Dr. Gordon Keller, Scientific Co-Founder of BlueRock Therapeutics, Receives Bloom Burton Award

Congratulations to regenerative medicine pioneer, TDC’s commercialization partner and BlueRock Therapeutics scientific co-founder, Dr. Gordon Keller, the latest recipient of the 2020 Bloom Burton Award. Created by Bloom Burton & Co. (Bloom Burton), Canada’s leading healthcare investment banking firm, the award is given every year to recognize the most significant contributor to the Canadian health care industry. 

The Bloom Burton Award honours an individual scientist, inventor, executive, entrepreneur, industry leader, or policy maker who made the greatest contribution to Canada's innovative healthcare industry in the previous year. Dr. Keller’s contribution to the Canadian Health Care Sector is immense. He is world-renowned for his work in stem cell therapies to treat heart failure. He is also University Health Network's Inventor of the Year 2017 , jointly with Dr. Michael Laflamme.

Dr. Keller holds over 20 patents and 8 patent licenses and his research commercialization achievements include serving as scientific co-founder of BlueRock Therapeutics, which was launched in 2016. Based on Dr. Keller’s pioneering stem cell work, the creation of BlueRock brought the ability to do large-scale manufacturing of suitable, specialized stem cells to treat patients. Because billions of these cells are often needed for treatments to be effective, Dr. Keller's findings are helping to overcome the hurdle between academic discovery and the application of this knowledge to benefit to society at large.

The launch of BlueRock in 2016 was made possible by Bayer AG and Versant Ventures, who provided a US$225 million series A investment, representing one of the largest biotechnology investments of its kind in Canada at the time. The deal was supported by UHN’s Technology Development & Commercialization office. BlueRock Therapeutics, which operates out of the Princess Margaret Tower at UHN, was fully acquired by Bayer in 2019. This latest acquisition corresponds to a total company value of approximately $1.3 billion (inclusive of upfront payments and payments to be made upon predefined development milestones).

Congratulations, Dr. Keller!