Toronto, Ontario, June 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP) announced today the launch of a new LAB150 project aimed at developing a novel therapeutic agent for…
Biotechnology Focus, a compendium of the Canadian life sciences industry, has published the following guest column by Dr. Raphael Hofstein, MaRS Innovation’s president & CEO, and Elizabeth Monier-Williams, director of…
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…
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.”
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.
Biotechnology Focus, a compendium of the Canadian life sciences industry, has published a guest column by Dr. Raphael Hofstein, MaRS Innovation’s president & CEO, and Elizabeth Monier-Williams, director of marketing and communications.
The article explores the way research focused on discovery and commercialization are often viewed or positioned as competitors within the funding ecosystem and the need to align their goals:
The time of Canada’s French and English solitudes may be past, as Governor General Michaëlle Jean notably stated when she took office in 2005, but the solitudes of thought concerning how Canada supports basic and commercial research persist.
This thinking is most easily spotted after the government announces a federal budget, triggering a flurry of opinion pieces debating the breakdown for the $2.7 billion Canada spends on research.
Most recently, Jim Balsillie, co-founder of Research in Motion (now BlackBerry Ltd.), wrote for the Globe & Mail about the Canadian need to understand that “geopolitics is at the heart of commercializing ideas,” and create better policies to protect Canadian ideas, including “better
incentives for researchers to spur commercialization,” such as during an academic’s consideration for tenure. Yet, like any business endeavor whose success depends on people, there’s more involved in changing Canada’s approach to commercialization than just policy.
The people must want to change, too.
Co-development agreement, brokered by MaRS Innovation, to advance ultrasound chemotherapy monitoring technology as clinical tool
TORONTO (March 12, 2015) — Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and MaRS Innovation today announced a co-development agreement for WaveCheck, an ultrasound technology that transforms conventional equipment so that physicians can monitor a breast cancer tumour’s response to chemotherapy.
The partnership with GE Healthcare, brokered by MaRS Innovation, seeks to develop WaveCheck as a clinical tool that gives clinicians rapid, improved transparency to determine if breast cancer tumors are responding to chemotherapy.
WaveCheck is a clinical technique invented, refined and tested by Dr. Gregory Czarnota, chief of Radiation Oncology at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre, and Michael C. Kolios, professor of Physics and associate dean, Research and Graduate Studies, in Ryerson University’s Faculty of Science. Their technology uses ultrasound to visually demonstrate whether chemotherapy is destroying a breast cancer tumour at the beginning of chemotherapy treatment in as little as one week. If applied to the clinic, this knowledge has the power to transform patient experience, since existing breast cancer patients typically wait until the end of treatment, anywhere from four to six months, to know if their tumor has responded.
In early clinical testing, WaveCheck’s inexpensive, non-invasive, image-guided technology shows promise as an accurate, efficient way to monitor tumour response, opening the door to tailored treatment.
The agreement leverages GE Healthcare’s extensive ultrasound technology and market expertise in bringing new ultrasound innovations to global hospitals and clinics with Sunnybrook’s leadership in oncology research and cancer care through the Odette Cancer Centre.
TORONTO and SAN DIEGO (Feb. 26, 2015) — Triphase Accelerator Corporation has entered into an academic center collaboration with Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI), the research arm of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a MaRS Innovation member institution. MaRS Innovation is also a Triphase investor.
Under the agreement, SRI will assist in the development of Triphase’s novel, first-in-class, fully human bi-specific antibody TRPH 011 and evaluate the role of bifunctional targeting of VEGFR-2 and TIE 2 receptors in cancer. TRPH 011 binds and neutralizes VEGFR-2/KDR and TIE 2 receptors simultaneously, resulting in sustained inhibition of tumor growth and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels and a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a benign to a malignant state).
Under the terms of the agreement, Triphase will provide funding to the laboratory of Dr. Robert S. Kerbel, senior scientist in the Biological Sciences Platform at SRI. Dr. Kerbel and his colleagues will evaluate TRPH 011 in preclinical pharmacology models. Triphase will use the findings to advance the TRPH 011 program toward an Investigational New Drug (IND) filing.
Vasomune Therapeutics, a MaRS Innovation start-up company from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Sunnybrook Research Institute, was featured in a BioCentury emerging company profile by Michael J. Haas.
The company is currently raising a Series A financing round and recently closed a seed investment with Genome Canada and an unnamed industry partner. MaRS Innovation also contributed a third of the investment, bringing the round’s total to $1.5 million.
Haas’ profile, “Vasomune: Lassoing Tie2,” is available behind a paywall on the BioCentury website.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Agonizing Tie2 could restore vascular integrity and limit tissue damage in kidney injury, but bringing together the four copies needed to activate the receptor is a job too big for small molecules or antibodies. Vasomune Therapeutics Inc. has shown its four-armed peptidomimetic, vasculotide, activates Tie2 and restores vascular integrity in [preclinical] models.
“Many renal diseases are ultimately characterized by a loss in vascular integrity that damages tubules in the kidney,” CEO Parimal Nathwani said. “Our idea is to use vasculotide to fix the problem and restore normal vascular integrity before it gets out of control.”
This story appears courtesy of our colleagues at U of T Engineering News.
While some of us are using the new power of 3D printers to make smartphone cases and chocolate figurines, two engineering students from the University of Toronto are using them to print functional human skin.
On September 18, Arianna McAllister and Lian Leng were named the Canadian winners of the 2014 James Dyson Award for their invention, the PrintAlive Bioprinter.
The machine – created in collaboration with Professor Axel Guenther, alumnus Boyang Zhang and Dr. Marc Jeschke, head of Sunnybrook Hospital’s Ross Tilley Burn Centre – prints large, continuous layers of tissue that recreate natural skin.