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.Read more
Teams offer ideas a helping hand to marketon April 10, 2019
A plan to bring to market a revolutionary device to help premature babies – and their parents – breathe easier placed a team of Western and McMaster students among those earning top honours at the Proteus Innovation Competition.
Developed by McMaster University, the artificial placenta is a medical device that attaches to the blood vessels in the baby’s umbilical cord after delivery to help get the oxygen they need. The baby’s own heart pumps their blood through the artificial placenta, where oxygen is then introduced into the blood through the air before being returned back into the baby’s body.Read more
Innovation Ambassadors are shifting the cultureon December 11, 2018
Entrepreneurship. Collaboration. Innovation. Knowledge.
In a milestone for the university, every faculty at Western now has at least one Innovation Ambassador whose job it is to help share and cultivate all these ideas and values.
“This is a culture we are trying to create across campus. We’re all here to make entrepreneurship great and silos are being broken down at that level,” said Lisa Cechetto, a member of the Western Entrepreneurship Team.Read more
Celebrated innovation aids patients in swallowing, wins 2018 Vanguard Awardon September 18, 2018
If ever you needed to visualize the convergence of research, clinical experience and commercialization, take a close look at the Abilex device – and its inventor.
A deceptively simple-looking hand-held instrument, the Abilex helps exercise and strengthen the jaw, tongue and mouth for people who have difficulty swallowing or speaking. It is the brainchild of Ruth Martin, Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
On Sept. 19, Martin will receive the Vanguard Awards Innovator of the Year honour from WORLDiscoveries for commercialization and entrepreneurship involved in developing the Abilex.Read more
Cancer drug earns FDA nod after decadeson August 7, 2018
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.Read more
Entrepreneurial team wins with surgical precisionon March 22, 2018
By Paul Mayne
Make it another innovation-and-commercialization win for PhD candidate Patrick McCunn and Alex Moszcynski, PhD’17.
After taking one of the top spots in last year’s Proteus Innovation Competition with their plans to commercialize a cloud-based data collection app, the pair returned this year and teamed up with PhD candidate Adam Paish to win yet again – this time, tackling the marketability of a Western-developed tool to improve precision and efficiency in joint replacement.Read more
IP 101 – The importance of laboratory notebookson December 21, 2017
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.Read more
IP 101 – Patent Infringementon December 3, 2017
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.Read more
Moral rights – waivedon September 15, 2017
If you are an inventor who is looking for help from the University or other potential investors to commercialize your invention, you will likely come across an assignment agreement asking you to transfer ownership of the intellectual property rights associated with your invention in exchange for funding or marketing services.
However, upon reading such an agreement you may also notice that you are being asked to waive your “moral rights” to your invention under the Copyright Act. This may catch you off guard and question whether you are being asked to abandon your moral or ethical principles for the sake of marketing your invention.Read more
Biologic is the beginningon August 18, 2017
Biologics and its landscape in Canada: The pharmaceutical industry is currently a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow each year. In Canada, biologics (or biologic drugs) make up about 14% of drug spending at a cost of $3 billion a year. With the expiration of many key patents for top-selling biologics in recent years, the interest in producing ‘generic’ biologics (or “biosimilars”) has increased. Even if you are not concerned about inventing around existing patents, it may still be useful to know how biologics are classified by the Patent Office and the fact that the existence of biosimilars in the drug market significantly lowers the cost of these relatively expensive drugs.Read more