UHN TDC is pleased to announce the funding for two CIHR Proof-of-Principle Phase II projects. This unique CIHR-matched “gap funding” program is targeted towards innovative industry-partnered proof-of-principle research where partnering companies will provide co-investments. UHN was the recipient of two out of the three awards made in this category in the recent winter 2012 funding opportunity.

The first award of $114,728 was for Drs. Geoff Fernie and Allison McGeer’s project entitled “A novel point-of-care method of handling human waste in healthcare institutions: technical improvements and evaluation.” in collaboration with Vernacare Canada, Inc.  Vernacare provides a total solution to human waste management in healthcare and is the global leader in this sector. Currently, disposal of human waste in hospitals is associated with a significant risk for the spread of infection.  The current CIHR funding provided is crucial in enabling our UHN researchers and collaborators to develop a second generation prototype that will address in-hospital waste management.

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The UHN TDC office was involved in crafting the business plan for the second UHN Proof-of-Principle grant. Dr. Mansoor Husain has been awarded $194,700 for his project entitled “Development of an anti-proliferative therapeutic that disrupts CaM-cyclin E interactions in vivo.”  This $357,714 project will be advanced in collaboration with Soricimed Biopharma, a Canadian peptide therapeutic development company with one product currently commencing clinical trials. The current funding will enable Dr. Husain to further develop the cardiology-focused IP assets into a product that can be used in drug-eluting stents to prevent restenosis post-angioplasty. UHN’s current patent family encompasses a series of novel calmodulin-binding peptides that have been shown to have compelling anti-proliferative activities. This suite of patents was successfully licensed by UHN TDC to Soricimed in 2011.