Latest News

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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UHN Spin-off Bridge7 inducted into inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator Canada cohort

September 03, 2020 /in Latest News

TDC is pleased to announce that UHN spin-off Bridge 7, a company using AI to scale clinical expertise to improve the efficiency, consistency and quality of delivering cancer care, has been invited to the inaugural class of Canada’s Google for Startups Accelerator-- a three-month fully digital accelerator program for high potential Seed to Series A Canadian tech startups. The accelerator is designed to bring the best of Google's programs, products, people and technology to startups that leverage machine learning and AI in their company...

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CRISPR Therapeutics expands regenerative medicine portfolio through a collaboration with UHN, gaining access to hepatocytes

July 28, 2020 /in Latest News

ZUG, Switzerland and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CRISPR Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRSP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on creating transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases, today announced a research agreement with UHN, Canada’s largest research hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, and a member of the Toronto Academic Health Science Network. Through UHN’s McEwen Stem Cell Institute, the aim of the collaboration is to combine CRISPR Therapeutics’ gene editing technology with UHN’s methods for differentiating stem cells into hepatocytes at high yield and purity, with the goal of developing regenerative medicine cell therapies for a number of...

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UHN Spin-off MolecuLight Launches the i:X® Telemedicine Solution for Imaging of Bacteria in Wounds

July 16, 2020 /in Latest News

New Telemedicine Solution allows the MolecuLight i:X Device to be used at the Bedside for Synchronous Interpretation of the Images by Remote Wound Care Clinicians

Toronto, CANADA – (July 16, 2020) MolecuLight Inc., the leader in point-of-care fluorescence imaging for real-time detection of bacteria in wounds, announces the launch of its new i:X® Telemedicine Solution. The i:X Telemedicine Solution provides a synchronous link between the patient’s bedside and the remote wound care clinician. With this secure solution, MolecuLight i:X imaging can be performed at any care location for accurate detection of wounds containing bacteria (> 104 CFU/g) and...

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UHN Launches New Spin-Off DNAMx Inc. Around Cutting-edge Liquid Biopsy Technology

July 14, 2020 /in Latest News



UHN is pleased to announce the launch of another spin-off company, DNAMx Inc., founded around an exciting circulating cell-free methylated DNA liquid biopsy technology developed at UHN’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in collaboration with Sinai Health System.  The diagnostic method, developed by Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Drs. Daniel De Carvalho and Scott Bratman, shows great promise as a liquid biopsy tool for cancer patients, as outlined in the publication in Nature, "Sensitive tumour detection and classification using plasma cell-free DNA methylomes." The platform also holds promise for application to conditions beyond cancer detection including prenatal diagnostics,...

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Celebrating 2 years from the NASDAQ closing for UHN Spin-off AVROBIO

July 09, 2020 /in Latest News

Hard to believe two years have passed!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Congratulations on the incredible progress made by the AVROBIO team in the two years since AVROBIO Inc, a public gene therapy biotechnology company raised over US$100 Million in it's initial public offering (IPO)  on the NASDAQ stock exchange in July 2018.  Less than one month after going public, AVROBIO was trading with a market...

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