November 2, 2016

FACIT start-up Turnstone Biologics closes USD $41M financing

OrbiMed, Versant-led round continues commercialization success for Turnstone’s cancer therapies

John Bell and contributorsTORONTO, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ – Turnstone Biologics Inc. (“Turnstone”), an Ontario-based developer of novel oncolytic viral immunotherapies, announced the closing of a USD $41.4 million Series B financing led by OrbiMed Advisors LLC (“OrbiMed”) and Versant Ventures (“Versant”), which led Turnstone’s Series A round in October 2015. New investor F-Prime Capital Partners (“F-Prime”) and existing founding investor FACIT also participated. Proceeds from the financing will support an ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial in patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumours as well as accelerate and expand Turnstone’s pipeline, funding the development of three additional programs into the clinic. In connection with the financing Orbimed’s Rishi Gupta, JD and F-Prime’s Ben Auspitz will join Turnstone’s board of directors alongside Versant’s Brad Bolzon, PhD and Jerel Davis, PhD as well as FACIT’s Jeff Courtney.

Continue reading – FACIT start-up Turnstone Biologics closes USD $41M financing

October 12, 2016

New findings challenge current view of how pancreas cancer develops

Dr. Faiyaz Notta and Dr. Steven Gallinger

The findings provide important insights into how pancreas cancer develops and spreads and new strategies for better understanding one of the mostly deadly types of cancer.

Toronto (October 12, 2016) – Researchers in the multidisciplinary PanCuRx research initiative at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, led by Dr. Faiyaz Notta and Dr. Steven Gallinger, today published new findings that challenge current beliefs about how and why pancreas cancer is so aggressive.

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October 6, 2016

Reactome announces annotation and release of 10,000th human protein

Reactome - Graphic announcing the 10,000th human protein annotated

The data are being shared with the wider biological research community to help in the development of new therapies for diseases like cancer.

Toronto (October 6, 2016) – The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the New York University School of Medicine and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) today announced a major milestone in the Reactome project: the annotation and release of its 10,000th human protein, making it the most comprehensive open access pathway knowledgebase available to the scientific community.

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August 17, 2016

New retrospective study aims to identify mutations to better diagnose breast cancer in the future

Toronto (August 17, 2016) – Mr. Peter Goodhand, President of The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), today announced a new collaborative research study in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific and Queen’s University to help bring more targeted diagnosis and treatment to breast cancer patients in the future.

Continue reading – New retrospective study aims to identify mutations to better diagnose breast cancer in the future

July 14, 2016

International team launches community competition to unravel how cancer changes a cell’s RNA

Logos of the Challenge partners

An open challenge that merges the efforts of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, The Cancer Genome Atlas, and the NCI Cloud Pilots with Sage Bionetworks and the open science DREAM Challenge community

Continue reading – International team launches community competition to unravel how cancer changes a cell’s RNA

July 14, 2016

Stem cell scientists discover genetic switch to increase supply of stem cells from cord blood for future clinical use

UHN Logo(TORONTO, Canada – July 14, 2016) – International stem cell scientists, co-led in Canada by Dr. John Dick and in the Netherlands by Dr. Gerald de Haan, have discovered the switch to harness the power of cord blood and potentially increase the supply of stem cells for cancer patients needing transplantation therapy to fight their disease.

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July 14, 2016

“Smart” nanoparticle called PEARLS a promising gem to target, treat tumours with greater precision

UHN Logo(TORONTO, Canada – July, 14, 2016) – Dr. Gang Zheng and a team of biomedical researchers have discovered a “smart” organic, biodegradable nanoparticle that uses heat and light in a controlled manner to potentially target and ablate tumours with greater precision.

Continue reading – “Smart” nanoparticle called PEARLS a promising gem to target, treat tumours with greater precision

June 28, 2016

Researchers discover protein signatures for accurate non-invasive diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer

OICR-logoToronto (June 28, 2016) – Researchers at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, along with researchers at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, have created protein signatures that accurately diagnose prostate cancer and can distinguish between patients with aggressive versus non-aggressive disease using a simple urine sample. The findings could be developed into a non-invasive “liquid biopsy” that could provide a faster, cheaper and easier method to detect prostate cancer with fewer complications for patients. The findings were published today in the journal Nature Communications.

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June 23, 2016

Propellon Therapeutics to Accelerate WDR5 Inhibitor Development for Cancers

FACIT Logo

FACIT forms biotechnology company for OICR-discovered first-in-class epigenetic modifiers

TORONTO, ON (June 23, 2016) – FACIT has announced the creation of a new Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. (“Propellon” or “the Company”), to manage the development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of various cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential to contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the series of proprietary small molecule WDR5 inhibitors discovered and developed by the Drug Discovery team at Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (“OICR”). The formation of Propellon reflects a natural translation of early-stage breakthrough cancer innovations, and enables important development activities including attracting private sector investment and industry partnerships.

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June 9, 2016

GA4GH presents vision, model for genomic and clinical data sharing

Global Alliance for Genomics and Health

TORONTO, CANADA (June 9, 2016) — In today’s Science, the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) calls for a federated data ecosystem for sharing genomic and clinical data. The authorship, which includes Canadian leaders as well as a diverse team of international leaders in academia, research, medicine, and industry, argues that a common framework of principles, protocols, and interoperable technical systems are necessary to enable responsible and effective data sharing.

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June 6, 2016

Genomic Data Commons at University of Chicago heralds new era of data sharing for cancer research

Public launch of NCI-funded cancer-knowledge platform will bridge silos and enable broad collaboration among researchers

The Genomic Data Commons (GDC), a next-generation platform that enables unprecedented data access, analysis and sharing for cancer research, publicly launched at the University of Chicago on June 6, opening the door to discoveries for this complex set of diseases.

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June 1, 2016

Clinical trial launched to test use of MRI to improve prostate cancer diagnosis and management

Research supported by the Movember Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Prostate Cancer Canada

Toronto, ON – June 1, 2016 – The Movember Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Prostate Cancer Canada today announced $3 million in funding for a new Phase III clinical trial to evaluate if magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can replace the current standard of care to diagnose prostate cancer. The primary objective of the multi-centre trial, called PRECISE, is to determine whether MRI imaging can spare some men from undergoing a biopsy and avoid the possible associated side effects.

The trial will be led by Dr. Laurence Klotz of the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, a world leader in the field of prostate cancer research and in the global adoption of active surveillance, a standard practice to monitor patients with low risk prostate cancer.

Continue reading – Clinical trial launched to test use of MRI to improve prostate cancer diagnosis and management