July 21, 2020
OICR researchers and collaborators awarded $520,000 in new funding for COVID-19 drug discovery project
OICR Scientific Advisor and Group Leader, Dr. Gennady Poda, and collaborators at Sunnybrook Research Institute have been awarded $520,000 to identify new therapeutics and existing drugs that could be repurposed for the treatment of COVID-19. This award, which was announced on July 17 by Premier Doug Ford, is part of the Government of Ontario’s $20 million COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
Using OICR supercomputers and advanced computational chemistry techniques, Poda and collaborators aim to identify drugs that can stop the virus from replicating in the body by targeting the virus’ key polymerase enzyme, RdRP.
“We’ll be looking for new potential drugs to treat the COVID-19 infections by rapidly identifying approved drugs and compounds that are in clinical trials that could inhibit RdRP,” says Poda. “We will advance the most promising compounds into preclinical animal models and, if the data is promising, into patients.”Continue reading – OICR Drug Discovery awarded for COVID-19 research
December 6, 2019
OICR-funded clinical trial shows value in advanced biopsy techniques for men with low-risk prostate cancer
Many of the 23,000 men across Canada who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year won’t need aggressive treatment. Instead, men with low-risk or slow-growing cancers may be offered ‘active surveillance’, where their healthcare team monitors their cancer closely with regular tests, scans and biopsies. Dr. Laurence Klotz, a world leader in active surveillance, is working to improve how surgeons in Ontario and across Canada perform these important prostate biopsies.
Klotz, who is a leading urologic surgeon and researcher at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, teamed up with collaborators in London, Hamilton, Kitchener and Toronto to bring the latest MRI-guided prostate biopsy techniques to patients across the province. With OICR’s support, they evaluated the use of MRI-targeted biopsies, where a surgeon uses MRI images to help guide biopsy needles, relative to traditional biopsies, and found that the use of MRI results in 50 per cent fewer failures of surveillance. The findings from their two-year study were recently published in European Urology.
“As shown in other countries like the U.K. and Australia, using MRI before biopsies can reduce the diagnosis of insignificant cancers, selectively find aggressive cancers and reduce the number of false negatives,” says Klotz. “Our study showed that using MRI allows us to better pinpoint prostate cancers as they progress.”
Learnings from this study have helped inform the design of a new trial, called PRECISE, that is evaluating whether MRI can replace biopsies and spare some men from the associated side effects. Results from PRECISE will be submitted for publication in the next few months.
“We’ve laid the groundwork for better prostate cancer diagnosis,” says Klotz. “This means we’re one step closer to ensuring each man receives the most appropriate treatment for his individual cancer.”
June 4, 2018
Current HER2 tests help predict which breast cancer patients will respond to HER2-targeted therapies, but sometimes these tests provide unclear results. An Expert Panel of pathologists and cancer researchers, including Dr. John Bartlett from OICR, recently published revised clinical practice guidelines for HER2 testing in breast cancer to help improve clarity of HER2 test results.
November 23, 2016
On November 16 OICR and the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN) joined other organizations around the world celebrating International Pathology Day.
November 4, 2016
Dr. John Bartlett, from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Dr. Michelle Downes, from Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, will take you into a world of pathology beyond crime scene investigation and into puzzles more complex than an escape room. They will talk about the future of pathology and how this is changing the face of medicine and why a pathologist is considered ‘the doctor’s doctor’.
The Duke of York Pub – November 16, 6-8 p.m.
39 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto
near St. George subway station
August 17, 2016
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.
June 1, 2016
Dr. Laurence Klotz of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is a world leader in the field of prostate cancer research. He has been a champion of active surveillance (also known as watchful waiting) for over 20 years, an approach to prostate cancer treatment that has allowed thousands of men with low-risk prostate cancer to avoid or delay therapy by monitoring it closely instead of immediately treating it.
Now Klotz has launched a new clinical trial called PRECISE, funded with $3 million in support by the Movember Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Prostate Cancer Canada, that will use MRI to help to better diagnose prostate cancer without invasive biopsy.
May 18, 2016
Mr. J. Mark Lievonen, a member of OICR’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Laurence Klotz, a doctor and researcher based at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, who has conducted OICR-funded research into prostate cancer, were invested as Members in the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa on May 13.
May 1, 2016
OICR is supporting new early stage drug discovery research in Ontario, with a $1.2 million investment from OICR’s Drug Discovery Program into five promising oncology research projects selected through a province-wide call for proposals.
This was a new approach to selecting projects for the Drug Discovery team’s research pipeline and one that aligns well with the strategic direction of the team and the Institute, says Dr. Rima Al-awar, Director of OICR’s Drug Discovery Program.
“Traditionally we have relied on several means to generate interest from the community, including informal outreach to other institutions and word of mouth says Al-awar. She points to the recent success of BCL6, a drug target that OICR’s Drug Discovery team developed from early stage research by Dr. Gil Privé at University Health Network. Collaborating with Privé, the team brought the BCL6 project to the point where it attracted major investment from industry.
April 29, 2016
In 2006 Dr. Martin Yaffe’s lab at Sunnybrook Research Institute developed a new way of preparing whole-mount sections of breast tissue, which opened up the exciting possibility of correlating pathology directly with medical imaging. However, the huge images that were produced posed a significant challenge to researchers; existing software for viewing images was either incapable of handling the large multi-scale images or it was too expensive and inflexible. To address these issues, Dr. Anne Martel, currently Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Pathcore, developed a new technology with funding assistance from OICR.
January 7, 2016
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research invests $1.2 million to support oncology drug development in Ontario
Five promising early stage research projects that would benefit from OICR’s input and expertise were selected from a province-wide call for proposals.
Toronto (January 7, 2016) – Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) announced today that OICR will invest $1.2 million in funding, plus expertise and in-kind support, to help bring five promising oncology drug development projects closer to the clinic.