Latest News

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.

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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



Video recording now available: TDC's Panel on Diagnostics & Prognostics: Journey to Patient Impact

November 24, 2017 /in Latest News

On November 21st, UHN's Technology Development & Commercialization invited the UHN Community to join anexciting panel of experts in the diagnostics/prognostics area as they discussed the challenges to and strategies for getting these tests into the market.  We were privileged to have panelsts from LifeLabsDynacareGeneseeq Technology, and Bereskin & Parr present to discuss the pathway to developing diagnostics/prognostics towards patient impact.  The session was recorded for those that were unable to attend and can be viewed in its entirety here

Princess Margaret's Ultimate Transformer

November 28, 2017 /in Latest News

Progress in nanotechnology is opening a realm of possibilities for Dr. Gang Zheng, Senior Scientist, and his team at The Princess Margaret. This innovative approach could offer real-time feedback in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Nanoparticles are small enough to reach almost any part of the body, giving them remarkable potential.

Biological processes happen at the nanoscale. Cancer is no exception. With imaging done via nanoparticles, cancer can be detected in its earliest stages, when just a few cells are affected. These same nanoparticles can also be directed to embed themselves in tumours, deliver targeted treatments,...

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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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TDC launches new website!

November 24, 2017 /in Latest News

TDC is pleased to announce the launch of a new website! We have added enhanced content tailored to provide the most useful resource possible to both our internal UHN community, as well as the external industry and investor communities. For instance, we've now provided an up-to-date searchable listing of all of UHN's currently availble technologies, information on working successfully with TDC and UHN, frequently asked questions, and  access to various document templates even when off the UHN network, in addition to other useful content. 

We will be releasing additional helpful resources on commercialization at UHN in the coming months as well.  We welcome you to peruse our new website for this and other new...

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UHN Named Canada’s Top Research Hospital

November 09, 2017 /in Latest News

UHN named the top-funded research hospital in Canada by RE$EARCH Infosource Inc.

Announced on Nov 9, 2017

UHN was ranked number one on the 2017 list of Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals, released by RE$EARCH Infosource Inc.

The annual rankings compare research hospitals across Canada according to their research funding data. Funds that were considered included grants, contributions and contracts from all internal and external government and non-government sources.

UHN research expenditures totaled $332 million in the 2016 fiscal year, a value that earned the UHN the top rank for the seventh year in a row. In comparison to last year, UHN research expenditure funding increased by...

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UHN Start-up Thornhill Medical Wins Second Place in International Marine Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in China

November 07, 2017 /in Latest News

BEIJING, Qingdao, November 6, 2017 

International Marine Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (MTEC) Finals held in Qingdao Blue Valley on the 6th. After the selection of 10 preliminary matches in 6 countries, a total of 50 teams entered the finals. Eventually, the Eco-Friendly Marine Coatings team from Germany won the championship and received 500,000 RMB bonuses and the start-up counseling and support services provided by Shandong University.  The team from Thornhill Medical (an innovative medical device company) from Toronto Canada was the runner up in second place and recieved 300,000 RMB bonuses and start-up counseling and support services as well. 

2017 International Marine Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (MTEC) is by far one of the largest marine international innovation and entrepreneurship competitions in the world. It is co-founded and...

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The Jenex Corporation, in Collaboration with UHN’s Techna Institute, Reports Promising Initial Results on Zika Virus Testing with TherOZap(TM)

October 16, 2017 /in Latest News

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - October 12, 2017) - The Jenex Corporation (TSXV: JEN.H) ("Jenex" or the "Company"), a progressive medical device technology company, today announces that it has received promising initial results on the Zika virus testing with TherOZap.

Dr. Alyson Kelvin at UHN reported the following:

"To evaluate the effectiveness of the Jenex TherOZap device against the infectivity of Zika virus, cells were infected with a range of Zika virus doses and treated with the Jenex device with heat. In the cells...

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UHN Start-up AVROBIO, Inc. Expands Rare Disease Pipeline with Gene Therapy to Treat Cystinosis

October 10, 2017 /in Latest News
Cystinosis Program Becomes Company’s Fourth Gene Therapy  for Lysosomal Storage Disorders

Cambridge, MA, October 4, 2017 – AVROBIO, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformative, life-changing gene therapies for rare diseases, today announced the expansion of its pipeline to cystinosis. This program becomes AVROBIO’s fourth gene therapy for lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), and with an anticipated IND filing later this year is expected to enter the clinic in early 2018. The cystinosis program was licensed from GenStem Therapeutics, Inc. Terms of the license agreement were not disclosed.

“This cystinosis program is a strong strategic fit with our pipeline,” said Geoff MacKay, AVROBIO’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to...

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Bauer Launches Innovative NeuroShield in Canada, Co-Invented by the Founder of UHN Spin-off Thornhill Medical

September 26, 2017 /in Latest News



TORONTO, September 26, 2017 (  Bauer, the world's leading manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, recently launched the first athletic product clinically shown to help protect the brain from the inside during sports-related impacts. Continuing Bauer Hockey's rich history of delivering game-changing technologies, the BAUER NeuroShield collar revolutionizes head protection with an innovative approach that delivers peer-reviewed scientific benefits.

The technology behind NeuroShield was discovered by Dr. David Smith, who was inspired by the woodpecker's ability to...

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