. Keith Jarvi. As a urologist who treats men with infertility, he knows how valuable this simple, inexpensive test could be. “Testing a semen sample can be done in the doctor’s clinic as it’s noninvasive and much easier for the patient than surgery,” he says.
Dr. Jarvi directs the Murray Koffler Urologic Wellness Centre, is head of Urology, and associate scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. He is a professor of Surgery at University of Toronto.
MaRS Innovation, which commercializes discoveries made by University of Toronto hospitals and research institutes, is already working on the project, which Jarvi believes may lead to commercial tests within the next couple of years. [For more information, contact Barry Elkind].
Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for North American clinical study during Breast Cancer Awareness Month; 12 artists donate 13 original works worth over $15,000 to support campaign
Toronto, Canada (October 9, 2013) — WaveCheck — a painless, non-surgical clinical technique developed by a Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre oncologist and a Ryerson University physicist and supported by MaRS Innovation — is poised to transform chemotherapy response monitoring for women with breast cancer.
WaveCheck combines traditional ultrasound with new software to detect responses to chemotherapy in breast cancer tissues. By making better, more accurate information available about a woman’s response to her chemotherapy treatment in weeks rather than months, WaveCheck creates greater transparency through dialogue between a women and her doctors, empowering her to participate in discussions about whether a given chemotherapy treatment is effective.
Contribute to WaveCheck‘s Indiegogo campaign and help make this technology available to all women with breast cancer faster.
Developed by Dr. Gregory Czarnota, chief of Radiation Oncology at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre, and Michael C. Kolios, professor of Physics and Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Applications of Ultrasound at Ryerson, WaveCheck has been used in clinical studies with nearly 100 women receiving upfront, neoadjuvant chemotherapy to treat locally-advanced breast cancer. These results are published in two leading journals, Clinical Cancer Research and Translational Oncology.
In the Indiegogo campaign video, Czarnota, Kolios and three of the 100 women who participated in the first Sunnybrook study explain WaveCheck’s impact.
“The hard truth for women with breast cancer is that 60 to 70 per cent of chemotherapy treatments fail,” said Czarnota, who is also a senior scientist and director of cancer research at Sunnybrook Research Institute and assistant professor in the University of Toronto’s Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Biophysics within the Faculty of Medicine. “The 1.5 million women worldwide who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year need to know that their chemotherapy is working as soon as possible. But this kind of treatment monitoring doesn’t currently exist in standard clinical practice. Instead, a woman’s tumour response is evaluated after she completes her chemotherapy treatment, which is typically a four- to six-month process.
This op-ed on Canadian biotechnology and the knowledge economy appeared in The Hill-Times (subscription required), Canada’s politics and government newsweekly, September 9:
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.
Aware of and concerned by this gap between fundamental basic research and useful patient, social, and economic outcomes, the Canadian government established the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program in 2007. Part of the internationally-recognized Networks of Centres of Excellence suite of programs, the CECR program is a unique collaboration between the three federal granting agencies (the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), along with Industry Canada, and Health Canada.
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.
Networks of Centres of Excellence recognizes strength of partnership between MI and its 16 member institutions
MaRS Innovation (MI), created in 2008, bridges the chasm between these early-stage technologies and successful start-up companies and licensable technologies. By offering early-stage funding in tandem with hands-on management, mentorship and IP strategy protection, MI acts as a commercialization agent for its 16 member institutions.
The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) has recognized the increasing strength of this novel partnership by awarding MI $14.95 million in funding through the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program.
TORONTO (March 2, 2010) – MaRS Innovation is delighted to announce that two of its commercialization projects – notably an umbilical cord stem cell technology from Mount Sinai Hospital and nicotine…