October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

University Health Network awards investigators CIHR Proof-of-Principle grants

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

UHN TDC is pleased to announce the funding for two CIHR Proof-of-Principle Phase II projects. This unique CIHR-matched “gap funding” program is targeted towards innovative industry-partnered proof-of-principle research where partnering companies will provide co-investments. UHN was the recipient of two out of the three awards made in this category in the recent winter 2012 funding opportunity.

The first award of $114,728 was for Drs. Geoff Fernie and Allison McGeer’s project entitled “A novel point-of-care method of handling human waste in healthcare institutions: technical improvements and evaluation.” in collaboration with Vernacare Canada, Inc.  Vernacare provides a total solution to human waste management in healthcare and is the global leader in this sector. Currently, disposal of human waste in hospitals is associated with a significant risk for the spread of infection.  The current CIHR funding provided is crucial in enabling our UHN researchers and collaborators to develop a second generation prototype that will address in-hospital waste management.

The UHN TDC office was involved in crafting the business plan for the second UHN Proof-of-Principle grant. Dr. Mansoor Husain has been awarded $194,700 for his project entitled “Development of an anti-proliferative therapeutic that disrupts CaM-cyclin E interactions in vivo.”  This $357,714 project will be advanced in collaboration with Soricimed Biopharma, a Canadian peptide therapeutic development company with one product currently commencing clinical trials. The current funding will enable Dr. Husain to further develop the cardiology-focused IP assets into a product that can be used in drug-eluting stents to prevent restenosis post-angioplasty. UHN’s current patent family encompasses a series of novel calmodulin-binding peptides that have been shown to have compelling anti-proliferative activities. This suite of patents was successfully licensed by UHN TDC to Soricimed in 2011.

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