Latest News

Calling all UHN Inventors! Nominations Now Open for the Inventor of the Year Award

May 07, 2021 /in Latest News

The UHN Inventor of the Year Award (IOTY) recognizes an inventor or team who has made a substantial and noteworthy contribution to developing healthcare innovations with high commercialization potential.

Thanks to our world-class researchers, scientists and clinicians, UHN is now Canada’s top research institution and 8th best North American hospital in commercialization. UHN’s Technology Development and Commercialization office (TDC) is pleased to be calling for nominations for the 18th Annual UHN Inventor of the Year Award to further celebrate our achievements in discovery and...

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Jump-starting memory with DBS

April 27, 2021 /in Latest News

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is being explored as a treatment for individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Andres Lozano, is a Senior Scientist at UHN’s Krembil Brain Institute. (Photo: UHN StRIDe Team)

Researchers have previDr. Andres Lozanoously shown that stimulation applied to the fornix – a memory-related structure located deep in the brain – can cause vivid flashbacks of old memories and events in some, but not all, individuals with Alzheimer's disease. The occurrence of flashbacks suggests that the stimulation is activating brain circuits involved in memory recall.

"It is a mystery why only certain individuals experience...

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From discovery to drug development on home turf

April 23, 2021 /in Latest News

What if there were a protein that could influence eye development, slow the growth of brain tumours and allow doctors to get medications more directly to the brain?

After years of trial and error in her lab, Dr. Valerie Wallace has made a series of important discoveries about Norrin, a protein involved in neurological signalling for the eye, brain and ear. Now, she's leading the world in research on this protein that could hold the key to a range of vision-preserving and life-saving applications.

Dr. Valerie Wallace is working with Dr. Mark Reed of the Krembil Research Institute’s Centre for Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery. (Photo: The Globe...

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We are currently recruiting for a Commercial Agreements Specialist!

March 25, 2021 /in Latest News

Join our dynamic, growing & successful research commercialization team at UHN! We are currently recruiting for a Commercial Agreements Specialist.

UHN has a proud history of innovative research and important discoveries and considers innovation and the commercial development of intellectual property (IP) to be integral to its purpose of transforming lives and communities through excellence in care, discovery and learning. Technologies discovered and developed at UHN have formed the basis for many global products and services including pharmaceuticals, biologicals, devices, and diagnostics and represent the foundational IP of spin-out companies which have generated a combined...

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World-first: Pilot study treating Fabry disease with gene therapy receives promising results

March 03, 2021 /in Latest News

Results of a world-first Canadian pilot study on patients treated with gene therapy for Fabry disease show that the treatment is working and safe.

The Canadian research team was the first to use gene therapy in 2017 to treat patients with Fabry disease, a rare, chronic illness that can damage major organs and shorten lives. They report their findings on February 25 in the journal Nature Communications.

"Being one of the first people in the world to receive this treatment, and seeing how much better I felt afterward, it definitely gives me hope that...

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Study uncovers molecular link between obesity, diet and osteoarthritis

March 01, 2021 /in Latest News


One out of every six Canadians is currently living with osteoarthritis, a painful and debilitating form of arthritis affecting the cartilage surrounding the bones in your hips, knees, hands and spine.

By 2035, that number is expected to increase to one in four, with a new diagnosis every 60 seconds.

No treatment currently exists for osteoarthritis that can slow or stop the disease.

It has always been thought that increased weight puts strain on joints and that this is what causes osteoarthritis. Now, scientists from the Schroeder Arthritis Institute at UHN have discovered a surprising new molecular link between obesity, diet and osteoarthritis that could have impact...

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Turbocharging the killing power of immune cells against cancer

February 19, 2021 /in Latest News

Creating "super soldiers" of specific white blood cells to boost an anti-tumour response has been shown in a series of elegant experiments by researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Research led by PhD candidate Helen Loo Yau, Post-doctoral Fellow Dr. Emma Bell, and Senior Scientist Dr. Daniel D. De Carvalho describes a DNA modifying epigenetic therapy that can transform immune killer T-cells into "super soldiers" by boosting their ability to kill cancer cells.

Their findings could potentially enhance immunotherapy, a new paradigm in cancer treatment currently effective for a minority of cancer patients. Some patients respond well to immunotherapy, with their...

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UHN spin-out Treadwell Therapeutics establishes operations at Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower

February 10, 2021 /in Latest News

Leading new oncology start-up establishes its research and development base at the Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower

Toronto, February 10, 2021 — Following a very successful 2020, UHN spin-out Treadwell Therapeutics continues its global growth with the recent opening of its 9000 square-foot research and development facility in February 2021 at Toronto’s University Health Network, Canada’s leading research hospital. Treadwell’s footprint in Toronto is an important addition to Ontario’s emerging biotechnology cluster with the hire of 17 employees and a focus on current programs involving small molecules, biologics, TCR-based cell therapy and novel platforms for...

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Dr. Philippe Monnier discovers protein with potential to treat eye and brain conditions

January 27, 2021 /in Latest News

Dr. Monnier - Photo by Tim Fraser

Dr. Philippe Monnier’s work with the protein neogenin has already delivered results in treating retinitis pigmentosa.

When Dr. Philippe Monnier set out to find effective treatments for debilitating vision disorders, he had no idea that his research might allso lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of a wide range of neurological conditions, from multiple scerosis to stroke. 

It was a welcome – if unexpected – discovery. 

Dr. Monnier, a senior scientist at the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute, University Health Network,...

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How UHN’s McEwen Stem Cell Institute faced the challenges of COVID-19

January 18, 2021 /in Latest News

Drs. Michael Laflamme and Stephanie Protze, principal investigators in the McEwen Stem Cell Institute’s cardiac program.For researchers at UHN, 2020 was unlike any other year. The onset of COVID-19 forced all experiments to come to a halt and led to the shutdown of laboratories for three months, resulting in a significant decrease in productivity.

For Drs. Michael Laflamme and Stephanie Protze (photo on left), principal investigators in the McEwen Stem Cell Institute’s cardiac program, there was no choice but to persevere through the challenges to continue making progress in their critical efforts to develop new treatments for heart disease. These world-leading researchers are working on...

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Commercialization of Lu-DOTATE lays an important milestone in developing treatment for neuroendocrine cancer

January 15, 2021 /in Latest News


TDC was pleased to be part of the recent commercialization of Lu-DOTATATE with POINT Biopharma and CanProbe (, a joint venture between the University Health Network (UHN) and the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC). This is an important milestone in treatment development for patients with neuroendocrine cancer, and is poised to help many patients in Ontario with this difficult-to-treat cancer who previously had no other options for treatment. 


Read the full release below: 

POINT Biopharma Inc. (POINT), a radiopharmaceutical...

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UHN's Michener Institute creates new programs in artificial intelligence

January 14, 2021 /in Latest News

As Canada’s only “school within a hospital” dedicated exclusively to healthcare education, Michener is uniquely positioned to prepare healthcare professionals in such emerging fields as artificial intelligence. (Photo: iStock)

The Michener Institute of Education at UHN is creating new programs in artificial intelligence (AI) to meet the health system's need for digitally-literate health professionals.

The new Digital Health and Data Analytics Program will consist of a new full-time program in the School of Applied Health Sciences; new curriculum in these emerging areas in the School of Applied Health Sciences' current programs; and an expansion of professional development programming in and...

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UHN technology part of new TIAP & Amgen investment to support new ventures

December 15, 2020 /in Latest News

Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP) and Amgen recently announced a joint initiative including the co-funding of local transformative projects in support of new venture development. Three transformative projects were chosen, including University Health Network Senior Scientist Robert Rottapel's project focused on developing new therapies for ovarian cancers. The joint initiative also includes dedicated scientific & business expertise from TIAP and Amgen to accelerate treatment development to ultimately help patients. 

Dr. Rottapel's project is focused on developing monoclonal antibodies against a novel target for the treatment of drug-resistant ovarian cancers. In...

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

November 26, 2020 /in Latest News

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....

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TDC is now on Twitter!

November 24, 2020 /in Latest News


 Want to keep abreast of the latest developments in commercialization at UHN? Follow us on LinkedIn :  linkedin/com/company/uhn-tdc and, our  newest channel, Twitter: @TDCUHN1

TDC is pleased to announce collaboration with Pfizer on cancer immunotherapy

November 19, 2020 /in Latest News

New research collaboration leverages immunotherapy research for potential cancer drug discovery efforts, led by Dr. De Carvalho and team

Dr. Daniel De Carvalho’s lab has commenced a collaborative drug discovery research program with Pfizer’s Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) for preclinical drug development leveraging Dr. Carvalho’s expertise in immunotherapy. This research collaboration between UHN and Pfizer aims to screen, identify and optimize potential drug candidates that trigger the body’s own immune system to kill cancer cells in a novel manner.

This research collaboration will match Pfizer’s drug discovery expertise with novel mechanisms of disarming cancer cells...

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Dr. Naoto Hirano named 2019 Inventor of the Year for his work in cancer immunotherapy

November 03, 2020 /in Latest News

The Technology and Commercialization (TDC) office is thrilled to recognize Dr. Naoto Hirano, Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, as the winner of UHN’s 17th annual Inventor of the Year Award.

Dr. Naoto Hirano receives the award for his work in developing the TCR-HLA multimer staining technique, which greatly expands how immunotherapy targets cancer, allowing more people to benefit from the treatment.

The TCR-HLA multimer...

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Welcome, Paul Cassar - Licensing & Commercialization Associate, Business Intelligence

October 19, 2020 /in Latest News


TDC is pleased to announce the arrival today of Paul Cassar, who joins us in the role of Licensing and Commercialization Associate – Business Intelligence.

Paul comes to us with extensive scientific business development and startup background, most recently from AdMare BioInnovations, where he was Manager, Business Development, assessing startup and valuation opportunities. 

Paul’s deep experience in product development and commercialization planning is a great asset to shaping fair-value investment opportunities for UHN technologies commercialized by TDC. He brings in rare strategic and valuation skills to bolster UHN’s company creation...

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Announcing TCRyption Inc., a new cancer focused biotechnology company spin-off from UHN

October 07, 2020 /in Latest News

Dr. Naoto Hirano  October 7, 2020 – Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of TCRyption Inc., a new UHN spin-off biotechnology company aiming to significantly advance cell-based cancer therapy to create more options for patients.

Founded based on the groundbreaking T-cell immunotherapy technologies created by Dr. Naoto Hirano, Senior Scientist and Associate Director of Research for the Tumor Immunotherapy Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, TCRyption’s T-cell receptor identification platforms and the resulting T-cell therapy clinical candidates are poised to expand treatment options for patients with varied types of cancers that have historically been difficult to...

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Point Surgical Spin-off Launched

September 17, 2020 /in Latest News

 Point Surgical Inc. (PSI), a start-up recently spun-off from University Health Network (UHN), Unity Health Toronto (Unity) and Light Matter Interaction Inc. (LMI), is developing a new technology for instant and highly accurate intra-surgical identification of cancer types through a combination of laser vaporization and affordable mass spectrometry.  The technology, first demonstrated by Drs. Arash Zarrine-Afsar (UHN) and Howard Ginsberg (Unity), offers clinicians a new way to measure in real-time—right within the surgical theater—molecular biomarkers present in laser vaporized tissue to deliver a non-subjective characterization of disease. This point-of-care, intra-surgical molecular analysis...

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