Biotechnology in Health Research Reception
Monday, October 16, 2017 from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Room 256S, Centre Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario.
This event is by Invitation only.
To see information and pictures from past events, see the Health Research Caucus section under ‘Advocacy’ in the navigation.
Research and innovation in biotechnology falls into four main areas: healthcare, agriculture, environment, and industry. The Parliamentary Health Research Caucus Reception and kiosk on Biotechnology Research in Canada will focus primarily on health research and innovation in the healthcare area; however, there may be some examples of health-related research and innovation in agriculture, environment and industry that contribute to improving human health and well-being.
Current research in healthcare includes developing novel drugs for various diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, cardiovascular disorders, and Multiple Sclerosis. As well, there are studies into pharmacogenetics, a field which focuses on developing drugs that are adapted to each person’s genetic makeup, in the hopes of combating drug resistance and the current need for multiple drug regimes for patients.
Gene therapy is another big area of research. It is being investigated as a possible cure for diseases such as cancer and HIV. As well, scientists are also working to ensure the inserted genes are not rejected by the host’s immune system.
Kiosks for Biotechnology in Health Research that will be featured at this event include:
1. Harnessing the Social and Economic Potential of Biotech: Advances in Clinical Translation, Commercialization and Manufacturing
2. Biotechnology Solutions for Infectious Threats and Antimicrobial Resistance
3. Biotechnology Solutions for Non-communicable Diseases: Advances in Cell Therapy, Regenerative Medicine and Nanotechnology
4. The Revolution in Precision Medicine: Data, Diagnostics and Personalized Care
Co-Hosted by 1
BIOTECanada is the national industry association with over 200 members located nationwide, reflecting the diverse nature of Canada’s health, industrial and agricultural biotechnology sectors. In addition to providing significant health benefits for Canadians, the biotechnology industry has quickly become an essential part of the transformation of many traditional cornerstones of the Canadian economy including manufacturing, automotive, energy, aerospace and forestry industries. Learn more biotech.ca
MR. ANDREW CASEY
PRESIDENT AND CEO
Mr. Andrew Casey joined BIOTECanada as President and CEO in 2013. He ensures BIOTECanada plays a central role in partnership with government in the development of policy relating to Canada’s biotech sector and the member companies of BIOTECanada. Mr. Casey communicates on the industry’s behalf with government, regulators, international bodies, and media. Prior to joining BIOTECanada, he served as Vice President, Public Affairs and International Trade for the Forestry Products Association of Canada.
DIRECTOR EVIDENCE GENERATION, MEDICAL AFFAIRS, HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE
Michael is the Director for Evidence Generation in Medical Affairs for Hoffmann-La Roche Limited. In this role, Michael manages a team responsible for medical research in Canada, including clinical trials, real world data sciences, health outcomes research, and biostatistics. Prior to that, Michael led Health Economics at Roche in the Reimbursement and Health Economics Department. In that role, Michael provided expertise and guidance over the health economic and outcomes research activities conducted at Roche Canada.
Dr. W. ROBERT MCMASTER
RESEARCH CANADA CHAIR AND VICE PRESIDENT RESEARCH,
VANCOUVER COASTAL HEALTH
Dr. W. Robert McMaster is the Vice President Research, Vancouver Coastal Health, Executive Director, VCH Research Institute, Executive Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia and Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, UBC. He is a member of the National Steering Committee of CIHR Strategies on Patient Oriented Research. He serves on the board of HealthCareCAN and was recently appointed Board Chair for Research Canada.
Harnessing the Social and Economic Potential of Biotech: Advances in Clinical Translation, Commercialization and Manufacturing
The Biotech industry uses the knowledge of living organisms or other biological systems in the manufacturing of innovative products that address health, agricultural and environmental challenges. This diverse industry spans many markets and includes manufacturing, services, and research activities.
Professor Foster’s group at the University of Toronto’s Sunnybrook Research Institute has pioneered the technology used in high frequency ultrasound imaging. The technology developed in his laboratory has been fully commercialized and is now considered the gold standard with users in over 1,500 laboratories, drug companies and other med-tech organizations around the world. The recent FDA approval of the clinical version of the latest technology will open up many new applications in neurosurgery, neonatal imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, dermatology, and ophthalmology. Dr Foster has helped found 5 companies and is an elected foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. John Bell is a Senior Scientist with the Ottawa Hospital and Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He heads the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, a Terry Fox funded group that is developing virus based cancer therapeutics and is the Director of the Biotherapeutics Program for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He is the Scientific Director of BioCanRx (Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment), a Network of Centre of Excellence, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Michael May is President & CEO of CCRM, a Canadian not-for-profit that supports the development of regenerative medicines and associated enabling technologies, with a specific focus on cell and gene therapy. CCRM aims to accelerate the translation of scientific discovery into new companies and marketable products for patients. Michael completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto in 1998 as an NSERC Scholar and was awarded the Martin Walmsley Fellowship for Technological Entrepreneurship.
Biotechnology Solutions for Infectious Threats and Antimicrobial Resistance
Fewer antibiotics are produced as development costs rise and yet antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to our societies and health systems, and the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is growing at a disquieting rate. Biotechs recognize the seriousness of antibiotic resistance and aim to tackle the problem by improving established antibiotics to treat infections and by exploring novel approaches for targets not yet exploited by currently marketed antibiotics.
Dr. Darryl Falzarano is a Research Scientist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan. His interests involve the development of animal models and interventions for emerging viruses. Currently his lab is using an alpaca model to determine an appropriate vaccine platform for the prevention of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in camels.
Dr. Allibert has a very strong record in the area of infectious disease, from both a human (in vitro diagnostics) and animal (vaccines) perspective. After completing his PhD in Molecular Biology, he worked with bioMérieux, Merial and BD Diagnostics, and has been a Board Member with CIHR’s Institute of Infection and Immunity. Since 2012 he is the CEO of GenePOC, which develops, produces and commercialises easy-to-use molecular tests (GenePOC PIEs), to improve the diagnosis of infectious diseases at Point-of-Care.
Medicago is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company employing more than 215 highly-skilled employees in Canada. The company is developing innovative therapeutic proteins for emerging infectious diseases using novel plant-based and virus-like-particle (VLP) technologies. Medicago’s unique ability to rapidly identify and produce vaccines and antibodies is disrupting the way in which we respond to public health threats. CEO Dr. Bruce Clark has 30 years of experience in companies such as Apotex, Sanofi Synthélabo, GSK, and Philip Morris International.
Biotechnology Solutions for Non-communicable Diseases: Advances in Cell Therapy, Regenerative Medicine and Nanotechnology
Advanced therapies leverage living cells or genetically active compositions to actuate metabolic, immunologic, or genetic mechanisms of action. The complexity of cell products allows diseases to be treated in novel and disruptive ways including regenerating damaged tissues, precisely targeting cancers, or modulating the immune system, while gene therapies aim to target the fundamental cause of genetic diseases to completely reverse their development and effect.
Dr. Gang Zheng is a Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Center and Professor at the University of Toronto. He is a chemist working with clinicians in developing cancer nanotechnology to impact patient care. His lab discovered ‘porphysome’, a nontoxic nanoparticle that can be used for cancer imaging and therapy. With continuing support from Canadian funding agencies, his team is bringing this exciting technology from the lab bench to cancer patients’ bedside within one year.
Dr. Darryl Davis is a Clinician-Scientist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Dr. Davis’ research explores novel strategies to enhance the regenerative capacity of cardiac stem cells to treat heart failure. This focus is rationalized by the observation that 600,000 Canadians live with heart failure. Canada spends $2.8billion per year treating heart failure and, despite innovations in medical and surgical treatment, mortality has only decreased by 2% over the past 10 years.
Dr. Timothy J. Kieffer is a Professor in the Departments of Cellular & Physiological Sciences and Surgery at the University of British Columbia and head of the Diabetes Research Group. His Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Medicine is focused on the development of novel gene and cell therapy approaches for the treatment of diabetes, on which he has >150 publications. He is the co-founder of enGene, Inc. and recipient of numerous prestigious awards and scholarships.
Dr. David Stojdl is a Senior Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Stojdl is a world leader in engineering oncolytic virus immunotherapies for cancer. His Maraba MG1 platform is now in Phase II clinical testing in lung cancer patients. He has co-founded two biotech companies as a result of his lab’s research program: Jennerex Biotherapeutics (Ottawa, San Francisco) and Turnstone Biologics (Ottawa).
Dr. Mark Brandon is an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Psychiatry department at McGill University and the Douglas Hospital Research Centre. His laboratory is focused on understanding how populations of neurons in the brain encode memory in healthy and diseased states. His lab uses a combination of in vivo electrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, and chemogenetics during behavior in transgenic animals to examine the circuit operations conducted within the brain’s memory system.
The Revolution in Precision Medicine: Data, Diagnostics and Personalized Care
Precision medicine is a new paradigm in disease classification, diagnosis and treatment. This new healthcare model incorporates and integrates genetic information, microbiome data, and information on patients’ environment and lifestyle to better identify and classify disease processes, and to provide custom-tailored therapeutic solutions.
- Chun Peng, PhD
- James L. Kennedy, MD, FRCP(C), FRSC
- Andrew Vieira, MD
- Jeff Carson, PhD
- Chris Gardner
- Dan Brake
Dr. Chun Peng is a professor of Biology at York University and a Tier 1 York Research Chair in Women’s Reproductive Health. Research in Dr. Peng’s lab focuses on how signaling molecules control female reproduction and how dysregulation of this process is associated with diseases, such as ovarian cancer and preeclampsia. The ultimate goal of her research program is to develop diagnostic and therapeutic tools targeted towards personalized medicine for women’s reproductive diseases.
Dr. Kennedy has training in neuroscience, clinical psychiatry and genetics. He leads the IMPACT project at CAMH for personalized medicine [www.IMPACTstudy.ca], providing pharmacogenetic testing to over 9000 patients referred by 3000 doctors. He is head of the Tanenbaum Centre for Pharmacogenetics at CAMH, and Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has published over 625 articles with 27,000 citations, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Andrew Vieira is Chair, Sanofi Genzyme Canada Medical Committee and Head, Medical Affairs, Dermatology and Respirology. Sanofi Genzyme is focused on discovering, developing and advancing new therapies in rare diseases, such as Fabry, Gaucher and Pompe disease, and also in multiple sclerosis, immunology, and oncology. The company was founded as Genzyme in Boston in 1981, and rapidly grew to become one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, recognized for pioneering development of treatments for rare genetic disorders.
Dr. Carson is also a scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute and Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario and an expert on imaging systems. His laboratory specializes in optical devices and led the development of the pixelated multispectral filter technology at the heart of Spectral Device’s multispectral cameras. Dr. Carson is co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Spectral Devices Inc.
Chris Gardner is President, CEO and Co-Founder of Sequence Bio, a data-driven biotechnology company in Newfoundland and Labrador striving to lead the NL Genome Project, a large-scale research project. Chris is a founder of Common Ground, St. John’s’ entrepreneurial coworking hub, and is Executive Director of TedXStJohns. Chris was named a 2016 Change Agent by Canadian Business Magazine.
Born in Newfoundland and Labrador, Dan has 20 years’ experience in information technology and holds a Masters of Information Technology Education from Dalhousie University. Dan has lived and worked in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. Currently he sits on the board of Directors of the Newfoundland Association of Technology Industries (NATI). He has developed software in over 10 languages and embraced cloud and big data technology to build data driven solutions to complex problems.
Reception and Kiosk Event Sponsors
Innovative Medicines Canada is the national voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We advocate for policies that enable the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines and vaccines that improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our members’ commitment to being valued partners in the Canadian healthcare system.
Hoffman-La Roche Roche is a leader in the research and development of pharmaceutical and diagnostic solutions that look beyond today’s horizons and make a profound difference in people’s lives. For more information, visit www.rochecanada.com.
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of primary and specialty care medicines that transform lives. Our primary focus is on three important areas of healthcare: Cardiovascular and Metabolic disease; Oncology; and Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity. AstraZeneca Canada headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario. For more information: www.astrazeneca.ca.
For over a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers to deliver innovative health solutions. Visit www.merck.ca.
The University Health Network is a leading healthcare and research organization based in Toronto. It is the largest and top-funded academic research hospital in Canada, comprising clinical, research and education arms at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto Rehab and Michener Institute for Education at UHN.
Valeant Canada is one of the country’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies. With manufacturing facilities in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec and headquarters in Quebec, we are committed to expanding our presence across the country.