Technologies that accelerate
drug discovery
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Development of novel biologic inhibitors of Semaphorin3A, and its diagnostic tool, for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases.

Challenge: Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are the leading causes of blindness in working age and elderly populations. While anti-VEGFs revolutionized treatment of retinal vasculopathies, currently available drugs can cause neuronal degeneration. Besides, over 40% of patients respond poorly to these treatments, leaving patients with no alternative, ultimately leading them to blindness. There is thus a clear need for … Read More

Monday June 29th, 2020


Prospective evaluation of the ONETest™ targeted metagenomic platform to identify respiratory tract pathogens for precise diagnosis and clinical trial recruitment

Challenge: Respiratory tract infections (RTI) are a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and hospitalizations globally. Yet, many cases of RTI still go undiagnosed and RTI is often treated empirically because the etiologic agent(s) is unidentified. The current diagnostic approach is complex and often takes days to weeks. It may also fail to detect a broad spectrum of pathogens as well … Read More

Friday June 26th, 2020


Phase II clinical and translational study of neoadjuvant pembrolizumab for personalization of prostate cancer treatment

Challenge: Cancer therapy has been transformed in recent years by the impressive success of immunotherapy using immune checkpoint inhibitors. However, the success of immunotherapy in some types of cancers, including prostate cancer (PCa), has been rather limited. A major challenge facing the development of PCa immunotherapy is the identification of tumors that would best respond to this type of treatment. … Read More

Wednesday May 20th, 2020


Novel Drug Development Tools to Interrogate the Role of Galectins in Breast Cancer

Challenge: Because of their immunosuppressive properties, galectins play a critical role in many diseases, most notably in cancer. Some galectins can suppress the immune response by inducing the death of cells that are protecting against cancer cells development. Galectins can also promote tumor cell growth by preventing tumor infiltration by immune cells. For these reasons, there was an increased interest … Read More


Developing New Alzheimer’s Therapeutics Using a Novel Carrier That Can Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier

Challenge: Of the top 10 most fatal illnesses in the world, Alzheimer’s disease is the only one for which there is currently no disease-modifying therapy available. Abnormal clusters of toxic amyloid protein fragments build up between nerve cells in the brain leading to impaired memory. The current therapies in development are biologics, antibodies and peptides that neutralize toxic amyloid. However, … Read More

Friday April 10th, 2020


A Screening Technology to Improve the Discovery of Function-Modifying Antibodies Against Membrane Protein Targets

Challenge: G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of cell surface receptors and represent an important class of targets that could be modulated by antibody (Ab)-based therapeutics. However, finding function-modifying antibodies against GPCRs remains a challenge due to the difficulty of preparing purified antigens, poor immunogenicity, small extracellular loops and low expression levels on cells. Solution: The team has developed … Read More


A 150-plex affinity proteomics platform for high throughput and high content phenotypic cell screening

Challenge: Proteins are the main effectors of cell activity and cardinal indicators of cell phenotype and response to stimuli such as drugs.  Whereas sequencing technologies currently allow for broad and efficient genomic and transcriptomic profiling, multiplexed protein detection technologies are either prohibitively slow and expensive, limited in scope due to reagent cross-reactivity, or both.  Critically, phenotypic drug screening would greatly … Read More

Friday March 13th, 2020


Mapping Genetic Interactions: A Path to Discover Efficacious Drug Targets

Challenge: One of the major challenges for disease treatment is the identification of efficacious drug targets. To overcome the problem, one proposed solution is the use of combined drug therapy that either targets two genes simultaneously or interfere with a single gene with loss-of-function of another one. In both cases this will induce cell synthetic lethality. A synthetic lethal screen … Read More

Monday October 28th, 2019


Development of immunotherapy for bladder cancer using IMV’s drug delivery platform

Challenge: Bladder cancer is 5 th in frequency in Canada. Each year, approximately 80,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer and more than 20 % of them will die from the disease. The treatment of advanced bladder cancer has been revolutionized in the recent years by the impressive clinical success of immune checkpoint (IC)-based immunotherapy. Advanced bladder cancer has been shown to … Read More

Thursday October 24th, 2019


Pre-clinical design of a novel targeted and personalized treatment against Sortilin-positive triple negative breast cancers

Challenge : Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15 to 20% of diagnosed breast tumors. This type of breast cancer is particularly aggressive and associated with a high risk of recurrence, especially in the first five years after diagnosis. TNBC treatment is limited to chemotherapy that can be combined with surgery and/or radiotherapy. Targeted therapy in not currently a … Read More

Thursday October 17th, 2019


Defining the Rules That Will Enhance the Cell Permeability and Oral Bioavailability of Macrocycles

Challenge: Encycle Therapeutics has developed a novel synthetic platform to design enhanced peptide macrocycles called nacellins. Nacellins molecules approximate the dimensions of beta turns extremely well and, although reminiscent of conventional cyclic peptides, exhibit substantially improved passive membrane permeability, as well as stability in the gut and inside cells. However, further chemical modifications of nacellins are needed to render them … Read More

Friday October 4th, 2019


Blood-based biomarkers to diagnose neuroendocrine tumors, follow disease progression and identify new therapeutic targets

Challenge: Cancer remains a leading cause of death in the developed world. Endocrine tumors derived from hormone-producing cells are particularly problematic. This type of tumor can over-produce hormones, which can induce serious complications. Early and accurate diagnosis is currently very difficult, and treatments of late-stage tumors are ineffective. There is, therefore, an urgent need to improve diagnosis and develop more … Read More


A Blood-Brain Barrier Carrier Platform for Delivery of Multiple Classes of Therapeutics for Treating CNS Diseases

Challenge: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an essential role in protecting the brain from blood-borne diseases. However, it blocks otherwise effective medicine from reaching the brain. Most drugs developed for treatment of central nervous system diseases fail because they aren’t optimally designed to cross the BBB. There is a need to identify natural transporters acting as ‘shuttles’ that can facilitate the … Read More

Tuesday October 1st, 2019


Development of a New Matrix for Pancreatic Islets Culture and its Validation in a Bioartificial Pancreas

Challenge: Islet transplantation is an efficient therapy to reverse type 1 diabetes. However, the long-term function of the graft is not ensured, and the problem of autoimmunity remains. An interesting alternative consists of a bioartificial pancreas in which islets are encapsulated. However, the islet environment within such a pancreas still needs to be improved to better preserve islet survival and function. … Read More


Novel Methods to Evaluate Cardiac Activity of Pharmaceuticals: Identifying New Therapies and Predicting Cardiac Toxicity

Challenge: A major problem with protein-based therapeutics is their immunogenicity, i.e. their tendency to trigger an unwanted immune response against themselves. This leads to the activation of immune cells and secretion of anti-drug antibodies (ADA) that may contribute to an inactivation of the biologics and cause adverse clinical events. Therefore, there is a need in the pharmaceutical industry for assays to … Read More


Synthetic lethality platform to discover, test and validate new therapeutic treatment options for cancer

Challenge: In recent years, only 8% of new oncology drugs have been approved for clinical use. One of the major challenges has been matching an appropriate therapeutic strategy to a cancer indication due to the heterogeneity of the disease. Nevertheless, the personalized medicine approach is not a simple process, as each cancer type represents a unique disease that harbors a variety … Read More


Novel Methods to Evaluate Cardiac Activity of Pharmaceuticals: Identifying New Therapies and Predicting Cardiac Toxicity

Challenge: Current therapies for heart failure primarily relieve symptoms, but most fail to correct organ dysfunction. New therapies, to target and improve cardiomyocyte function, are challenging to develop because of the complex functions of the heart muscle and the difficulty in modeling heart cell behavior. The same problems underlie the difficulty in assessing the cardiotoxic side effects of drugs. There … Read More


A Novel Raman-Based Multiplex Imaging Platform to simultaneously detect up to 15 Breast Cancer Biomarkers

Challenge: Extensive characterization of tumors is central to the development of personalized therapies such as immunotherapy, now considered one of the most promising approaches to cancer treatment. The capability to detect a multitude of biomarkers simultaneously on the same tissue section would provide unprecedented headways in the field of cancer research and particularly on tumor profiling. While allowing a greater … Read More


Platform for the enrichment of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) for characterization and sensitivity to anti-cancer drugs

Challenge: A major challenge in cancer therapy is to stop cancer cells before they metastasize to other tissues, at which point the disease may become resistant to therapeutic intervention. During cancer progression, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are shed from the primary tumor or its metastatic sites and their number follow closely the progression of the disease. However, CTCs are heterogenous … Read More


Zebrafish High Throughput Screening Platforms for Nuclear Receptor-Related Drug Discovery and Pathway Elucidation

Challenge: With the unique property of nuclear receptors (NRs) to directly interact with genomic DNA and control the expression of genes, nuclear receptors play key roles in both embryonic development and adult homeostasis as well as in many diseases. With a total of 48 different human receptors and 6 epigenetic-regulating cofactors identified, the is still no available screening platform that … Read More


QUO2 MRI: Quantitative Measurement of Metabolic and Vascular Anomalies in the Brain of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Challenge: The underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remain poorly understood, and only few dynamic biomarkers are available to monitor responses for experimental therapies. Neuroimaging methods such as structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect brain atrophy, but slow changes during disease progression cannot be measured during the timeframe of clinical trials, while functional MRI (fMRI) methods are not yet … Read More


A Zebrafish-Based Platform for Nuclear Receptor Drug Screening and Pathway Discovery in Metabolic Disease and Cancer

Challenge: Nuclear receptors (NRs) are a family of proteins that regulate gene expression in many vital processes such as metabolism, growth and behaviour. They are also implicated in a large array of diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Consequently, nuclear receptors represent one of the most important class of targets for existing drugs. However, mainly due to a … Read More


A Drug Screening Platform to Increase Protein Expression Levels for Treatment of Neurological Disorders

Challenge: Neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders affect more than half the population, causing a huge burden on health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in quality of life. These disorders of the nervous system can span a range of illnesses, including autism spectrum disorders, manic disorders, Parkinson’s disease, stress, depression, and anxiety. Many of these diseases and disorders are … Read More

Friday September 27th, 2019


Selectomics to monitor and predict the emergence of resistance to antibiotics by using the human microbiome

Challenge: Antibiotics represent some of the most important drugs available to modern medicine because they can often treat bacterial infections that would otherwise pose a serious health threat. However, there is currently a lack of new antibiotic development by the industry due to reduced economic incentives as well as challenging scientific and regulatory requirements. To exacerbate the problem, bacteria targeted … Read More

Thursday September 26th, 2019


Using Patient’s Blood to Develop a Sensory Neuron-Based Platform to Treat Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Challenge: The sensory neuron damage referred as “Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy” (CIPN) affects 30-40% of cancer patients in Canada. Sensory neurons transmit information from the brain to every other part of the body allowing movement and awareness of our environment. The deterioration of these cells from chemotherapy causes severe pain often leading to the interruption of chemotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, developing a … Read More


Computational and machine learning approaches to improve design and screening of peptides in drug discovery

Challenge: Protein-protein interactions (PPI) are well recognized as promising therapeutic targets. Although interfering peptides capable of inhibiting PPIs are receiving increased attention, the identification of those that possess high biological activity is very challenging due to their enormous diversity. There is thus a need to use bioinformatics and machine learning to effectively predict if a compound could be efficacious, which … Read More


Development of a personalized living chicken embryo avatar model to predict chemotherapeutic drug sensitivity/resistance

Challenge: Classical medical Avatar models involve implanting patient tumor samples in immunodeficient mice for subsequent drug testing to tailor the optimal drug or combination of drugs to a given patient. This strategy proves to be an excellent approach for personalized medicine in various cancer indications such as melanoma, lung cancer, and breast cancer. Nevertheless, this model has important limitations, including … Read More


Inducible human pluripotent stem cells to better understand and treat Parkinson’s disease and ALS

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are two of the most common and devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affecting one in 50 Canadians over 65 years old. A major roadblock to new drug development in neuroscience is the limited access to human neurons from affected patients. This limitation is now being addressed through the use of induced pluripotent stem … Read More

Wednesday September 25th, 2019


Engineering Endogenous Vesicles as a Drug Delivery Platform to Inhibit Gene Expression Using microRNAs and Silencing RNAs

Challenge: Silencing RNAs (siRNAs) are small nucleic acids that can inhibit virtually any gene. Because most diseases could benefit from shutting-down the action of a specific protein encoded by its gene, it is suggested that siRNAs could be used to treat virtually any diseases. However, naked siRNA is unstable in the bloodstream and cannot efficiently cross cell membranes. So far, … Read More


First-In-Class Melatonin MT2 Receptor Agonist for Neuropathic Pain: Investigational New Drug (IND) – Enabling Studies

Challenge: Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain disorder that can develop as a result of nerve damage caused by various medical conditions. Available treatments are very limited, and patients resort to using opioids to manage their pain, leading to dependence, tolerance and the so-called opioid-induced hyperalgesia, which is characterized by an increased pain after prolonged use of opioids. Research on … Read More


Genetic testing to guide therapeutic decision in diabetic patients of various ethnic backgrounds

Challenge: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the leading cause of cardiovascular and renal diseases. Although many treatments are available, they only partially reduce the risk of serious complications in diabetic patients. As a first step towards reducing diabetes-related morbidity and mortality, the team has developed a Polygenic Risk Score (PRS) in T2D Caucasian patients that combines with sex, age of … Read More


Identification of Tumor Specific Antigens to Develop Therapeutic Vaccines Against Acute Myeloid and Lymphoid Leukemias

Challenge: Acute myeloid and lymphoid leukemias (AML and ALL) are lethal hematologic cancers that affect both children and adults. Despite major progress in the treatment of pediatric AML and ALL, relapse and disease progression in patients with high-risk disease remain common problems. Furthermore, current drugs and radiotherapy treatments are associated with a wide array of long-term side effects. The idea … Read More

Tuesday September 24th, 2019


FlAsH-Walk Mapping: An Innovative Step-by-Step Approach to G Protein-Coupled Receptor Conformation Cartography

Challenge: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest target class for approved drugs. Identification of new drug candidates has relied exclusively on high-throughput assays which track binding properties and are limited to a restricted number of signaling pathways. GPCRs are highly dynamic proteins that undergo numerous conformational changes upon receptor association with ligands and related protein partners. The use of … Read More


Development of inhibitors for CUX1 and PARG, two novel therapeutic targets for hard-to-treat breast cancers

Challenge: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15 to 20 % of all breast cancer patients, but for about 25 % of all breast cancer deaths. There is currently no targeted treatment for TNBC, while only about 30 % of TNBCs are sensitive to conventional therapies. In addition, no more than 50 % of HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients respond … Read More

Thursday August 22nd, 2019


Intracellular delivery of antibodies and peptides using a peptide-based technology

Challenge: The popularity of therapeutic proteins has recently increased mostly due to their broad applicability, but the druggable space for biologics is still restricted to extracellular targets. Indeed, the number of potential targets either secreted or with extracellular domains represents only one-third of the proteome, thus significantly restricting attainable pathways. In parallel, intracellular delivery methods are still plagued by inefficiency … Read More


TRIple negative breast Cancer markers In liquid biopsies using Artificial intelligence (TRICIA study)

Challenge: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive form of breast cancer. Even in the early stages it is treated primarily by chemotherapy, often before surgery. The presence of remaining tumor after chemotherapy signals chemoresistance and poor prognosis resulting in the death of 30 to 40 % of patients with triple negative breast cancer within five years of … Read More


Developing open access protein degradation tools for drug discovery

Challenge: PROTACs (PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras) are bifunctional drugs that recruit a ubiquitin E3 ligase to a targeted protein, thereby catalyzing poly-ubiquitylation of the target and its subsequent degradation by the proteasome. PROTAC induced protein degradation offers advantages over classical enzyme inhibition: it acts via a catalytic instead of occupancy-based mechanism and shows superior efficacy with fewer off-target side effects and … Read More


Exploitation of a new pharmacological target for the development and validation of new anti-inflammatory drugs

Challenge: Neuroinflammation (NI) is involved in a diverse array of degenerative conditions, ranging from multiple sclerosis (MS) to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Although treatment options are available for MS their effectiveness is not uniform and long-term use has significant side effects. NI-based disorders remain an area of high unmet medical need and new approaches and targets are required to find … Read More


Integrating Tumour-Microenvironment Biomarkers to Improve Diagnostic and Facilitate Targeted Breast Cancer Therapy

Challenge: It has become increasingly clear that breast cancer progression, response to therapy and ultimately disease outcomes are determined not only by features of the tumour itself, but also by characteristics of, and interactions with the surrounding tissue, or stroma. Currently, stromal information is not used for patient stratification in clinical setting, trial design or retrospective analyses of drug efficacy … Read More


Development of a high throughput bioprinted 3D human tumor microenvironment assay that recreates immune “hot” and “cold” tumors

Challenge: Solid tumor growth is regulated by complex interactions of tumor cells with an assortment of adjacent non-malignant cells collectively referred to as the tumor microenvironment (TME). In “triple-negative breast cancer” (TNBC), which represents 15 to 20 % of all breast cancers, tumors can be characterized as “immune hot” or “immune cold” with respect to the level of infiltration of … Read More


Fragment-Based Lead Discovery: Bridging the Gap Between Screening and Hit-to-Lead Medchem using NMR Affinity Ranking

Challenge: One of the most promising strategies for discovering our future medications is via fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD). FBLD involves the screening of libraries of small molecules to first identify weak binders, essential to activate or inhibit a target protein involved in a particular disease. These binders are then synthetically matured to larger, more potent inhibitors/leads via medicinal chemistry design … Read More

Tuesday November 13th, 2018


Towards the Development of a New Class of Anti-GPCR Antibodies for the Treatment of Aggressive Cancers

Challenge: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent attractive biomarkers and therapeutic target classes in cancer research because their aberrant expression and activity are closely correlated with different stages of tumour initiation and progression. The development of small molecule anticancer drugs targeting GPCRs has so far proven to be quite challenging. Thus, there remains a need to identify new approaches to treating … Read More

Thursday November 8th, 2018


Integrating Functional and Genomic Profiling for Optimal Combination Therapies for Cancer Patients

Challenge: In recent years, a growing number of cancer patients have been treated with therapies targeting specific genetic alterations present in their tumors. Generally, this is done in combination with traditional chemotherapeutic agents that represent the standard of care. However, a systematic analysis to identify the most appropriate combination of chemo and targeted therapy to which a patient will favorably … Read More


Novel Non-Invasive Laser-Assisted Intraocular Drug Delivery System for an Efficient and Selective Gene Transfer Therapy

Challenge: Retinal degenerative diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, are the leading causes of vision loss and affect tens of millions of individuals in the world. Emerging solutions with nucleic acids and therapeutic genes show promise. However, there remains a void in effective and non-invasive drug delivery systems for the back of the eye, which has hindered the … Read More

Wednesday September 12th, 2018


Magnetically Guided Bacteria to Specifically Deliver Anti-Cancer Agents to Colorectal Cancer Sites

Challenge: Many cancers are treated with cocktails of chemotherapeutic drugs designed to prevent growth and spread of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy damages healthy cells, causing undesired side effects such as myelosuppression and cardiotoxicity. Localized drug therapy, if appropriately delivered could have a major impact on quality of life and treatment efficacy. Solution: The lead investigator has pioneered a revolutionary drug delivery … Read More


RecyTag technology for extended half-lives of small biologics

  Competition: Programme EXPLORE 2013 Funding: $499,000 / 2 years Platform technology aimed at increasing the half–life of small biologics by conjugating FcRn-binding molecules. Protein-based therapeutics, also called biologics, have recently made significant inroads into the pharmaceutical market, and are being used to treat chronic diseases and cancer. In addition to acting potently and specifically on their molecular targets, efficacious … Read More


Cycloinformatics: A Platform to Rapidly Produce Macrocyclic New Chemical Entities to inhibit Protein- Protein Interactions

Challenge: While small molecules have delivered great value for targets featuring small binding cavities, their use against challenging targets with featureless interfaces are quite limited. Although such targets are better tackled by biologics, such compounds usually have poor cell penetration and limited oral bioavailability. There is thus a need to design biologics, such as peptides, allying high information contents (chemically … Read More


IPPER, the Integrated Platform for the Pharmacology of the Endoplasmic Reticulum and protein trafficking diseases

Challenge: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress occurs when the folding of secreted proteins within the ER lumen is disturbed. The unfolded protein response (UPR) comprises several mechanisms. These adaptive responses attempt to overcome ER protein folding disturbances to promote cellular homeostasis and cell survival. ER stress and the UPR are implicated in many diseases such as neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes … Read More

Tuesday September 11th, 2018


New GPCR-Specific Biosensor Technology to Monitor Cellular Events Associated with Drugs Efficacy and Side Effects

Challenge: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) form the largest family of cell surface receptors involved in signal transduction of many hormones and transmitters. It follows that drugs targeting GPCRs represent close to 40% of all drugs on the market today. Recent discoveries regarding their function and mechanism of action help pave the way for the development of more selective therapeutics for … Read More


Acting on membrane protein-protein interactions: Mammalian Membrane Two Hybrid (MaMTH) as an Innovative Technology for Drug Discovery Against Protein- Protein Interactions

Challenge: Membrane proteins, representing approximately one-third of all proteins in a cell, interact with each other and are responsible for a variety of processes, making them attractive therapeutic targets for many diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, neurological disorders and various cancers. In fact, membrane proteins represent 60% of all clinical drug targets, however, they are still extremely difficult to study … Read More


Monitoring the Signaling Pathways of G Protein Coupled Receptors in Living Animals to Accelerate Drug Discovery

Challenge: Because they are involved in so many physiological processes, G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are engaged by roughly 40% of marketed drugs and remain a prime target for the development of new therapeutics. To test the activity of drug candidates, understanding their action on their target in living animals is essential. However, this goal represents a significant challenge due … Read More


Artificial Liver for Safer and more Effective Drugs: Three-Dimensional Liver Tissue Models for High-Throughput Screening of the Efficacy and Hepatotoxicity of Drugs

Challenge: Poor efficacy and unpredictable toxic effects are leading causes for the removal of drugs from the market. Many drugs act unpredictably in patients because the preclinical studies fail to accurately model human biology. In particular, the liver requires special attention as it is responsible for metabolizing drugs. Thus, improved liver models could identify and eliminate toxic and ineffective drugs … Read More


Monitoring Conformational Changes in Channel Proteins: A Novel Approach for Rapid Screening of Ion Channel Hits

Challenge: Ion channels are involved in numerous physiological functions, and as drug targets have been implicated in a wide range of pathological conditions. However, despite considerable effort, channel-targeted drug discovery has been hampered by the absence of adequate tools to functionally screen molecules that can modulate channel activity. Solution: The researchers have developed an innovative approach to identify compounds that … Read More


Unlocking a class of challenging drug targets using a next generation screening and lead development platform technology

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2015 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: April 2016 Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) play a crucial role in nearly all cellular processes. Protein complexes have been implicated in many debilitating human diseases, from cancer to viral infections. PPIs generally contain broad, shallow, and relatively featureless binding sites, hence they have historically been perceived as ‘undruggable’ targets in … Read More


A Novel Platform Combining Transcriptomics and Interaction Proteomics to Better Define Personalized Medicine in Cancer

Challenge: In the last decade, cancer genomics has shown that not all patient tumours are identical, and conversely that they will not respond similarly to anticancer agents. The key, therefore, is personalized (or precision) medicine whereby specific drugs will be given to a patient carrying a gene that will make their tumours sensitive to such drugs. However, the identification of genes … Read More


Dimer Interference: A novel Approach to Develop Galectin-7-Specific Inhibitors to treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Challenge: Galectins are a family of lectin proteins implicated in tumor progression and immune evasion. When produced in excess by cancer cells, galectins can form homodimers and bind glycans on the surface of T cells. This suppresses the local and systemic immune response in patients, helping tumors to escape immune surveillance and limiting the efficacy of immuno-oncology treatments. To date, … Read More


Circumventing the need for predictive biomarkers in personalized ovarian cancer therapies: empirical chemosensitivity testing using a microfluidics-based multiplex platform

Challenge: Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women. Only a fraction of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will respond to current therapies. In order to better tailor treatment to each patient, personalized medicine has turned to biomarkers that statistically evaluate the chances of a drug to be effective for a patient. Nevertheless, there is currently no … Read More


Facilitating Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery with Selective Inhibitors to Modulate the Protein Ubiquitination Process

Challenge: Human cells eliminate non-functional proteins using a sophisticated degradation pathway named the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), in which UPS enzymes attach a small protein called ubiquitin to damaged target proteins to tag them for degradation. However, abnormalities in protein degradation are frequently observed in many diseases, including cancer where aberrant control of protein degradation can lead to uncontrolled cell … Read More

Monday September 10th, 2018


In-vivo Solid Phase Microextraction Integrated with Mass Spectrometry Platform for Untargeted and Targeted Investigation of the Brain

Challenge: One of the major challenges currently faced by the pharmaceutical industry is the development of alternative approaches that allow the gathering of maximum information using a minimum number of animals. With regard to analytical instruments, mass spectrometers offer increasingly sensitive and quantitative determination of biological molecules. However, collected biological samples, especially tissues, require efficient sample preparation prior to mass … Read More


Catecholamine-Regulated Protein 40 (CRP40) as a New Candidate Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder afflicting 1 to 2% of the population over 65 years of age and for which there is neither a reliable diagnostic test nor cure. Since catecholamine-regulated protein 40 (CRP40) may be involved in regulation of dopamine in the brain, it represents a potential biomarker for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. … Read More

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