18 posts categorized "Commercialization"

May 16, 2012

We've got a new niche!

SignalsThe SCN Blog has a new name and a new home: http://www.signalsblog.ca

After nearly four years and 207 blog posts, we finally outgrew our dish, so to speak. Late last year, we began planning with the newly-formed Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, who indicated an interest to begin blogging in the sphere. (Perhaps you'll recall our name contest?) Why have two blogs competing when one can do the job? The result is Signals Blog (the new name came from an SCN staff member who sadly was not eligible for a prize), which will continue to bring the same level of insight, commentary and research news you've found on the SCN Blog, but will add new perspectives and news on biomaterials, regenerative medicine and commercialization.

We think it's a great partnership that will provide a more comprehensive view of the world of stem cells and regenerative medicine. 

To ease the transition for readers, all archived posts from the SCN Blog have been moved to their new home and RSS feeds will be updated to the new address. Comments will be closed on this site, but we'll keep a copy of the archives here for the short term. 

This is our final post on this site: please update your links and check out our new niche at www.signalsblog.ca!

May 04, 2012

View from the floor 4: Risk aversion in cell therapy development

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To read this article, please visit Signals BlogView from the floor 4: Risk aversion in cell therapy development

May 01, 2012

View from the floor 2: Till & McCulloch Meetings

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To read this article, please visit Signals BlogView from the floor 2: Till & McCulloch Meetings 

View from the floor 1: Till & McCulloch Meetings

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To read this article, please visit Signals BlogView from the floor 1: Till & McCulloch Meetings

March 27, 2012

The payoff of patenting your research: Aldagen as a case study

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Please read it on its new home, Signals BlogThe payoff of patenting your research: Aldagen as a case study

January 24, 2012

The “Viagra effect”: how known drugs can be repurposed to target cancer stem cells

by Paul Krzyzanowski

Repurposing known drugs for new applications is a strategy with fascinating potential, with two of the most notable examples being Thalidomide and Viagra. Thalidomide was commonly used in the late 1950s as a sedative in pregnant women, later being associated with serious birth defects. Today, it is used to treat multiple myeloma. Viagra was being developed by Pfizer to treat high blood pressure when its ability to ‘treat’ erectile dysfunction was identified as a side-effect, resulting in a complete shift in marketing strategy.

The major allure of finding novel uses for existing drugs is that the long process of early Phase I clinical trials can be sidestepped, as the drugs are already known to be safely delivered. This approach decreases the overall cost of developing drug candidates and brings the development of treatments for rare and neglected diseases closer to reality.

The principle of identifying a drug candidate is straightforward: take a large number of different chemical compounds and test each one for some desired activity. Small molecule screening has long been used by pharmaceutical companies to identify potential drug candidates for probably as many disease conditions as there’s a market for.

Continue reading "The “Viagra effect”: how known drugs can be repurposed to target cancer stem cells" »

November 17, 2011

Not all doom and gloom: Major investment in UK stem cell therapy initiative

While many researchers will feel disheartened by last month’s ruling in the Court of Justice of the European Union that prohibits scientific research patents on human embryonic stem cell products (see Ubaka Ogbogu’s article), it seems some positive news is emerging from Europe as well. Specifically, the United Kingdom has recently promised a huge investment in the development of a major cell therapy centre.

In an effort to emerge from the recession, the UK government has launched a program through its Technology Strategy Board that will create a series of Technology and Innovation Centres. Building off David Cameron’s 2010 announcement, the investment is not trivial (£220 million or ~$350 million) and the idea is to take advantage of the UK’s strengths in various research sectors to build an environment of business development mixed with research advances and opportunities.

The cell therapy centre will build on the UK’s expertise in stem cells and regenerative medicine and is described as “a unique centre where academics, businesses and clinicians (i.e. medical professionals with a special interest in cell therapies) will work together to focus on the commercial development of cutting edge technologies in cell therapy.” According to a recent article in the Guardian the centre has already gained the support of major multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, GSK, and Astra-Zeneca, which should provide a good base of investment for such a lofty project.

Continue reading "Not all doom and gloom: Major investment in UK stem cell therapy initiative " »

October 27, 2011

Jumping the innovation gap: Breathing life into life science startups

Innovation_Gapby Paul Krzyzanowski

Canada was built upon the inventiveness and resourcefulness of people who lived here. Why then, have Canadians long heard and read about being second best, sellouts, and in general not that great? Thinking we aren’t competitive has almost become a national mantra. But it’s more than a state of mind: the innovation gap has a $9,500 per year impact (as compared to the United States) on our standard of living.

In the last two weeks, two reports on Canadian innovation were released. Both were critical of Canadian capacity for research and inventiveness, and both suggested ways Canada could come out on top when it comes to competing with the best worldwide. The reports warrant some scrutiny, particularly with respect to a fledgling industry such as biotech.

Continue reading "Jumping the innovation gap: Breathing life into life science startups" »

June 30, 2011

Entrepreneurial scientists: Moving from being outliers to everyday researchers

by Paul Krzyzanowski

Success in a research career is solely defined by ones ability to churn out great academic papers, right?

Don’t be so sure.

It’s true that successful research careers can be launched with a Science or Nature paper, but many skills other than purely academic ones are increasingly being recognized as important.

On this blog, David Kent recently discussed the requirement for scientists to be aware of governmental policies, clinical trials, and therapies outside of their own research, while Ben Paylor explained how important mastering science communications and the web are, particularly to engage the public.

In a world where a glut of university graduates exists, the standard package of courses and experience in many programs no longer places people on a fixed career path. Even alumni of law and medical schools are not immune to the challenging job market, reports Nature, and there are no longer any guarantees of employment upon graduation:

Continue reading "Entrepreneurial scientists: Moving from being outliers to everyday researchers" »

March 09, 2011

Is great science sitting on a shelf?

Patenting report shows disconnect in Canada


by Paul Krzyzanowski

Got a patentable idea? You might want to move to Switzerland. A recent article in the Globe and Mail compared Canada's patenting activity to other major countries, and the small European nation came out a clear winner.

2010 was a record year for US patents issuances to countries around the world. The Globe reported that US patents granted to Canadian applicants increased by 20 per cent – a commendable increase, until one notices that this was still behind those granted to applicants from other countries like Japan (up 26 per cent), Germany (up 25 per cent), South Korea (up 26 per cent) or the U.S. itself (up 24 per cent).  It’s possible that these across-the board increases simply represent a backlog of patents created by the 2008 credit crisis, but since total U.S. patent grabs have increased annually each year since 2007 it suggests that the recent poor economic conditions didn’t affect patenting activity drastically.

Continue reading "Is great science sitting on a shelf?" »