May 5, 2016

A new method to grow stem cells for cancer patients

Stem Cell

Researchers uncovered the role of a protein called Musashi-2 in regulating the function and development of stem cells. The improved understanding of the role of Musashi-2 will allow researchers to employ new strategies to control the growth of blood stem cells which are used to treat many life-threatening diseases, but are usually in short supply. The research was published in April in the journal Nature.

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March 16, 2016

FACIT invests in new CPDC spin-out company to aid development of potent radiotherapeutic

Fusion pharmaceuticalsIn December, the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust invested in Fusion Pharmaceuticals to assist in the development of FPX-01, a potent new alpha-emitting radiotherapeutic being developed in Hamilton, Ontario. Early testing has shown a great deal of promise: the drug has the cancer-cell killing power of existing, similar treatments, but balances this strength with far more precision, meaning fewer side effects for patients. Early results from a Phase I clinical trial have shown effectiveness in patients with solid tumours. FACIT’s investment will support the efforts to advance FPX-01 into Phase I/II clinical trials.

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February 26, 2016

Biostatistics Training Initiative Kick Off

This meeting sets stage for next four years of biostatistics training

Biostatistics Training Initiative Kick Off Meeting sets stage for next four years of biostatistics training

As the cancer research landscape rapidly changes, so to do the needs of hospitals and research institutes for the types of young researchers on their teams. New technological advances have led to the need for qualified biostatisticians who can work with the large amounts of data that are now an essential part of many cancer research projects.

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December 16, 2015

FACIT Announces Investment in Fusion Pharmaceuticals and Alpha-Emitting Radiotherapeutics

Image-guided medicines for hard to treat cancers built using next generation medical isotopes

TORONTO, ON (December 16, 2015) – FACIT and Fusion Pharmaceuticals (“Fusion”) announced today an investment to support the development of Fusion’s radiopharmaceutical FPX-01 for the treatment of cancer. Fusion’s drug candidate leverages the potent cell-killing potential of alpha particle-emitting medical isotopes, with the precise targeting ability of a monoclonal antibody to selectively internalize and destroy cancer cells while sparing neighbouring healthy cells. Early results from a Phase I imaging study demonstrated on-target delivery in patients with solid tumours. FACIT’s investment will support efforts to advance FPX-01 into a Phase I/II clinical trial to examine its potential to treat cancer.

Fusion is leveraging its unique expertise in creating alpha-emitting therapies to build and cultivate a pipeline of novel products through both in-licensing and academic/industrial collaborations. The effectiveness and value of alpha-emitting agents is validated by recent approvals and marketing launches of Bayer’s Xofigo®, which is administered on an out-patient basis. FPX-01 is expected to have the ability to treat a wide range of different tumour types given the high level of expression of the drug’s target in numerous cancers.

Jeff Courtney, FACIT’s Chief Commercial Officer, remarked “Given the re-invigoration of the radiopharmaceutical space, Fusion represents a unique opportunity to leverage the expertise of the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization in manufacturing radiopharmaceuticals and Fusion’s proprietary chemistry. We believe Fusion’s unique alpha-emitting therapies are positioned well to build on the recent successes in the field and, if proven to be effective in treating cancer, represent an attractive complement to existing and new oncology regimens.”

Fusion is a spin-out from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (“CPDC”) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Created in 2008 under the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (“CECR”) program, CPDC has received funding support from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (“OICR”) and additional private and public sector support. The CPDC has grown to become a leader in the clinical development and manufacturing of radioimaging and radiotherapeutics. In 2015, CPDC conducted a clinical trial in which FPX-01 was administered in an imaging study lead by Drs. Rosalyn Juergens and Karen Gulenchyn, at Hamilton Health Sciences.

“Alpha (particle)-emitting agents have the potential to eradicate even the most resistant types of cancers and unlike previous generations of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals they can be administered in conventional cancer treatment facilities,” said Dr. John Valliant, CEO of Fusion Pharmaceuticals and Professor at McMaster University. “Fusion’s approach has the added benefit that it uses non-invasive imaging to show that the drug hits the target of interest, and as a way to select patients who are most likely to respond to treatment. We are excited to be joined by FACIT to create a new Canadian biotechnology company to advance FPX-01 and build our pipeline of new drug candidates and tools to help deliver effective personalized treatments to cancer patients.”

About FACIT FACIT (Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust) is an independent business trust established by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) to undertake development and commercialization activities related to cancer research, products and drug discovery. For more information, please visit the website at facit.ca or email info@facit.ca.

About Fusion Pharmaceuticals Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage company focused on developing novel radiotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Fusion is a spin-out from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) at McMaster University, Hamilton. Please visit the website at fusionpharma.com.

Contact David Koehler, PhD Director, Fund Operations | david.koehler@facit.ca

Lynn Wick Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. | info@fusionpharma.com

November 9, 2015

FACIT start-up company Turnstone Biologics secures $11.3 million in financing, boosts leadership

turnstoneTurnstone Biologics Inc., a FACIT-incubated company spun out of research conducted in OICR’s ORBiT Program, has secured $11.3 million in new financing. This investment in the company has allowed it to take another step forward in its development with the hiring of Dr. Sammy J. Farah as Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Brian D. Lichty as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Farah is a veteran vaccine executive with extensive technology and product development expertise. Lichty, a distinguished scientist, is a leader in the development of oncolytic viral therapies and one of Turnstone’s founding scientists. The financing round was led by Versant Ventures and more than $20 million in follow-on capital has been committed.

“We are very pleased to have concluded this financing with an experienced venture capital firm of Versant’s calibre, and to be able to enhance the Company’s leadership with compelling management,” said Jeff Courtney, Chief Commercial Officer of FACIT, which is Turnstone’s founding investor.

Continue reading – FACIT start-up company Turnstone Biologics secures $11.3 million in financing, boosts leadership

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