Results for results in docetaxel-resistant prostate cancer models presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Conference TORONTO and SAN DIEGO (April 18, 2016) — Triphase Accelerator Corporation, a private…
New research emerging from the University of Toronto’s Edward S Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is developing and demonstrating a new class of solar-sensitive nanoparticle.
MaRS Innovation is working with Professor Ted Sargent, his research team and U of T’s Innovations and Partnerships Office (IPO) to incubate and commercialize this and other solar technologies. Their work was recently published in Nature Materials.
Here’s an excerpt from power-technology.com:
Led by post-doctoral researcher Zhijun Ning and Professor Ted Sargent, the research work resulted in the development of a new form of solid, stable light-sensitive nanoparticles, known as colloidal quantum dots.
Developed in collaboration with Dalhousie University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the solar-sensitive nanoparticles are cheaper than the traditional panels, large and rectangular.
In addition to being cheaper, the colloidal quantum dots are more flexible solar cells, and better gas sensors, infrared lasers, infrared light emitting diodes and more.
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.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Ontario Institute for Cancer Research scientists have developed glycopolymer-conjugated docetaxel nanoparticles that outperform Abraxane in mouse models of breast cancer. The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is backing the program with $1.5 million to take it to the clinic. The expectation is that the product’s ability to target the tumor stroma rather than the tumor itself will differentiate it from Abraxane and other chemotherapeutic formulations.”
Every six weeks, MaRS Innovation’s marketing and communications manager writes a guest post for the MaRS Discovery District blog profiling MI’s activities or one of our start-up companies. This post coincided with World Cancer Day.
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.
Personalized medicine research in Toronto also benefited from a recent $50 million donation to support Princess Margaret Hospital (part of the University Health Network). Read and watch the news announcement on BioTechnology Focus.
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.
MaRS Innovation’s (MI) projects and partnerships earned three separate article mentions in the December 2012 issue of Biotechnology Focus, including:
- MI and UHN’s partnership with Stem Cell Therapeutics was covered in the magazine’s Dealmakers subsection. Read the write-up on the Biotechnology Focus website.
- Cellax, a licensable technology that may produce a nanotechonology-based cancer drug, was highlighted in the magazine’s Business Corner section (read the write-up). Cellax is a joint project between MI and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
- MaRS Innovation’s collaboration with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine was highlighted in a feature article, “Efforts to commercialize regenerative medicine in Canada growing steadily.”
TORONTO, ON (November 13, 2012) — The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and MaRS Innovation (MI) today announced $1.5 million in funding from OICR over three years to further develop Cellax™, a nanoparticle drug that could offer an alternative to chemotherapy with fewer side effects.
“Cellax is promising because it provides a more targeted strategy for treating tumours, killing tumour cells while minimizing the effect on healthy tissue,” said Dr. Rima Al-awar, director, OICR’s Medicinal Chemistry Platform. “OICR is proud to invest in a technology that has such potential to one day improve quality of life for cancer patients.”
Cellax, invented by Dr. Shyh-Dar Li and his research team in OICR’s Medicinal Chemistry Platform group, is a drug-polymer conjugate based on Dr. Li’s proprietary NanoCMC™ technology. These polymers self-assemble into defined nanoparticles and, when injected, selectively accumulate in tumours. Because of this property, the drug is released where it is most needed, increasing therapeutic benefits and reducing the side effects associated with conventional chemotherapy.
Xagenic, a MaRS Innovation spin-off company, was featured in the most recent issue of BioCentury. Here's an excerpt (the article only available to BioCentury subscribers): PCR-based diagnosis of infections can…
TORONTO (January 30, 2012) – Xagenic Inc., a start-up company created by Dr. Shana Kelley, in partnership with MaRS Innovation, today reached a significant milestone by successfully completing series A financing totaling $10 million.
The financing comes from sources from the private and public sector including CTI Life Sciences Fund L.P., Qiagen N.V. and the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation through its Emerging Technologies Fund.
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada – October 24, 2011 – DLVR Therapeutics Inc. (“DLVR”) - a privately-held biotechnology company currently focused on developing oncology therapeutics based on its proprietary high density lipoprotein-like…