Applications for next MSc PoP granting round being accepted until February 25, 2016 TORONTO (January 26, 2016) — Nine Ontario-based medical research projects built on great science with potential for…
BresoTec, formerly known as ApneaDx, also among top five finalists
TORONTO, August 11, 2015 – Legworks‘ next-generation prosthetic knee took first place in Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE’s) Parapan Am Games-affiliated Accessibility Tech Pitch competition. The company immediately said it would use the $20,000 award to fit 200 amputees in developing countries with its device.
Legworks was selected from 18 participants in a two-day elimination pitch competition – one of the features of the Government of Ontario’s Accessibility Innovation Showcase held at MaRS Discovery District from August 8 to 10, 2015.
Legworks was one of five companies to make it to the final round of the competition.
Other finalists were Eightfold Technologies, MyndTec, BresoTec Inc., and Komodo OpenLabs. BresoTec Inc., formerly known as ApneaDx Inc., is a MaRS Innovation start-up company spun-off in partnership with the University Health Network’s Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and is developing a medical device to allow patients to determine whether they have sleep apnea without having to visit a sleep clinic.
CQDM and MaRS Innovation investing in new Encycle project to determine rules for making peptide drugs orally bioavailable
PHILADELPHIA (June 16, 2015) — FiercePharma has predicted that the pharmaceutical industry stands to lose $44 billion in drugs going off patent in 2015. The industry is searching for new therapeutics to replenish their pipelines while tackling existing and new drug receptor targets within the cell, improve patient care and lower administrative costs. In this context, drugs that can be orally swallowed, known as orally-bioavailable drugs, are in great demand.
Encycle Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company founded by Dr. Andrei Yudin of the University of Toronto in partnership with MaRS Innovation, is a Canadian start-up emerging as a market leader in finding orally-bioavailable molecules. Today, the company announced $840,000 in funding from CQDM and MaRS Innovation to generate a better understanding of the chemical properties required to make small peptide-like molecules, which Encycle calls nacellins, orally bioavailable.
This funding, generated through MaRS Innovation’s strategic partnerships programs with Pfizer Inc. and GSK, and CQDM’s global membership program with Pfizer Inc. and Merck, brings Encycle’s total funding to approximately $4 million, including an earlier investment in 2011 from Ontario Centres of Excellence.
Dr. Diane Gosselin, president and CEO of CQDM, together with Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation, made the announcement this morning at the 2015 BIO International Convention in the presence of Dr. Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Dr. Gaétan Barrette, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services.
“Encycle’s proprietary cyclized peptides are very different from other types of therapeutics and should enable us to target many of the proteins that are currently regarded as undruggable,” says Dr. Jeffrey Coull, Encycle’s president and CEO. “Our research suggests that, due to their unique properties, it’s easier for our peptides to cross cell membranes than it is for other types, allowing them to be taken orally and access proteins on the inside of a cell. Working on this project together with Pfizer and Merck through CQDM, as well as Pfizer and GSK through MaRS Innovation, we now wish to develop a more precise understanding of the relationship between their structure and composition, and the ability to be delivered orally.”
Ministry of Research & Innovation joins founding partners University of Toronto and Janssen Inc., and new partners Evotec AG, MaRS Innovation and Ontario Centres of Excellence, to advance treatments for neurological disorders and develop early-stage biotech companies
TORONTO and PHILADELPHIA (June 16, 2015)— Toronto’s neuroscience efforts to find new drugs to treat and manage brain disorders — specifically, mood disorders and Alzheimer’s disease — took another step forward as the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation announced a $1 million contribution to the Neuroscience Catalyst consortium, bringing the total raised for the open innovation fund to $3.7 million. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training Colleges and Universities, announced the contribution at the 2015 BIO International conference in Philadelphia during the opening of the Ontario pavilion.
This release was covered by Pharma TV and in TechVibes, BioSpace and Biotechnology Focus, and was referenced on the Canadian Science Policy Centre‘s and the Alzheimer Society of Toronto’s respective websites.
“We are pleased to support this collaborative innovation model which will accelerate the development of better treatment options for people with neurological disorders,” said Minister Moridi. “Partnerships between universities, academic hospitals, research institutes, industries and government are key to positioning Ontario as a global leader in Life Sciences.”
Founded by the University of Toronto (U of T) in partnership with Janssen Inc. and facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the Neuroscience Catalyst consortium is using the Toronto research community’s well-established strengths in neuroscience to identify promising early-stage molecules and technologies through an open innovation model. The consortium aims to combine expertise to enable and accelerate the translation of basic sciences through to start-up companies and investor partnerships.
“We all want the next generation of solutions that are so desperately needed by patients and their families,” said Professor Ruth Ross, director of the Centre for Collaborative Drug Research at U of T. “In Canada, mood disorders such as depressive disorder and bipolar disorder affect about 10 per cent of the population. Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 745,000 Canadians. The need is urgent and this unique open collaborative partnership will allow us to rapidly develop new treatments.”
Other partners joining the project include MaRS Innovation, which introduced the partners to the Ministry of Research & Innovation and led the early conversation; Evotec, a global, high-quality provider in the drug discovery field; and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), which is administering the funding.
UTEST among the four U of T entrepreneurship programs to be funded through Ontario’s CLA program
The funding is part of the Campus-Linked Accelerator Program (CLA), announced today by Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
“Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is a key component of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, through programs that help transfer their ideas and skills to the marketplace while creating rewarding careers,” said Minister Moridi. “By partnering with colleges and universities to support entrepreneurship, we are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”
With this funding, U of T will continue to build on its long track record of success in this area by expanding the entrepreneurship opportunities it offers to students, primarily through its four principal accelerators: The Creative Destruction Lab (Rotman School of Management), The Hatchery (Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering), The Impact Centre (Faculty of Arts & Science), and UTEST (The Innovation and Partnerships Office, produced in partnership with MaRS Innovation).
The CLA program provides critical funding that enhances the support U of T and MaRS Innovation offer to our current UTEST companies,” said Kurtis Scissons, co-director of UTEST. “It also allows UTEST to expand to work with a greater number of student entrepreneurs in computer software, and is a catalyst for other UT CLA’s to combine their entrepreneurship efforts in a synergistic, complimentary way.”
There’s been lots of activity in MI’s portfolio this week (and it’s only Wednesday). Read down for what you need to know about Whirlscape, Crowdmark, OtoSim, and ApneaDx.
Whirlscape’s Minuum keyboard nabbed a four-star review from CNET’s editors only days before announcing their technology is now available for Google Glass. Watch the UTEST graduate‘s newest demo video.
The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) showcased some of the newest and most innovative products in the education technology market, and recognized the best among them as part of the Innovation Incubator program at the 13th annual Education Industry Summit, the leading conference for the K-12 and postsecondary education technology market, held May 12-14 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
From their blog:
Crowdmark was named Most Innovative among more than 50 applicants,
In a January 24, 2014 Biotechnology Focus cover article, author Shawn Lawrence discusses MaRS Innovation President and CEO Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein‘s recent visit to learn more of the emerging science and technology markets in Singapore and Japan.
The trip allowed Hofstein to discuss current MI projects, specifically start-ups XLV Diagnostics Inc. and DVLR Therapeutics Inc., whose products could benefit from Singapore’s proximity to medical technology markets in India and China.
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. You can read the original post on the MaRS blog.
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.”
TORONTO, April 22, 2013 — MaRS Innovation, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, today announced the formation of a strategic partnership with Pfizer Inc. to advance early-stage technologies related to human health in therapeutics and diagnostics.
Through this collaboration, MaRS Innovation and Pfizer will jointly identify investment opportunities emerging from well-validated scientific research discoveries within MaRS Innovation’s 16 member institutions, including the University of Toronto and its nine affiliated teaching hospitals.
“There’s growing consensus that transferring technologies from the university lab bench and into the market requires unique public-private partnerships,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation. “Partnering with MaRS Innovation gives Pfizer access to Toronto’s robust innovation pipeline and a close look at emerging IP from Canada. It signals both the strength and attractiveness of our commercialization model and Toronto-based research technologies to global industry players.”
“Our government is committed to making Ontario the best place to translate great ideas into innovative products that will gain demand around the world,” said the Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation. “Today’s announcement from MaRS Innovation is an exciting collaboration with Pfizer that will both advance healthcare technologies for Ontarians and help to strengthen our economy.”