Archives for July 2018

Recruiting companies for two Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) programs

Recruiting companies for two Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) programs:

If you are a health science or digital health company looking for mentoring and to expand your business in the US, you may be interested in one of the following programs run by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS):

  • Life Sciences Program in San Francisco – for early and growth-stage life science companies in biopharmaceuticals, digital health, medical devices, imaging, precision medicine/genetics, research tools, and diagnostics. Details on the program and a link to the applicationthe application deadline is August 31st 2018.
  • Digital Health Program in Philadelphia and NYC – A three-month mentoring and orientation program for small and medium-sized digital health enterprises. It is a virtual program with a mandatory five-day bootcamp in Philadelphia and monthly programs in Philadelphia, New York and Washington DC. Details on the program and a link to the application, the deadline has been extended to August 5, 2018.

Connect here for more info

The Centre for Phenogenomics (TCP) – accelerating discoveries from nose to tail

TCP is a world-class facility owned and operated by The Hospital for Sick Children and Mount Sinai Hospital. It opened in 2007 and has transformed strategic investments by the Hospitals, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and Genome Canada into a unique national resource to provide critical tools (mouse and more recently rat models) and services that enables biomedical research of the highest caliber across the country. State-of-the-art infrastructure and technologies are combined at TCP to support excellent research and help companies succeed. TCP was designated a national research facility by the CFI in November 2014, and a Genomics Innovation Network Node by Genome Canada in April 2015. TCP is also a founding member of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium which was recognized as a distributed global infrastructure by the G7’s Ministers of Science in 2017.

TCP’s facility is uniquely programmed to design, produce, manage, analyze, and distribute mouse models to enable hypothesis-driven discovery, purpose-drive translational studies, and preclinical bioavailability, safety, and effect evaluation for therapeutic discovery. Quality assurance of processes and quality control of data and products is a priority at TCP. The Model Production Core provides services for embryonic stem (ES) cell- and Cas9 RNA-guided nuclease (Cas9 RGN) genome editing-derived mouse and rat production, genetic quality control, and colony management to deliver experimental cohorts. TCP is licensed to provide Cas9 RGN to academic and industry researchers so the customer is able to use the model. The Clinical Phenotyping Core provides services for comprehensive or customized user-focused analysis of gene function, mutant gene dysfunction, or validation of drug target and evaluation of treatment effect across diverse areas of biology, disease, or therapeutics in mice. This Core uses non- or minimally invasive phenotyping tests to identify abnormalities. The Pathology Core provides services for necropsy, gross pathology, histology, immunohistochemistry, semi- and quantitative image analysis, and histopathology to correlate genetic or compound-associated changes with tissue structure and disease. The Cryopreservation & Recovery Core provides state-of-the-art embryo, ES cell, and sperm services, and global acquisition and distribution so customers can get the models they need and access secure and convenient storage and distribution of their rodent models. All data generated from each of the Cores belongs to the customer.

Recently, TCP expanded to establish the Infection & Inflammation Core directed by Dr. Silvia Vidal at McGill University. Dr. Vidal is globally recognized as an expert in the genetics of susceptibility and resistance to infection. A purpose-built Biosafety Level 2 and Biosafety Level 3 facility, this Core extends TC P’s services to enable genome-wide assessment of genes and variants associated with resistance or susceptibility to infectious disease. Colonization with bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic agents is available to model host response to infection and explore preventative or therapeutic proof-of-principle. Antigen-induced inflammatory disease models are also available to users to assess host response to in vivo immunological challenges such as neuro- or intestinal inflammation.

TCP is supported by its multidisciplinary Informatics Team that provides web-enabled access for users (on-line requests, service descriptions, service fees, guidelines, reports) and the informatics software, databases, infrastructure, and interfaces necessary to support TCP’s operation. A Senior Biostatistician was recently recruited to provide study design and statistical analysis services using available software tools and approaches or developing bespoke methods if needed by the customer.

TCP’s mission is to help you with your research whenever we can add value. The facility’s Services Coordinator provides pre-sales support, information flow, project coordination, timely and complete access to data, and post-delivery follow-up to users. To find out more, go to TCP, or email

Precision Health Initiative – Rare Diseases: Clinical Implementation Projects

Genome Canada has launched a national initiative for the clinical implementation of precision health, focusing on a rare disease pilot program as a foundational step. This initiative features three main components:

  1. A national rare disease cohort is envisioned to be established through the collection and sequencing of 30,000 samples from rare disease patients and their families.
  2. A national platform is being set up to provide mechanisms and best practices for the collection and sharing of data, including privacy policies, informed consent and other ethical and legal frameworks.
  3. Clinical implementation will advance through working with provincial and regional centres and partners to establish clinical sites and achieve regulatory approval and accreditation.

In order to initiate this ambitious program, Genome Canada is encouraging the submission of projects to the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) that will translate research into clinical implementation with the goal of having genome sequencing offered as a clinical genetic test within an established diagnostic and clinical care pathway for rare diseases. The other activities in the Precision Health Initiative – Rare Diseases will be advanced through other funding mechanisms.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applications will be required to meet the eligibility criteria for GAPP funding in general. That is, projects must:
  • develop and apply a genomics-derived tool, product or process to an opportunity or need defined by the Receptor(s);
  • focus on late stage R&D that will position the innovation for near term implementation / commercialization;
  • be co-led by an Academic and a Receptor organization in partnership, with active and necessary roles for both; and,
  • have the potential to generate significant social and/or economic benefits for Canada.

The GAPP Guidelines provide full information on eligibility.

Furthermore, in order to be considered eligible as a Rare Diseases Clinical Implementation Project, projects must also:

  • focus on using precision health approaches in rare diseases that are ready to be implemented in partnership with an existing publicly funded health care delivery organization (at the provincial or regional level that has the technological and organizational infrastructure needed to support the project).  The organization should have the capabilities to implement clinical and laboratory workflows; install or upgrade local informatics systems linked to a central data repository; and, validate/benchmark technology platforms.
  • analyze province specific health technology assessment data to determine the clinical utility, cost utility and cost effectiveness of genomic sequencing.
  • commit to working with other rare disease clinical implementation projects funded through this mechanism to share best practices and harmonize data capture.
  • commit to data sharing, data standards, consents and other policies that comply with the guidelines for the overall initiative and are consistent with the principles and policies of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, the International Rare Diseases International Research Consortium and the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship.

For more information, please contact Helen Petropoulos, Director, Commercialization & Programs.