July 31, 2018

Can an open drug discovery model find a solution for rare brain cancers in children?

Dr. Aled Edwards

Dr. Aled Edwards

OICR-funded drug discovery project’s unique ‘open science’ business model is accelerating the search for a solution to lethal pediatric brain cancers

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a lethal and inoperable brain cancer with a median survival of less than a year from diagnosis. Finding solutions to this disease is challenging due to its rarity, scientific complexity and its presentation in pediatric populations. An OICR-funded team of researchers, led by Dr. Aled Edwards from M4K Pharma, have developed new potential drug candidates for DIPG that they will test in animal models in the coming months. They’ve reached this milestone ahead of schedule, with fewer resources required than anticipated, by using an ‘open drug discovery’ approach – sharing their methods and data with the greater research community to streamline the drug discovery process.

Continue reading – Can an open drug discovery model find a solution for rare brain cancers in children?

April 12, 2018

Restorative Breast Cancer Solution Start-Up Wins the 2018 FACIT Pitch Competition

Biotechnology competition modeled after popular TV program Dragons’ Den

TORONTO, ON (April 12, 2018) – A panel of investor-judges has selected Ontario-based oncology researcher Soror Sharifpoor of Polumiros Inc. as the winner of the 2018 FACIT Falcons’ Fortunes competition. The $50,000 award is intended to support further development of their innovative cancer research. FACIT runs the annual competition as part of its broader mandate to support translating research into Ontario companies to impact the lives of patients with cancer.

Now in its fifth year, the FACIT Falcons’ Fortunes competition is open to any Ontario-based oncology researcher (academics, research institutions, research hospitals and start-ups). Entrepreneurial scientists are invited to pitch innovative research ideas to a panel of four investors in a competition that is modeled after the popular CBC television program Dragons’ Den. The winners receive the $50,000 “Ernsting Entrepreneurship Award.” After follow-up technical evaluation of the underlying innovation, the money funds product development for one year.

Continue reading – Restorative Breast Cancer Solution Start-Up Wins the 2018 FACIT Pitch Competition

June 7, 2017

New grant program boosts molecular pathology research in Ontario

Two lab technicians work in a lab.

The Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN) recently awarded $675,000 of funding to support molecular cancer pathology research in Ontario. The 11 funded projects will involve 22 investigators and seven trainees and address clinically-relevant questions in bladder, brain, breast, endometrial, cervical, renal, pediatric and hematological cancers. The 26 applications that were submitted for review demonstrate the high quality and rich diversity of cancer pathology research in the province. Please visit the Funded Projects page for more information.

OMPRN’s mission is to enhance molecular pathology research capacity across the province by fostering collaboration and cooperation between Ontario academic pathologists, increasing the participation of pathologists in high-quality translational cancer research, and providing opportunities for residents, fellows and early career pathologists to obtain training and mentorship in cancer research. In line with these objectives, all of the research projects funded through OMPRN’s Pathology Translational Research Grants (CPTRG) program are led by pathologists, address questions of clear relevance to cancer care and incorporate important elements of transdisciplinary collaboration and mentorship. Trainees and early career researchers involved in these projects will be supported in their research through attending regular meetings of OICR’s Pathology Club.

The next round of the CPTRG program will be announced in the fall of 2017. Information may be found here: https://ontariomolecularpathology.ca/research-funding

July 28, 2015

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) team up to advance cutting-edge new cancer treatments

Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON – July 28, 2015: Two of Canada’s leading drug research and commercialization centres have announced a call for proposals to help bring new cancer treatments to patients through collaborative technology-development projects from academic investigators across Canada.

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) are providing opportunities for Canadian academic investigators at the cutting edge of cancer research to translate and advance their early-stage technologies and discoveries through pre-clinical development in order to ultimately bring new therapies to patients.

This unique partnership offers unprecedented access to commercialization resources and infrastructure to de-risk and validate new disease-modifying therapies for oncology. The partners are looking to collaborate on projects that will advance the preclinical development of novel therapeutics that focus on innovative targets or therapeutic approaches including small molecules, biologics and cell based therapies.

Unlike traditional grants, CDRD and OICR will work in partnership with academic investigators to develop collaborative project plans addressing the critical steps that are required to advance cancer therapies from the lab towards the clinic and patients who will benefit. Projects will be milestone-driven with clear go/no-go decision points with budgets depending on the scope of the project.

CDRD President and CEO, Karimah Es Sabar commented, “We are very pleased to be partnering with OICR, and to be bringing together resources from across the country to help bring new cancer treatments to the market. By utilizing and leveraging our complementary expertise and infrastructure, we are excited to be accelerating the development of safe and effective treatments for cancer patients.”

Dr. Rima Al-awar, Director of OICR’s Drug Discovery Program said, “Collaboration is essential to bringing innovative research ideas to patients. OICR is proud to partner with the CDRD to help academic investigators move their most promising discoveries to the clinic and to help move cancer research forward.”

The program is open and currently seeking pre-proposals. More information can be found here: www.cdrd.ca/news.