TORONTO (May 11, 2016) – Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC, today announced the opening of JLABS @ Toronto, a new 40,000-square-foot life sciences incubator, providing entrepreneurs shared lab space and…
BlueDot, a Canadian company that helps decision-makers prepare for and response to infectious disease outbreaks, was profiled in the Toronto Star for their work in tracking the Zika virus. The…
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…
Prima IP co-sponsoring the Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital event
That’s part of the reason why MaRS Innovation and Prima IP are sponsoring winners of an Angels’ Den competition involving the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST).
iBEST is a partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital that brings together Ryerson’s engineering and science strengths with St. Michael’s biomedical research and clinical expertise. The contest, which took place on June 26, 2015, riffs on the popular Dragon’s Den format.
“As a guest judge for the iBEST trainee competition this year, I reviewed a lot of thought-provoking ideas and MaRS Innovation congratulates all of the 2015 award winners,” says Dr. Fazila Seker, director of physical sciences. “Many of our portfolio technologies have their origins in this type of collaboration between researchers and medical staff, which is why we’re so excited to sponsor this competition. Fostering these types of relationships is vital to Toronto’s commercialization ecosystem.”
For the 2015 award period, MaRS Innovation will provide the competition’s winners with upfront commercialization consultation services to help shorten the time it may take for their ideas to reach the market. These services will be offered in collaboration with the technology transfer offices within St. Michael’s Hospital and the Vice-President of Research and Innovation office at Ryerson University as appropriate. In partnership with Prima IP, MaRS Innovation will also cover the initial patent application preparation and filing for the top two awardees of the iBEST event. Future award winners will receive similar support.
“Canada’s future economy depends on programs that encourage and facilitate innovation allowing Canada to remain competitive in the global marketplace and attract foreign investment,” said Marcelo König Sarkis, principal, founder and senior patent agent at Prima IP. “We are passionate in our support for Canadian inventions from the initial research phase to start-up and beyond.”
Partners for JLABS @ Toronto include Janssen Inc., MaRS Innovation and seven of MI’s 15 member institutions
TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2015 — The Ontario Government, University of Toronto, and MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) today announced a collaboration with Janssen Inc. to launch the successful Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS incubator model in Toronto.
This announcement has been covered in the Toronto Star, Metro News Canada, Sing Tao Daily, OurWindsor.ca, FierceBiotech, BioCentury, MedCity News, BioSpace, Biotechnology Focus, Lab Product News, ChinaNews.com, Pan European Networks, Economic Development Blog, BetaKit, Torontoist, and TechVibes.
The new facility, called JLABS @ Toronto, will open in spring of 2016 at MaRS Discovery District and will support start-ups with lab space, programs, and potential investment partners as they work to build important, successful early-stage companies.
“The arrival of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS model to MaRS’ West Tower reinforces Ontario’s position as one of the world’s leading life sciences clusters,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. “JLABS @ Toronto will support researchers and entrepreneurs across the province and accelerate the development of Ontario companies while connecting Toronto to potential Johnson & Johnson collaborators and investors.”
“Research and innovation are fundamental to the mission of the University of Toronto,” said Dr. Meric S. Gertler, President, University of Toronto. “We host a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem featuring nine campus-led accelerators under the umbrella of our Banting & Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The addition of JLABS to this ecosystem will further propel the creation of new companies and new jobs, and ultimately new healthcare solutions that will benefit individuals and our society for years to come.”
“Toronto is home to a vibrant and prolific healthcare and life sciences community led by academic hospitals, world-class research institutions, top scientists, and a strong start-up ecosystem. For these reasons, Toronto is a natural choice for our first international expansion of JLABS,” said Melinda Richter, Head of JLABS. “The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has long been active within the Toronto Ontario community, forming many important collaborations. Today we are pleased to begin an even deeper relationship with this important community. Our new location, within a University of Toronto site, close to our hospital collaborators, and neighbouring the financial centre of Canada, will deliver great opportunities and impact for emerging biomedical technology entrepreneurs.”
Toronto-based commercial arm of BioDiaspora research program tracks global spread of infectious diseases in real-time; fourth MI company to reach Series A
TORONTO (Dec. 2, 2014) — BlueDot, a Toronto-based social benefit corporation founded by Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician and scientist, tracks and predicts the global spread of infectious diseases.
Spun off from St. Michael’s Hospital in partnership with MaRS Innovation (and formerly known as BioDiaspora Inc.), BlueDot, has secured a Series A venture capital funding from Horizons Ventures. Funded by Sir Li Ka-shing, Horizons invests in what they call “game-changing disruptive tech,” and has a proven track record in making early-stage investments (i.e., Facebook, Skype, Waze, Siri and Spotify).
TechVibes and MedCity News covered BlueDot’s Series A announcement, as did PE Hub and BetaKit. Read the BlueDot press release here.
The company is the fourth in MaRS Innovation’s portfolio to reach Series A. MaRS Innovation provided $400,000 in seed funding and worked with BlueDot and St. Michael’s to incorporate the company and develop its initial business strategy, intellectual property protection strategy and go-to-market plan. The Ontario Centres of Excellence also provided $140,000 in commercialization grants that helped BlueDot get off the ground.
BlueDot is the commercial arm of Dr. Khan’s academic research program called BioDiaspora, which was developed at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s. BioDiaspora models how infectious diseases can spread and impact populations globally by analyzing big data such as the annual movements of more than 3 billion travelers on commercial flights; human, animal and insect population data; climate data from satellites; and news reports of disease outbreaks. The program was inspired by the Toronto’s SARS crisis in 2003 and its capabilities scientifically validated in prestigious academic journals such as the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.
During its development, BlueDot’s platform technology was used by numerous international agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada to evaluate emerging infectious disease threats, including those during global mass gatherings such as the Olympics and the hajj.
Tech Transfer Tactics, the monthly newsletter for Tech Transfer Central.com, has published a feature highlighting MaRS Innovation’s Technology Transfer & Scouting (MITTS) services to St. Michael’s Hospital.
The interview explores the increase in disclosures and commercial activity achieved after MaRS Innovation began offering technology transfer services to the hospital, and was triggered by a July profile published on MaRS Innovation’s website describing the collaborative working relationship between the two organizations.
The interview includes conversations with Sahail Shariff, commercialization manager in the MITTS division, and Samar Saneinejad, director of strategic projects in the Office of the Vice President of Research at St. Michael’s, explores the success
Here’s an excerpt:
MaRS Innovation, a member institution of the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada, has dramatically increased invention disclosures at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto by providing hospital researchers with an embedded technology transfer expert who offers commercialization guidance and access to other vital tech transfer resources.
Dr. Kamran Khan, founder of BioDiaspora, appeared on CBC’s “The National” on September 23, 2014, as part of a health panel examining the current state of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.
CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge hosted the discussion.
Watch the clip on CBC’s website.
BioDiaspora, spun off from St. Michael’s Hospital in partnership with MaRS Innovation, developed an easy-to-access, web-based solution that generates and communicates customized, actionable intelligence about global infectious disease threats in real-time.
Through the MaRS Innovation’s Technology Transfer & Scouting division (MITTS), manager Sahail Shariff is connecting with principal investigators (PIs) at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto on the front-line to better understand and advance their research.
Of the 180 PIs at the hospital, the majority are clinician scientists who spend a portion of their time caring for patients.
In collaboration with Samar Saneinejad, project director in the Office of the Vice-President, Research at St. Michael’s, Shariff established a research commercialization committee with regular monthly meetings to stay connected to PIs and their research status. He’s also taken note of the time constraints facing clinician scientists, making a point to provide them with more one-on-one time.
Invention disclosures from researchers at St. Michael’s have increased by almost 50 percent since October 2013, when Shariff joined MaRS Innovation. He has played a key role in this success and has also helped the hospital to acquire five commercialization-related funding applications and assisted in 12 interactions between PIs and industry members.
“Walking the halls has been really valuable for investigators who have great ideas and have spent a lot of time on their research and inventions, but don’t have excess time to devote to finding the right way to develop it further,” says Shariff.
BioDiaspora, a start-up company based on the research of company founder, Dr. Kamran Khan of St. Michael’s Hospital, has identified two mass gatherings in the Islamic world as key possible spread points for the life-threatening MERS coronavirus, which emerged in the Middle East in early 2012.
BioDiaspora’s disease-tracking platform, which correlates uses global air traffic patterns to predict the international spread of infectious disease (as described in the original media release from St. Michael’s Hospital):
The first is umrah, a pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of year but is considered particularly auspicious during the month of Ramadan, which this year began on July 9 and ends on Aug. 7. The second is the hajj, a five-day pilgrimage required of all physically and financially able Muslims at least once in their life. It takes place Oct. 13 to 18 this year and is expected to draw more than 3 million people.
It also identified the Mumbai-India corridor as particularly vulnerable to MERS based on the predicted exit traffic of travelers leaving the hajj and returning to their home countries following the mass religious event.
Khan’s research findings, published in PLOS Currents: Outbreaks, have attracted media coverage from the Times of India, CanIndia, Toronto Star‘s Foreign Desk blog (Jennifer Yang), Science Daily.com, DowntoEarth.org and Homeland Security News Wire.