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…
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.”
TORONTO (October 20, 2014) — Vasomune Therapeutics, a biotechnology start-up founded by Drs. Dan Dumont and Paul Van Slyke of Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) in partnership with MaRS Innovation, has received $1.5 million, in part through Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), to advance Vasculotide, the company’s lead Tie-2 activating agent, towards clinical development.
This announcement was covered in Biotechnology Focus.
The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Dr. Pierre Meulien, president and CEO of Genome Canada, announced the funding as part of 12 selected projects under Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), on October 15 in Wallenstein, Ontario.
“We believe that our technology is well positioned to accelerate from preclinical research into clinical development based on its strong data package,” said Parimal Nathwani, president and CEO of Vasomune Therapeutics. “This award, in combination with industry funding, validates the Vasculotide opportunity and gives us the required funds to advance the drug candidate toward the clinic.”
In preclinical studies, Vasculotide has shown to be an effective treatment for multiple renal diseases including acute kidney injury (AKI), which in humans is a possible outcome of kidney function loss that manifests in nearly a third of high-risk cardiac patients. AKI may result from short-term interruptions in blood flow during surgery; 11 percent of patients who develop AKI after bypass surgery will die. People who survive AKI are at risk of developing longer-term kidney complications such as chronic kidney disease or End Stage Renal Disease. Vasomune’s founders conceptualized and designed Vasculotide to bind to the Tie-2 receptor, which is responsible for maintaining vascular health (and thus blood flow).
With this new funding, a third from Vasomune and MaRS Innovation, a third from Genome Canada and a third from a leading multinational pharmaceutical company, Vasomune can transition its program into manufacturing optimization, pharmacokinetics and toxicology studies to prepare for clinical development in early 2016.
OICR’s catalyst grant enables WaveCheck to open first partner site at MD Anderson Cancer Center in May
TORONTO, April 8, 2014 — People with breast cancer are a step closer to knowing if their tumour is responding to chemotherapy at the start of treatment, thanks to a $100,000 catalyst grant from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR).
Read Jane Gerster’s article for the Toronto Star about OICR’s catalyst grant for WaveCheck. This announcement was also covered in Metro, BetaKit and Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario’s Catalyst newsletter.
WaveCheck, a clinical technique invented, refined and tested by scientists at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Ryerson University over 20 years, aims to show whether chemotherapy is actually destroying a breast cancer tumour at the beginning of chemotherapy treatment (in as little as four weeks), rather than at the end of treatment (typically four to six months).
In early clinical testing, the non-invasive, image-guided technology has shown promise as an accurate, efficient way to monitor tumour response, opening the door to tailored treatment.
“This is a significant step towards achieving the goal of personalized medicine. The clinical trials will confirm that information provided by WaveCheck can determine if the treatment is the appropriate one or that other options should be chosen, sparing patients the side effects of treatments that will not likely be successful,” said Dr. Tom Hudson, OICR’s president and scientific director. “If successful, WaveCheck could become a standard tool in the cancer treatment of the future.”
Indiegogo campaign raised $53,390 from over 500 worldwide donors
CTV National News featured WaveCheck’s crowdfunding campaign on December 15 in a report by Avis Favaro. The report included an interview with MaRS Innovation’s President and CEO, Dr. Raphael Hofstein (at the 1:37 mark).
William Tran, a researcher associated with the project at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, was also interviewed on Canada AM on December 16.
WaveCheck, which closed its campaign December 4, was invented by Dr. Gregory Czarnota of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Prof. Michael C. Kolios of Ryerson University. WaveCheck uses ultrasound technology to show people with breast cancer if their chemotherapy is working within weeks.
While the Indiegogo campaign has concluded, Sunnybrook Foundation is now accepting donations flagged “WaveCheck” on behalf of the researchers through its website.
At campaign close, WaveCheck ranked in the top 0.005 per cent of health-related campaigns on Indiegogo, and was covered by CBC television and Metro Morning, the Toronto Star, Sing-Tao and MedCity News.
MI Project Manger Fanny Sie discusses Toronto’s impact on 3D printing landscape
In a December 4 article, part of a feature series on technology in Toronto, Yonge Street Media reporter Andrew Seale highlights the creative and innovative technological work surrounding the 3D printing and cyber security sectors in the city.
MaRS Innovation’s Fanny Sie is managing business development for the Bioprinter, a 3D printer using University of Toronto technology that’s capable of printing on organic material, including skin.
By printing on skin, the cost of treating burns on the body could be reduced.
Here’s an excerpt from the article (links and emphasis ours):
“Cells are very intelligent, you just have to be able to put them close enough to one another in order for them to take over,” says Sie adding that some of the research is a partnership with the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Research Institute.
Reception at Sunnybrook Hospital recognizes WaveCheck’s inventors, contributing artists and the three women featured in the campaign video
The WaveCheck Indiegogo campaign continues to generate wide support from MaRS Innovation’s community. To give back and show their appreciation, the campaign team hosted a reception at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Centre on November 6, 2013.
Present were several members of the Women’s Art Association of Canada (WAAC) who donated 11 of the 15 artworks to the campaign. Also present was Dale Butterill, president of WAAC, who expressed support during her opening remarks. Together with members of WAAC, contributing artists donated over $15,000 worth of art to the campaign.
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.
TORONTO, ON (Feb. 19, 2013) – XLV Diagnostics Inc., a start-up company working to commercialize a faster, cheaper and better digital mammography technology, has received a $500,000 investment from FedNor.
Over 600 million women living in developing countries have inadequate access to breast screening for early cancer detection. In the developed world, many radiology departments are replacing traditional film and screen systems with digital technologies. In both cases, better digital mammography technology promises to solve logistical challenges and save money.
XLV’s solution has the potential to provide image quality that equals or surpasses that which is currently in use, making images easy to analyze, manipulate and transfer much like digital photographs. It will also substantially decrease the cost of digital mammography machines.