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…
MaRS Innovation among founding partner CECRs; Accel-Rx will provide funds to new biotechnology start-ups emerging within MI’s portfolio
VANCOUVER, BC (Aug. 25, 2014) –With the awarding of $14.5M under the Canadian government’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR)) Program, as announced earlier this morning by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science and Technology, Accel-Rx – Canada’s Health Sciences Accelerator is officially launched.
This announcement builds on the previously announced strategic partnership between BDC and Accel-Rx to fund Canadian biotechnology start-ups.
The Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator is a national organization focused on maximizing new health sciences company creation, and ensuring start-ups have the resources they need to enable them to stay and grow in Canada and give rise to a new generation of strong health sciences anchor companies. Accel-Rx therein brings together five of Canada’s leading health sciences CECRs to foster pan-Canadian cooperation and directly address the health science company creation challenge in Canada.
These CECRs include:
- The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
- MaRS Innovation (MI)
- The Vancouver Prostate Centre’s Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development (PC-TRIADD)
- The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM)
- The Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC)
CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), the commercialization vehicle of The Centre for Drug Research and Development will provide the initial management to launch Accel-Rx’s operations. BDC Venture Capital, as recently announced, will further advance Accel-Rx’s mission by acting as the main funding mechanism for companies created at and/or supported by Accel-Rx, with the intent to invest in up to three to four companies annually, with that number potentially increasing as the partnership progresses.
The University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program, part of U of T’s growing ecosystem of incubators and commercialization support services, has been named one of Canada’s seven true start-up accelerators.
Dr. Kamran Khan, founder of BioDiaspora and an infectious disease physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, is among the experts studying the emergence of the H7N9 bird flu outbreak in China.
Here’s an excerpt:
“This isn’t necessarily an event that poses a significant risk to Canada, at least based on all the current knowledge,” said Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious disease specialist at St. Michael’s Hospital and founder of BioDiaspora, a program that predicts the potential spread of outbreaks. “Even if a case were to find its way into Canada, the likelihood of it spreading locally is quite low.”
BioDiaspora collects data on everything from air travel and weather to global distribution of disease-carrying insects and uses this data to forecast the potential spread of new diseases.
It has already performed a risk analysis of H7N9 for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which contacted Khan last Tuesday for help.