New Centre Will Deliver New Treatments for Cancer Patients

Nov 26, 2014
Author: 
Liam Mitchell
Members of the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics, including Director Dev Sidhu (centre)

The University of Toronto celebrated the creation of the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics today. The new Centre, which is based at the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (The Donnelly Centre), will deliver new targeted treatments for cancer patients while creating new jobs.

Led by Sachdev (Dev) Sidhu, a Professor in the Donnelly Center and the Department of Molecular Genetics, the Centre is made possible by a $15 million grant from the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada, through its Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program. This is the second such centre to be established at U of T, both of which are housed in Donnelly Centre. The other is the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, which opened in 2011.

The Centre will bridge the research and discovery occurring in the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC), a lab established by Sidhu and his collaborators, with the business community to quickly deliver new therapies to fight cancer.

Sidhu and his colleagues in the Donnelly Centre developed a new method that allows quick and precise production of synthetic antibodies. These new antibodies have the potential to provide targeted treatments for different diseases and ailments, including cancer. The process can take less than half the time of conventional, “single molecule” drug development, but production is delicate and difficult to replicate.

“We have a unique technological platform and a strong network of local and international collaborators that have created a pipeline for high-quality antibodies and biologics. But we need to take the next step. This new funding builds on major investments from the Ontario Research Fund and Genome Canada, and will let us quickly realize the clinical and economic potential of our technology,” said Sidhu, who will act as the Centre’s CEO in its first year of operation

They have a trove of more than 4,000 antibodies that target over 600 proteins involved in many diseases.

“The Centre will create an internationally recognized and world class centre for biologics development and commercialization within Canada. It will support startup companies centred on antibody therapeutics, reagents and technology,” said Brenda Andrews, Director of the Donnelly Centre and Charles H. Best Chair of Medical Research in the Faculty of Medicine. “It exists here at the Donnelly Centre because there is nowhere else in Canada that can do this kind of groundbreaking research.”

The new centre will provide the business infrastructure, personnel and intellectual property expertise to help meet the international demand for clinical trials with biologics developed in the Donnelly Centre.

Sidhu and his colleagues expect that with the federal funding, their technology will create at least four new companies and more than ten deals with other companies over the next five years. This year, the group expects to finalize a deal with a major pharmaceutical company to found a $100 million company in Toronto, which will create about 30 jobs.

Tweets

Temerty Medicine
@uoftmedicine
RT : Middle-aged people who sleep six hours or less a night may be more likely to develop dementia in their late 70s, a… https://t.co/9yg0I66jSH
Temerty Medicine
@uoftmedicine
Can you still spread COVID-19 if you’re fully vaccinated? What if you’re only hanging out with other vaccinated peo… https://t.co/DMqt6qZwcz
Temerty Medicine
@uoftmedicine
RT : Do you know a grade 9 or 10 Indigenous student interested in the health professions? If so, please share this inf… https://t.co/njsZvUZ2Rq

Researchers are mobilizing against the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19.

Make a gift and support their important work.
Oct 5 – May 6
Academic Health Leadership Training – Now Accepting Applications 2020-2021 Cohort
Course | 8:00am–5:00pm
Oct 13 – Jun 8
Certificate Program in CPD Foundations
Course | 12:00pm–1:30pm
Oct 27 – Jun 23
Leading and Influencing Change in CPD
Course | 9:00am–12:00pm
Jan 15 – Nov 19
Virtual Hereditary Cancer Series
Workshop/Seminar | 12:00pm–1:00pm
Feb 9 – Jun 8
Teaching with Technology - Digital Program
Other | 11:00am–1:30pm
Feb 24 – Jun 23
ECHO Concussion at UHN
Other | 4:30pm–6:00pm
Apr
15 – 30
The 100th Anniversary of University of Toronto’s Discovery of Insulin: A Scientific Symposium Celebration
Symposium | All day