May 31, 2021 (Toronto, ON) – Regenerative medicine holds enormous promise to revolutionize the treatment of chronic diseases. Worldwide, universities and research hospitals are producing leading-edge research in this field, as demonstrated by the high volume of publications in recent years. However, to bring discoveries from the lab to patients, researchers must be able to commercialize their work by securing the necessary financing and expertise.
CCRM, a leader in developing and commercializing regenerative medicine-based technologies and cell and gene therapies, stands ready to help chart optimal commercialization pathways and translate research findings into new companies. To that end, CCRM has developed and signed alliance agreements in Canada and abroad to support promising discoveries wherever they originate.
CCRM is partnering with McGill University, McMaster University, University of Calgary and Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada, and Australia’s Monash University and Starfish Innovations, a subsidiary of Leiden University Medical Center, in the Netherlands. All these institutions are leaders in the field of regenerative medicine and they are producing discoveries that could one day cure diseases.
“For 10 years now, CCRM has been refining its ability to identify and advance promising company concepts,” says Michael May, President and CEO of CCRM. “We provide the financial, scientific and business support required to move inventions toward commercialization. With these agreements, CCRM is broadening its commitment to evaluate the market value of institutional discoveries and assess whether they would benefit from CCRM’s incubation program, and we are fostering international relationships to expand our global network.”
CCRM’s incubation program identifies opportunities by matching technologies with patient and market needs. Programs are then taken from concept to spin-out by strategically leveraging CCRM’s expertise and infrastructure. This model for de-risking and creating new companies improves the chances of their long-term success.
Notch Therapeutics is a product of CCRM’s incubation program. It launched in November 2019 with a multi-million-dollar collaboration with Allogene Therapeutics. In February 2021, Notch closed a Series A financing for US$85 million. The Toronto and Vancouver-based company is in hiring mode as it continues to develop new cell therapy candidates and the clinical readiness of its proprietary platform.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was a record year for investment in the field, according to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. The regenerative medicine sector attracted US$19.9 billion in financing, compared to the previous record of US$13.5 billion.
Regenerative medicine, including cell and gene therapy, harnesses the power of (stem) cells, biomaterials, molecules and genetic modification to repair, regenerate or replace diseased cells, tissues and organs.
CCRM was founded around an academic network that includes the University of Toronto, University Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children and Ottawa Hospital Research institute. The new alliance partners, referenced above and quoted below, will expand our academic network and global reach.
Quotes from alliance agreement partners
“The alliance with CCRM offers substantial benefits, not just to our institution and its researchers, but potentially to improve the health of many people worldwide. By providing a focal point not only for research in this field, but also for its possible commercialization, CCRM is leading the way and McGill University is proud to be part of this effort.”
Martha Crago, Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation, McGill University
“McMaster is keen to expand its partnership with CCRM through the Alliance Agreement. Over the past year, the CCRM team has supported our research community through their scientific expertise and experience with commercializing regenerative medicine technologies. Their advice and connections will allow us to build on our track record of success, like start-ups Triumvira Immunologics and Empirica Therapeutics, which was recently acquired by Century Therapeutics, and support the development of new technologies.”
Gay Yuyitung, Executive Director of McMaster’s Industry Liaison Office
“University of Calgary researchers are constantly developing break-through regenerative medicine solutions for aneurysms, cartilage repair, nerve repair, and skin regeneration. Bringing these unique solutions to the broader population requires specialized expertise in regenerative medicine commercialization. We are happy to enter this partnership with CCRM to better enable our researchers to foster cross-country collaborations and get additional support in company development to bring these novel solutions to Canadian homes and beyond.”
Jeff Biernaskie, Lead Reproduction and Regenerative Medicine Research Group, University of Calgary
“Mount Sinai Hospital’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute is a proud member of CCRM. With the formation of this alliance, we look forward to the opportunity to work and collaborate with new partners to explore, through regenerative medicine, innovative approaches to understanding today’s scientific and medical challenges.”
Darlene Homonko, Director, Office of Technology Transfer and Industry Liaison, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
“Monash University has invested significantly in regenerative medicine and in particular with the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. The University’s alliance agreement with CCRM creates an unparalleled pathway to the further translation and commercialization of the University and Institute’s regenerative medicine-related research outcomes. I look forward to working with CCRM on the many opportunities now possible for our research program.”
Prof. Peter Currie, Director, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University
“We are very excited to join forces with CCRM in bringing new regenerative medicine technologies to the patient. Since our inception in 2016, we have been able to build a strong early-stage pipeline of regenerative medicine technologies through our direct access to the promising science at the Leiden University Medical Center as well as our global network of academic institutions and industry. Growing our network with organizations like CCRM will further support us in achieving our mission.”
Paul Bilars, CEO Starfish Innovations
About CCRM CCRM is a global, public-private partnership headquartered in Canada. It receives funding from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and leading academic and industry partners. CCRM supports the development of regenerative medicines and associated enabling technologies, with a specific focus on cell and gene therapy. A network of researchers, leading companies, strategic investors and entrepreneurs, CCRM accelerates the translation of scientific discovery into new companies and marketable products for patients, with specialized teams, funding, and infrastructure. CCRM is the commercialization partner of the University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design. CCRM is hosted by the University of Toronto. Visit us at ccrm.ca