Latest News

Takara Bio Inc. Licences UHN's New Generation CAR Gene Therapy

May 07, 2019 /in Latest News

Takara Bio to Acquire an Exclusive License to Use Patent Technology Relating to New Generation CAR Gene Therapy

Kusatsu/Shiga, Japan — April 26, 2019 – Takara Bio Inc. (Takara Bio) announces that it has entered into a worldwide license agreement with University Health Network in Canada*1  as of April 23, 2019, under which Takara Bio exclusively uses the patent technology relating to a new generation of CAR (Chimeric antigen receptor)*2 gene therapy. Takara Bio will develop the novel CAR gene therapy by leveraging the licensed technology, in cooperation with a group led by the patent inventor, Dr. Naoto Hirano, Associate Director for Research, Tumor Immunotherapy Program, Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre / Professor of Medicine, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

In CAR...

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UHN's Dr. Sivak Snares the MaRS Innovation-Lab150/Evotec Award For Treating Glaucoma.

October 10, 2018 /in Latest News

Dr. Jeremy Sivak, Senior Scientist at the University Health Network (UHN)'s Krembil Research Institute snares the MaRS Innovation-LAB150/Evotec partnership award - the 1st ever at UHN and the 2nd ever under the partnership.

Dr. Sivak's project aims to develop a novel therapeutic approach to treat glaucoma, which is an irreversible neurodegenerative condition of the optic nerve; left untreated it can lead to blindness.  Glaucoma affects 1.9% of the population over 40 years of age and it is the leading cause of permanent blindness with over 70 million people affect worldwide.  

Dr. Sivak's team and collaborating scientists from the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) discovered a lipoxin with neuroprotective properties that has illustrated efficacy in preclinical glaucoma models.  With the award, Dr. Sivak will now team up with Dr. Mark Reed, who is a...

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AVROBIO - UHN's Gene Therapy Start-up Announces Positive Phase 1 and 2 Clinical Data

October 01, 2018 /in Latest News

AVROBIO Inc, a UHN gene therapy start-up company, that recently IPO'ed on the NASDAQ (ticker symbol: "AVRO"), announced today that the initial clinical data for AVR-RD-01 gene therapy for AGA enzyme replacement in Fabry Disease patients were positive in both the Phase 1 and Phase II studies.

Read the full press release here:




Acumyn - UHN Spin-off Acquired

September 25, 2018 /in Latest News

Radiation therapy management software company Acumyn Inc. has been purchased by Elekta.

Acumyn Inc. was originally created by UHN in 2014 to commercialize AQUA radiation therapy management software.


A University Health Network spin-off company known as Acumyn Inc. was recently acquired by global radiotherapy giant Elekta.

Acumyn was created by UHN’s Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) office to commercialize AQUATM, a software platform developed at Princess Margaret by a team led by Dr....

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UHN's start-up MolecuLight® Inc receives FDA De Novo clearance - Readies to enter the US wound care market

August 14, 2018 /in Latest News


Toronto-based, University Health Network (UHN) start-up company, MolecuLight® Inc. announced today that it has achieved a key regulatory milestone by receiving FDA's De Novo clearance for a first-of-its-kind handheld fluorescence imaging device, the MolecuLight i:X.

The MolecuLight i:X device captures and documents digital fluorescence information from wounds and tissue surrounding the wound site with real time videos and still images.  This point-of-care device has been optimized to be portable, compact, and eliminates the use of contrast agents. 

MolecuLight® Inc., will now be able to provide the MolecuLight i:X as a prescription-use only point-of-care imaging device to clinicians in the USA.  In turn...

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Shaping the Future of Cancer Treatment Systems - UHN’S Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Partner’s with RaySearch

July 30, 2018 /in Latest News


University Health Network (UHN)’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC) is continuing to push the envelope on cancer treatment workflows.  By partnering with RaySearch Laboratories AB (Sweden), the PMCC is joining forces to further develop RayCare®, a groundbreaking oncology informatics platform designed specifically to address unmet clinical workflow needs of cancer treatment.

Mary Gospodarowicz, medical director at PMCC, underlines the importance of this strategic collaboration with RaySearch toward offering patients comprehensive cancer care – a key priority at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.  Through RayCare®, “an integrated cancer informatics platform … the collaboration will [help] shape...

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AVROBIO IPO'S on NASDAQ - Raises over US$100 Million

July 30, 2018 /in Latest News

The University of Health Network (UHN)'s spinout - AVROBIO Inc - a recently public gene therapy biotechnology company raised over US$100 Million in it's initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ stock exchange.  Less than one month of going public, AVROBIO it trading with a market cap of greater than US$651 Million.  AVROBIO is trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "AVRO".

AVROBIO, founded on the research done by Dr. Christopher Paige (UHN Senior Scientist;...

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UHN's Medical Devices Spinoff Thornhill Medical Raises Fully Subscribed Series A Financing

July 18, 2018 /in Latest News



Thornhill Medical Completes ‘Series A’ Financing Round Led by Shanghai based Yonghua Investment Management Co., Ltd.


Toronto, Canada – July 18, 2018


Thornhill Medical (Thornhill), a Canadian based medical device developer announced that it has completed its ‘Series A’ offering being fully subscribed by Yonghua Investment Management Co., Ltd. (“Yonghua Capital”) of Shanghai, PRC. Thornhill Medical will use the funding to support working capital for its market released line of emergency mobile products, expand its global sales and marketing presence and continue clinical research in the fields of non-invasive cardiac and brain stress testing.


“The financial investment focus of the Yonghua Capital compliments Thornhill’s approach to clinical research, product development and...

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UHN's Technology-based AVROBIO Turning Heads in Gene Therapy

July 18, 2018 /in Latest News


AVROBIO Inc., is a clinical stage gene therapy company that is on the path to develop potentially curative lentiviral-based gene therapies for rare genetic diseases known as lysosomal storage diseases.  AVROBIO's approach is to use hemapoietic stem cells extracted from patients, modify these stems cells with lentiviral vectors, and insert a functional copy of the defective gene of the respective rare target disease.  Today lysosomal storage diseases are managed by enzyme replacement therapies, also known as ERTs, and represent a substantial global market of approximately US$ 4 Billion in net sales (2017).  AVROBIO's initial pipeline consists of 4 lentiviral-based gene therapies for the treatment of Fabry Disease, Gaucher Disease, Pompe Disease and Cystinosis.

Read more here:...

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Drs. Gordon Keller & Laflamme Named Joint UHN Inventor of the Year!

June 13, 2018 /in Latest News


Yesterday, Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science & Research presented the prestigious 15th Annual UHN Inventor of the Year Award (2017) to the duo of Dr. Gordon Keller and Dr. Michael Laflamme for their pioneering research and study of stem cells and in the field of Regenerative Medicine.  Drs. Keller and Laflamme were selected as co-winners from an outstanding pool of nominees by UHN's Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) office for their research inventiveness, instrumental contributions and commercial successes toward impacting patient lives and their quality of life.

Dr. Keller is director of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, which was founded by the generous support of Rob and Cheryl McEwen, and a Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at UHN.  Dr. Laflamme is the...

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May 29, 2018 /in Latest News

As medical technologies advance, personalized medicine is increasingly driving the classification and diagnosis of not only commonly seen, but also never encountered types and subtypes of disease conditions.  For pathologists and diagnosticians, this trend has increased the differential diagnostic demands, sample or test processing workflows and subspecialty training requirements.

Dr. Phedias Diamandis, a neuropathologist at the University Health Network (UHN) and an affiliate scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is addressing just that.

Leveraging the power of deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs), Dr. Diamandis and his research team are developing diagnostic ‘machine classifiers’ – Artificial Intelligence (AI)–driven tools to enhance the capability of pathologists to quickly and...

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Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Innovation Acceleration Fund Announces 1st Round of 2018 Awards to Researchers to Develop Early Stage Technologies

March 19, 2018 /in Latest News


Generation of inhibitors targeting general control nonderepressible 2 (GCN2) as a novel targeted therapy for ovarian cancer

Drs. Tracy McGaha and Robert Rottapel, Senior Scientists at UHN’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, along with their teams were awarded funding to support the discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors of GCN2 as a novel therapeutic mechanism for targeted therapy of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in Canada with a 5-year survival of only 44%, underscoring the need for novel treatment strategies beyond conventional chemotherapy alone.  GCN2 is a key factor that controls the cellular stress response in conditions of low amino acid availability; the McGaha/Rottapel team has identified GCN2 as a key contributor to suppression of inflammatory anti-tumor...

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UHN Start-up Nanovista Inc. closes $2.3 million seed round to advance its multimodal visualization agent towards clinical trials

February 13, 2018 /in Latest News


Toronto, Canada – Nanovista Inc. (“Nanovista”) develops multimodal visualization agents designed to improve the performance of image-guided high-precision cancer therapy. The seed round financing was led by GreenSky Capital Inc. and its affiliated venture funds, the GreenSky Accelerator Funds I and GreenSky Accelerator Funds II, who made a $750,000 lead investment as part of a $2.3M seed round investment.

Nanovista was founded by a world-renowned team of scientists within the University Health Network and the University of Toronto and supported by top clinical oncologists. Nanovista’s first product, comprised of a stable lipid-based nanotechnology, provides long lasting illumination of tumors during the surgical planning stage and inside the operating room with the potential to significantly improve outcomes of cancer surgeries. Along with her co-...

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UHN Start-up AVROBIO, Inc. Announces $60 Million Series B Financing to Advance Gene Therapy Pipeline for Lysosomal Storage Disorders and Apply Lentiviral Platform to Other Genetic Diseases

February 01, 2018 /in Latest News


Company to initiate Phase 2 trial with lead gene therapy, AVR‑RD‑01, based on promising initial clinical data in Fabry disease

Strong investor syndicate supports multi-product portfolio with three additional gene therapies for Gaucher disease, cystinosis and Pompe disease

Cambridge, MA, February 1, 2018AVROBIO, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformative, life-changing gene therapies for rare diseases, announced today that it has completed a $60 million Series B financing.  Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance multiple gene therapies from...

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UHN Start-up BlueRock Named Finalist in 7th Annual Canadian Innovation Awards

January 15, 2018 /in Latest News

The Canadian Innovation Awards celebrate the best and brightest in the Canadian technology community. Now in its seventh year, the awards acknowledge outstanding startups, innovative businesses and influential individuals. After pouring over thousands of nominations, the finalists for this year's Canadian Innovation Awards have been named including UHN start-up BlueRock Therapeutics under this year's Health and Therapeutics category!

Learn more and cast your vote until February 2 at!

UHN Start-up BlueRock Named #1 inTop 20 Life Science Startups to Watch in 2018 by BioSpace

January 15, 2018 /in Latest News

NextGen Bio Class of 2018

BioSpace has revealed its NextGen Bio “Class of 2018,” a list of 20 up-and-coming life science companies in North America that started up no earlier than 2015, and UHN start-up ...

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Join us with UHN’s Mark Taylor and Rotman’s Will Mitchell on "Overview of the MedTech Sector" on Jan. 24!

January 15, 2018 /in Latest News

Presented by the Rotman Centre for Health Sector Strategy in partnership with the University Health Network Office of Technology Development & Commercialization, this session is one in a series whose goal is to address the key strategic trends to aid those working within the industry as well as entrepreneurs or new entrants to the medical devices arena. Topics and examples will focus on Canadian and global companies. Participation will involve focused pre-readings, together with active engagement in discussions during the sessions.


  • Prof. Will Mitchell, Anthony S. Fell Chair in New Technologies and Commercialization; Professor of Strategic Management, Rotman School of Managment, University of Toronto; and

  • ...

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UHN Start-up NanoVista Profiled in Scientific American as One of Ten Start-ups Changing Healthcare!

December 21, 2017 /in Latest News

UHN start-up Nanovista, specializing in visualization agents designed specifically to enhance the performance of image-guided interventions such as surgery, radiotherapy and drug delivery, was named amongst Scientific American's Top Ten Start-ups Changing Healthcare. Learn more about the exciting advances in enhancing the accuracy of surgical resection NanoVista is making here

2 UHN Start-ups Named in Top Cell & Gene Therapy Biotechs to Watch In 2018

December 15, 2017 /in Latest News

Congratulations to UHN start-ups AVROBIO and BlueRock Therapeutics for being recognized as two of the top five biotechs to watch in 2018 by Phacilitate!

Read details here



Liquid Biopsy Innovations at UHN

November 28, 2017 /in Latest News

What if your blood could predict your response to cancer treatment? Dr. Suzanne Kamel-Reid, Head, Laboratory Genetics, UHN, has been exploring how that question applies to lung cancer patients since 2016. The results of her study, co-led by Dr. Ming-Sound Tsao, Senior Scientist, and Dr. Tracy Stockley, Associate Director, Laboratory Genetics with The Princess Margaret, used blood to predict the presence of a mutation in tissue to optimize treatment.

“We’ve been able to optimize and validate a simple blood test, and now implement it clinically. We believe we are the first lab in Canada to offer this to our patients,” says Dr. Kamel-Reid.

Samples were studied at laboratories across the country, including Ontario, British Columbia,...

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