Left to right: Ibrahim Marwa, MPH’16, Souzan Armstrong, Director of the Medical Innovation Fellowship, Bartosz Slak, Maryanne Siu, Mahmoud Ramin, and Jacob Reeves, PhD’18. The 2018-19 cohort of Western Medical Innovation Fellows received two BURST funds valued at 70k each to fund their new medical device startups.
The Western Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) immerses talented young scientists, engineers and clinicians in training and research environments that build innovation leaders and create novel medical technologies. Now at the end of their 10.5 month program, the 2018-19 Western Medical Innovation Fellows are looking to move onto their next adventure – entrepreneurship. As part of their program, the fellows consulted with clinicians across the local healthcare industry and developed two projects to address needs they discovered throughout the process that fit within their areas of expertise. These two projects are being spun-off into two London-based innovative medical startups thanks to the support of BURST, an incubation program for high-potential medical technology startups through the TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario.
ecommWestern Medical Innovation Fellows awarded two BURST funds
FDA, Special to Western News, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of Azedra, a new compound developed by Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., for patients with rare tumours of the adrenal glands. Chemistry professor emeritus Duncan Hunter developed the compound with his Western lab team and applied for the patent 30 years ago.
Duncan Hunter chokes up a little when it is suggested that work he began at Western three decades ago will now, finally, be applied to saving hundreds of lives. “It’s a good thing,” said the Chemistry professor emeritus after a long pause. “It took 30 years and had its ups and downs. So, yes, it’s emotional.”
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Azedra, a new compound developed by Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., for patients with rare tumours of the adrenal glands.
A well-maintained laboratory notebook is an important tool for documenting experimental progress and keeping researchers organized. Maintaining a comprehensive laboratory notebook can also be a valuable resource when patenting a discovery. As discussed below, despite recent changes to the patent system in the United States, properly detailing experimental progress in lab notebooks remains relevant to the patent process and researchers would be well advised to be diligent in their record keeping.
There is increasing pressure on Canadian universities to produce research with translational or commercial potential. In this regard, researchers typically work with the technology transfer offices at their university to identify technologies with commercial applicability and if appropriate, secure patent protection for such technologies. Rarely have academic institutions been concerned with infringing third party patents, assuming the nature of their work immunized them from such concerns. For the reasons discussed below, academic institutions may wish to pay greater attention to patent infringement issues and be mindful of using patented inventions in their research to avoid incurring potential legal liability as the shift towards commercial research continues.
Financial ripples from a successful, London-led business development initiative in Asia may soon be felt across the province.
In 2011, WORLDiscoveries Asia – a partnership among Western University, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute – became Canada’s first technology transfer initiative to establish a physical presence in China, as it opened offices in Hong Kong and, eventually, Nanjing, which is London’s ‘sister city.’
Supported by $300,000 from the Ontario government, the initiative has now grown to the point of leveraging its expertise to promote, facilitate and manage technology-based alliances with Asian organizations as a service to other research institutions, NGOs and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the province.
Offsite – With nearly 300 guests in attendance, health research was celebrated at the fourth annual Lawson Impact Awards on Wednesday, April 19 at the London Convention Centre.
The Lawson Impact Awards celebrates hospital-based research that makes a difference by advancing scientific knowledge and applying it directly to patient care. With awards in seven categories, the annual event honours Lawson scientists, staff, trainees and partners who demonstrate excellence.
Matt Parkes handles a bleach-white model of a skull, held together by what looks like steel plates fastened around its eye socket.
It is a model of a skull rebuilt after a massive car crash. Parkes, the technical manager at Adeiss, London’s newest medical devices company, credits the plates with enabling the rebuilding of the face and the life of the person to whom it belongs.
Now, that technology is available in London. Adeiss will be unveiled at a news conference today as a new business that will provide 3D printing solutions to the health-care sector, including surgeons who need a plate for a skull fracture.
Three Western students reflected their best work in developing a winning commercialization strategy for a mirror box used in lower-extremity therapy, earning them one of the top spots in the annual Proteus Innovation Competition.
The competition – a partnership between WORLDiscoveries, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, Propel Entrepreneurship at Western, LEAP Junction at Fanshawe College and Western Research Park – brings together students to compete in finding a viable path to market for close-to-commercialization technologies assigned to WORLDiscoveries. All the technologies were developed by Western researchers.
Esther Lau, along with Ashley Hannon and Solmaz Karamdoust, teamed up to take on the intense four-month commercialization challenge.
Congratulations to Haider Hassan, a Biochemistry PhD student in the lab of Joe Torchia, PhD, Departments of Biochemistry and Oncology, for receiving the 2017 WORLDiscoveries Scholarship for Commercialization/Entrepreneurship. Haider has been recognized for his ingenious project on rapid detection of Ebola virus in blood.