Genomics: Your Solution?

ANNUAL REPORT 2014-2015
 

Future Solutions

Messages from the President & CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors

President Mark Poznansky, President & CEO

"Our niche is the translation of research from the laboratory to the marketplace. We do that in health, agriculture, mining, environmental studies and water."

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chair-person Brian Underdown, Chair of the Board of Directors

"Our successes in 2014-15 have laid the foundation for new initiatives planned for the next year. These include innovative genomics solutions in synthetic biology."

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Genomics Solutions In Ontario

How is genomics providing solutions in these industry sectors?

s-health Health > s-agriculture Agriculture > s-mining Mining > s-water Water > s-forestry Forestry > s-bioproduct Bioproducts > Cod from multi-mesh nets Fisheries > s-medicine Personalized Medicine >
 

Highlights of the Year

0

publications

*Genome Canada supported research

OGI successfully managed research to provide solutions to projects with budgets over

50.5M
0

Full-time jobs created

*Genome Canada supported projects

Total Genome Canada contribution for research competitions was

11.6M

Catalyzed flow of

47.5M

of private R&D into Ontario

 

Sparking new Solutions

In 2014-2015 OGI strategically cultivated, funded, and managed large-scale genomics projects and the genomics resources they created, as well as technology development associated with these projects.

 

Applying a Solution

Spark

OGI supports investment into high risk early stage idea development and commercialization. Investment through the SPARK program was designed to help fund very early stage, highly innovative ideas.

In 2014-2015, three OGI-funded projects in Ontario each received $30,000:

productionMethane to Bioplastics: Bacterial strains for production of high value bioplastics on methane feedstock >
production
Methane to Bioplastics: Bacterial strains for production of high value bioplastics on methane feedstockLed by Trevor Charles, University of Waterloo, this project will focus on using bacterial genomics and synthetic biology approaches to create bioplastics. The use of plastics is widespread in society. However, the detrimental environmental consequences of plastic pollution have raised the need for alternatives. This work, using waste methane as feedstock, could lead to the production of valuable renewable materials from a potent greenhouse gas that is a key waste product of landfills and wastewater treatment systems.
ancestoryGenomic Ancestry in a non-model wildlife species at risk, the Eastern Wolf >
ancestory
Genomic Ancestry in a non-model wildlife species at risk, the Eastern WolfLed by Brent Patterson and Linda Rutledge, Trent University and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (OMNRF), this project aims to improve wolf conservation in Ontario. The research team will be collaborating with scientists at Princeton University to validate and optimize a rapid and efficient genetic mapping approach on the Eastern Wolf, which has the potential to make genomics more accessible to labs with limited resources and provide researchers with an effective, low-cost methodology for genomic analysis of fish and wildlife populations.
creationForestry: Is genomics a solution? >
creation
Forestry: Is genomics a solution?

Creating a Non-Invasive Norway Maple

Led by Travis Banks and Darby McGrath of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, this project will initiate work to develop a Norway maple tree that is no longer invasive, in an effort to keep our cities green. Pests and disease are destroying city trees and there are no alternatives suitable to survive the extreme conditions of Ontario urban environments. Having fallen out of favour because of invasiveness, Norway maple was used extensively as an urban tree, which thrives in polluted and compact soils, withstands hot summers and cold winters, and suffers few diseases. SPARK funding will enable DNA sequencing of the Norway maple genome and update methods to identify new Norway maple plants that are unable to create fertile seeds.

Pre-commercialization Business Development Fund (PBDF)

OGI's Pre-commercialization Business Development Fund (PBDF) is a unique early stage investment fund that helps companies to test a proof of principle in order to drive the economic impact of outcomes of genomics and proteomics research and technology development. Specifically, it aims to provide early-stage funding as researchers move towards commercial applications and to speed up transfer of products from lab to marketplace. The fund invests up to $100K per project.

water-safetyWater Safety >
water-safety
Water Safety

ENDETEC, a global company focused on innovative sensor solutions for water safety, in collaboration with Drs. Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz (University of Toronto) and R. Stephen Brown (Queen's University), will develop a DNA biosensor for simple, low-cost, fast, on-site detection of bacteria in water samples. Current culture-based techniques for water monitoring are time-consuming and expensive, which can lead to delayed results and decision making for users that manage water resources. The PBDF funding will support proof-of-concept experiments validating the performance of the DNA biosensors with environmental samples. The first applications will be for recreational water (including beaches) and treated wastewater. "DNA biosensor technology can potentially be a game-changer for water monitoring, providing truly rapid monitoring and expanding the range of organisms that can be detected," said Mr. Doug Wilton, VP Operations for ENDETEC.

cancer-cells2Cancer Treatment >
cancer-cells2
Cancer Treatment

Formation Biologics Inc. (formerly AvidBiologics) is an oncology drug development company dedicated to anti-cancer biologics. Through PBDF funding, the company aims to develop AVID200, a novel anticancer agent targeting a protein expressed by a variety of solid tumours including lung, breast, and head and neck. Specifically, Formation Biologics is developing antibodies that are linked to highly toxic chemotherapeutic drugs, and these antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) target a specific cell surface receptor known to contribute to the etiology of various cancers. ADCs can selectively recognize specific proteins in cancer cells without damaging most normal tissues. This type of cancer therapeutic has the potential for superior safety and efficacy compared to older generation treatments. Using the PBDF investment, the company will perform a pilot safety study of this ADC to accelerate their drug development process for AVID200. "We are very grateful to have received an investment from the Ontario Genomics Institute to further development of this important anti-cancer therapeutic," said Ilia Tikhomirov, President and CEO of Formation Biologics. "Programs like OGI's Pre-commercialization Business Development Fund are crucial to the success of early stage biotechnology companies in Ontario," he continued.

safe-cropsSafe Crops >
safe-crops
Safe CropsGlobal soybean production is threatened by an aggressive fungus responsible for Asian Soybean Rust (ASR), which can cause yield losses of up to 80percent. ASR is currently controlled by fungicides. However, resistance to these chemicals can be seen. Dr. Charles Després (Brock University) is identifying activators designed to stimulate soybean plant immunity, an alternative mode of action to protect the crop. These chemicals can be used alongside traditional fungicides to ensure long-term global food security. With the help of the PBDF and support from Syngenta, Dr. Després will validate his product. Potentially, his technology platform will allow the agriculture industry to identify new chemicals that will optimize production and safety from ASR and support precision agriculture for better decision making, and high yields.
 

Policy as a Solution

Ontario Personalized Medicine Network (OPMN)

In 2014, in support of the Ontario Personalized Medicine Network, the Ontario Genomics Institute has conducted stakeholder consultations across the province to identify potential gaps and opportunities in the application of “personalized medicine” in Ontario. To that end, the OPMN released the following findings:
medicine-a

Through consultation with key stakeholders, OPMN learned that the province houses numerous databases that are leveraged in isolation or in small groupings to drive healthcare delivery and research. Read the brief >

medicine-b

A report on the opportunity to leverage provincial health data assets, highlighting Ontario's health data landscape and summarizing insights from researchers, clinicians, patients, policy-makers and industry around health data needs. Read the report >

medicine-c

The development of a road map consisiting of signature initiatives to drive progress within each of the following seven challenge areas which the OPMN has identified as key to the development of a personalized medicine in Ontario. Read the brief >

medicine-d

An evaluation of current premarket development process for personalized medicine technologies revealed that the uptake of market-approved technologies is often delayed due to the absence of the right kind of evidence and information on how these tools meet the needs of the healthcare system. Read recommended solutions >

 

Financials

kpmg

KPMG LLP
Chartered Accountants
Yonge Corporate Centre
4100 Yonge Street Suite 200
Toronto ON M2P 2H3
Canada

(416) 228-7000 (416) 228-7123 www.kpmg.ca

Independent Auditors' Report

To the Board of Directors of Ontario Genomics Institute

We have audited the accompanying consolidated financial statements of Ontario Genomics Institute, which comprise the consolidated statement of financial position as at March 31, 2015, the consolidated statements of operations, changes in net assets and cash flows for the year then ended, and notes, comprising a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.

Management's Responsibility for the Consolidated Financial Statements

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these consolidated financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of consolidated financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

Auditors' Responsibility

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Those standards require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free from material misstatement.

An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. The procedures selected depend on our judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, we consider internal control relevant to the entity's preparation and fair presentation of the consolidated financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity's internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements.

We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.

Opinion

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Ontario Genomics Institute as at March 31, 2015, and its consolidated results of operations and its consolidated cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

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Chartered Professional Accountants, Licensed Public Accountants

July 28, 2015
Toronto, Canada

KPMG LLP is a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG
network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative
(“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity.
KPMG Canada provides services to KPMG LLP.
 

Our Team

Board of Directors

  • Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, OGI
  • Maurice Bitran, CEO, Ontario Science Centre
  • Stephen Cummings, Strategic Financial Consultant, SLC Advisory
  • Jack Gauldie, Vice-President, Research, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
  • Jay Lefton, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Paul Lucas, President and Chair, Life Sciences Ontario
  • Alex MacKenzie, Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute and Professor of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa
  • Tom Rand, Managing Partner, MaRS Cleantech Venture Group
  • Bonnie Schmidt, President & CEO, Let’s Talk Science
  • Calvin Stiller, Chair and CEO, Stilco
  • Scott Tanner, Co-founder and former CEO, CTO of DVS Sciences Inc.
  • Brian Underdown, Chair, Board of Directors, OGI and Managing Director, Lumira Capital Inc.

Staff

  • Mark Poznansky- President and CEO
  • Camilo Acero- Web Coordinator
  • Farzian Aminuddin- Business Analyst
  • Elaine Corbett- Manager, Business Development & Research
  • Kathryn Deuchars- Director, Ontario Personalized Medicine Network & Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
  • Sana Mulji Dutt- Senior Manager, Communications
  • Kim Flock- Manager, Research & Business Development
  • Christy Hockley- Project Coordinator
  • Azard Kallan- Director, Finance
  • Sugy Kodeeswaran- Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
  • Les Kondejewski- Director, Research Programs
  • Dennis McCormac- Senior Science Advisor & Director Genomics Services
  • Tina McDivitt- Director, Strategic Planning
  • Meredith McLaren- Manager, Research & Business Development
  • Helen Petropoulos- Director, Business Development & Research
  • Shobha Ramsubir- Senior Manager, Business Development & Research
  • Christine Scaramuzzo- Director, Operations
  • Rhonda Tannenbaum- Vice President, Business Development
  • Jordan Thomson- Analyst, Strategic Planning
 

Corporate information

Ontario Genomics Institute

MaRS Centre, West Tower

661 University Avenue, Suite 490

Toronto, ON M5G 1M1

CANADA

Phone: 416-977-9582

Fax: 416-977-8342

E-mail: info@ontariogenomics.ca

Website: www.ontariogenomics.ca