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.

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

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.

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

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

May 26, 2016

Privacy Analytics Acquired by IMS Health

Integrating innovative data privacy expertise with a global healthcare information & technology service leader, strengthening and driving Ontario’s digital healthcare security footprint  

FACIT LogoTORONTO, May 26, 2016 /CNW/ – FACIT is pleased to announce that IMS Health (NYSE: IMS) has acquired privately-held Privacy Analytics Inc., a FACIT portfolio company. The transaction combines Privacy Analytics’ leading edge expertise in health data anonymization and de-identification with IMS Health’s broad range of healthcare information, technology and services solutions, particularly its Real-World Evidence (RWE) capabilities. IMS Health’s mission-critical anonymous information and technical strength in providing its life sciences clients with R&D and commercial solutions positions Privacy Analytics to continue to expand its suite of innovative data governance software and expertise on a global scale. Reflecting Ontario’s innovative strength and expertise in healthcare technologies, the acquisition also allows Privacy Analytics to maintain a strong presence within the province, with solutions continued to be offered to the market, Privacy Analytics and IMS Health clients as an independent suite of products. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

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May 4, 2016

The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network launches Ask Me Campaign to raise awareness of cancer clinical trials

TORONTO, ON (May 4, 2016) — Dr. Janet Dancey, Scientific Director of the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN) announced today the roll out of a new national campaign to raise awareness of cancer clinical trials in Canada ahead of International Clinical Trials Day on May 20.

The Ask Me Campaign will be introduced at more than 60 cancer centres across Canada and include hospital staff wearing “Ask Me” buttons, as well as posters and brochures placed in hospitals. These will be used to encourage patients to engage their healthcare team in a conversation about clinical trials and see if a trial may be a treatment option for them. The ultimate goal is to increase awareness about, and enrolment in, cancer clinical trials in Canada.

Continue reading – The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network launches Ask Me Campaign to raise awareness of cancer clinical trials

May 2, 2016

$2 million in new funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research will help Ontario team study metabolic syndromes

Dr. Philip Awadalla

Dr. Philip Awadalla

Toronto (May 2, 2016) – Dr. Philip Awadalla, Senior Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Principal Investigator for the Ontario Health Study has been awarded $2 million by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).  The award will fund the study of the role of both genes and the environment on the development of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of medical conditions that are common in aging adults, including obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and insulin resistance.

These conditions are considered to be both risk factors and causal factors in the development of cancer and chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A better understanding of how to prevent and treat the conditions of metabolic syndrome could also help in the design of new strategies to prevent these diseases before they develop.

Continue reading – $2 million in new funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research will help Ontario team study metabolic syndromes

April 17, 2016

International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed) launches today, will link genomics to clinical information and health

ICGC med logoNew Orleans – (April 17, 2016) The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) today announced plans to launch the International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed), a new phase in the Consortium’s evolution that will link genomics to clinical information and health.

The collaborative project will build upon the vast database of genomic discoveries of the ICGC, which, since its launch in 2007, has been mapping 25,000 different cancer genomes in 50 different tumour types and making this data freely available to qualified researchers around the world.

Continue reading – International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed) launches today, will link genomics to clinical information and health