VPC researchers awarded Innovation to Commercialize & Challenge Award grants


The results of research awards from two agencies today demonstrate the VPC's successful translation of basic research into discoveries that are moving to clinical applications.

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research annouced the results of its first Innovation to Commercialization (I2C) competition, with VPC researchers receiving two of the 11 awards. The I2C is designed to help researchers advance discoveries or inventions towards commercialization by supporting commercialization activities that strengthen the value of their intellectual property, facilitate collaboration and attract future investment.

Dr. Chris Ong's project: Development of a novel biotherapeutic fusion protein inhibitor for treatment of advanced prostate cancer

Dr. Caigan Du's project: Development of a novel organ preservation solution in transplantation

Also, the Prostate Cancer Foundation annouced six 2017 Challenge Awards funded in partnership with the Movember Foundation. Dr. Felix Feng's project, Identifying and Overcoming PARP Inhibitor Resistance in Patients with Metastatic Prostate Cancer ($1 Million USD), includes individuals from UCSF, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Dr. Alex Wyatt of the Vancouver Prostate Centre.  The team will identify mechanisms by which prostate cancers gain resistance to PARP-inhibitors and investigate therapeutic approaches for treating these patients. Within this project, Dr. Wyatt will be applying his established suite of tools for blood-based tumor DNA profiling of mCRPC patients, in order to better understand why some patients become resistant to a class of drugs known as 'PARP inhibitors'. Through analysis of serial patient blood samples, the team also hopes to predict and monitor the effectiveness of subsequent lines of therapy.