Applying more science into skincare

on November 21, 2019

You have probably noticed the growing trend of beauty gurus on YouTube and Instagram, all vying to work with companies in the colossal 40 billion dollar cosmetic industry. These influencers partner up with big names like Kylie Cosmetics and Estée Lauder but soon they might be promoting Celladore, a new skin care company who wants to be the trusted brand for skin health products based on rigorous scientific evidence.

Skin care accounts for 36 per cent of the global cosmetic market, with expectations for significant growth over the next few years. Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in expanding their knowledge of skin care and taking a preventative approach to premature aging caused by UV rays. The beauty market is saturated with various products claiming to penetrate the skin, restoring it from the inside out, however, most of these products just sit on the surface and don’t live up to their claims.

This is where Celladore comes in with their product, a modified hyaluronan (high-molecular-mass polysaccharide found in soft connective tissues) cream capable of crossing the epidermal layer of the skin. Not only can the restorative cream penetrate the epidermis, it can be retained in the keratinocyte and dermal layer for several days giving the keratinocyte layer a coat of hyaluronan, which is common in young, vibrant skin but becomes increasingly depleted with age and exposure to sun. Not only can this cream be used in cosmetic products but has potential to replace needle injections for some cosmetic and therapeutic procedures.

This miracle cream formula built on science was discovered by Eva Turley, PhD, a Lawson scientist and cross appointed professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Oncology, at Western. Her innovation has been licensed to Celladore to further develop and market the product as a premium skincare cream. Celladore was selected to participate in TechAlliance’s third BURST cohort, an incubation program for life science companies, awarding the startup company $70k in funding and resources.

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ecommApplying more science into skincare

An Ultrasonic Update

on November 21, 2019

Oil-water and other liquid-liquid separation has always been a difficult process, one markedly needed in the oil refinery and petrochemical industry but also in the food service and processing sector. Monitoring this process is crucial to the continual operation of liquid separators to avoid complication in downstream processing or discharge into storm sewer systems and out into the environment.

To help monitor this process, Anand Prakash, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, developed the Self-Calibrating Ultrasonic Monitoring System technology. This technology uses sound waves to cut through turbidity and measure oil and grease. “In an opaque system, light waves fail. Ultrasonic devices are beyond the audio frequency and measure the change of acoustic velocity as it travels through the media” stated Prakash.

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) from the food service and production sector are one of the leading causes of sanitary sewer overflows in North America. Prakash’s technology can help restaurants and factories ensure only the excess water – not the oil and grease – flows away. This monitoring process is vital to organizations who must meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

Originally disclosed to WORLDiscoveries in 2009, this technology has received funding from NSERC and the internal Western Innovation Fund to further develop it for commercialization, underlining confidence in its promising future.

The technology recently had a modified license agreement reissued to Toronto based company Riptide Tek, a subsidiary of Monteco, which provides monitoring technology to help organizations with their FOG management strategies. With Riptide implementing the technology in both Canada and the United States, sales of Prakash’s technology are expected to increase over the coming years potentially improving thousands of organizations’ ability to stop FOGs from entering the storm sewers and the environment.

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ecommAn Ultrasonic Update

Using the Force

on November 21, 2019

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to serious complications, including stroke and heart failure. It is a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated; current estimates indicate that 34 million people around the world live with the condition and the incidence is on the rise.

Although atrial fibrillation can sometimes be treated with medicines and lifestyle changes, surgery is often necessary. These surgical procedures are invasive, involving the use of radiofrequency (RF) power to create lesions in the heart wall that block the aberrant electrical impulses that cause AF.

For a successful procedure, interventional cardiologists must deliver durable lesions that span the thickness of the heart wall – a challenging task when performing a procedure using a long flexible catheter. A common difficulty is the inability to maintain a desired contact force between the catheter and the heart wall due to wall movement associated with breathing and the beating heart. As a result, about half of patients require repeated procedures due to recurrence of arrhythmia post-treatment.

Daniel Gelman, through the course of his PhD studies at Western, his supervisor, Robarts Scientist Maria Drangova, and electrophysiologist Dr. Allan Skanes invented the catheter contact-force controller (CFC) to address this problem. This is an easy to use, compact accessory for the ubiquitously used commercially available catheters, and is easily integrated into routine clinical workflow. This device stabilizes the contact-force during RF delivery allowing improved, reproducible lesion formation. Improved lesion formation will improve patient outcomes, reduce the number of repeated treatments that are required, leading to improved quality of life and reduce healthcare costs.

Gelman, now finished his doctoral studies, is the President and CEO of Aufero Medical, a company founded to license the device, further develop and commercialize it. The startup was part of TechAlliance’s first BURST cohort, an incubation program for high-potential medical technologies giving the company funding, workspace, mentorship and resources to succeed. Aufero Medical is also one of the founding companies of the Robarts Biomedical Innovation and Commercialization Nexus (BioNext) – a transformative space designed to foster collaboration and accelerate translation between scientists and private sector partners.

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ecommUsing the Force


on November 21, 2019

It was a banner year for our office. In the last fiscal year we brought in a record $5.8 million in revenue, the highest year ever and paved the way for $3.9 million to be distributed to researchers. We also had a record number of license agreements signed at 37 and number of active licenses at 178 – all while seeing 45 patents issued for novel technologies and a steady stream of disclosures come into our office.

WORLDiscoveries strived to deliver on its mission to promote a culture of innovation. We engaged hundreds of faculty, staff, students and community members through our various networking events and programs.

In one year we have doubled the number of Innovation Ambassadors to more than 50 members across campus. At the Annual Vanguard Awards we celebrated the accomplishments of our local innovators by recognizing market-readiness milestones, including the new direct-to-market sales over $1000 category. The Proteus Innovation Competition, this time partnering with both McMaster University and the University of Windsor, encouraged individuals to learn about and create viable commercialization strategies for innovations developed by our partners.

The Graduate Student Innovation Scholars program has supported 27 students and gave them hands-on training in entrepreneurship, knowledge mobilization and commercialization. The Western Medical Innovation Fellowship reached a cohort of six – doubling from when the fellowship started.

After celebrating the success of our first 10 years, WORLDiscoveries reflected on where we want to go from here and how to build upon what we have achieved. We are working on new strategies to better serve our clients and are expanding our network beyond the local area to serve as a bridge for innovation to industry on a provincial, national and global scale. This strategy sees the expansion of WORLDiscoveries Asia, having successfully completed a one-year pilot project that validated a new service based business model, and will seek to connect small and medium-sized enterprises across Canada with Asian industries.

Our team is excited for the future and we invite you to accompany us as we move onward and outward.

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