Canadian biotech company developing ground-breaking therapeutic designed to minimize dermal scarring (fibrosis) TORONTO (February 16, 2016) — ScarX Therapeutics, a Canadian biotechnology company commercializing innovative treatments for dermal scarring…
TORONTO and VANCOUVER, CANADA (January 12, 2016) — A novel drug therapy to reduce the severity and frequency of hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes in people with diabetes is being…
MLA48 leads ConferenceCloud pre-seed round in cooperation with UTEST TORONTO, CANADA (January 11, 2016) — MLA48, Canada’s first angel investment fund committed to providing a 48-hour turnaround on investment decisions,…
TORONTO, ON (September 30, 2015) — Encycle Therapeutics, Inc., a University of Toronto spin-off company created in partnership with MaRS Innovation, announced today that it has completed a $2.85 million (CAD) financing led by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. through its venture capital arm, Takeda Ventures, Inc., with Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator, BDC Capital and MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund.
The funding will support ongoing development of Encycle’s unique nacellin platform chemistry and advance the company’s pipeline of novel therapeutics. It will also allow the company to build on research collaborations with several pharmaceutical companies and ultimately position it for a series A transaction and/or additional strategic partnerships.
“Our proprietary chemistry has the potential to unlock myriad therapeutic avenues, including via intracellular protein-protein interactions that cannot be targeted with conventional therapeutics,” said Dr. Jeffrey Coull, president and CEO of Encycle Therapeutics; upon the closing, Coull joined Encycle’s board of directions. “This funding is critical to enable the company to further explore the vast potential of our technology and to de-risk it to the extent that major transactions will be enabled.”
“Our goal is to make an impact on patients’ lives by turning science and technology into life-changing medicines. We are enthusiastic about Encycle’s technology and its potential in the context of ‘undruggable’ proteins,” said Dr. Ilan Zipkin, senior investment director at Takeda.
“Encycle’s growing momentum reflects MaRS Innovation’s efforts to shift the Canadian paradigm for technology transfer,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, chairman of the Encycle Therapeutics Board of Directors and president and CEO of MaRS Innovation. “This company began with promising research in Dr. Andrei Yudin’s laboratory at the University of Toronto. With crucial support from many players along the Ontario-Quebec life sciences corridor, MaRS Innovation collaborated with him to package and protect the technology, launch the company and hire experienced management. The success of this funding round bodes well for its future growth and success.”
Companies to collaborate on creating enhanced personalized mobile experiences for TD customers
TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2015 — TD Bank Group and Flybits today announced an exclusive agreement within the Canadian financial services industry to collaborate on providing TD customers with more personalized mobile banking experiences.
The Flybits cloud-based software program transforms mobile apps to deliver rich, contextual experiences to each user, including personalized financial advice—where and when they need it.
Flybits is a Ryerson University start-up created in partnership with MaRS Innovation. Read more about their growth and development in our news archive.
“A key focus for TD’s digital roadmap is to create more intuitive, personalized experiences that make customers’ lives simpler,” said Rizwan Khalfan, senior vice president and chief digital officer, TD. “Our agreement with Flybits is another example of TD demonstrating its commitment to enriching customers’ lives through innovation. We’re elevating our customer-centric approach by bringing in-the-moment experiences to each individual depending on their situation and needs.”
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.”
Baycrest Heath Sciences’ “My Virtual Dream,” an innovative and interactive live performance experience at the intersection of science, art and music, is currently touring the installation with appearances in Amsterdam in May and more scheduled for Irvine, CA in October.
MaRS Innovation is working with the Baycrest team to commercialize the technology behind the demonstration, known as the virtual brain.
“The Virtual Dream tour is a ‘living lab’ that engages the public, fuels science, creates art and educates while it entertains,” says Richard Tavener, executive producer of the Virtual Dream tour.
The exhibition and research project was originally mounted in partnership with the University of Toronto, Nuit Blanche 2013, and InteraXon and also made a January 2015 appearance at the Ontario Science Centre.
Participants wear the Muse, a brain-computer interface headset provided by InteraXon, and use focus and mental relaxation states to complete a science game and create a stunning array of visuals and music.
The brain data collected at Nuit Blanche has yielded insights about how the brain learns and a science paper about this massive, one-night neuroscience experiment. The paper, which appeared in the July issue of PLOS One, found that:
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.
TORONTO, ON (August 10, 2015) — Toronto-based law firm Aird & Berlis LLP (A&B) has become the sponsoring legal partner to the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology Program (UTEST).
UTEST is a 12-month incubation and acceleration program co-managed by the University of Toronto (U of T) and MaRS Innovation that allows selected U of T-affiliated early-stage startup companies to incorporate, use office space, receive mentorship and access $30,000 in funding, with opportunities for follow-on funding from MaRS Innovation.
In 2014, UTEST was named one of Canada’s most promising start-up accelerators in an online series by BetaKit, a digital publication that covers Canadian technology.
“We are thrilled to partner with A&B and leverage their legal expertise for our startups and emerging companies,” said Kurtis Scissions, who co-directs UTEST with MI’s Mike Betts. “To date, 17 companies, including Granata Decision Systems, Whirlscape, Crowdmark, eQOL and TrendMD, have successfully graduated from our program. We look forward to adding A&B’s Startups Team of lawyers to our mentorship group for the UTEST program, beginning in 2015.”
Former Orlando Magic player new innovation director for basketball smartwatch app
This article is republished with the kind permission of Brianna Goldberg and our friends at U of T News.
UTEST company Onyx Motion has partnered with NBA shooting guard Ben Gordon to raise the calibre of digital basketball coaching offered by the company’s first-of-its-kind technology, a smartwatch app that offers on-court skills guidance. The company announced Gordon’s role in helping to further develop the app, called Swish, on July 8 when launching their Indiegogo campaign.
“We’re hoping to build a motion marketplace — a library of data, moves and audio tips from pro players,” said Onyx Motion co-founder and CEO Marissa Wu.
Swish uses smartwatch motion sensors to analyze athlete techniques and offer straightforward tips on how a player can improve.
“The Swish technology is bringing users closer to their favourite basketball player by giving them the opportunity to learn from them,” said Gordon. “I’m excited to work with the team on the further development of this one-of-a-kind experience and help players at any level improve their game.”