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ÉRIC BOILARD

In vivo demonstration of potency to improve impaired efferocytosis and control inflammation related to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)


Challenge: Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body immune system attacks its own tissues, causing inflammation and tissue damage. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common type. It affects 1/1000 individuals, mostly women. In healthy people, more than 50 billion cells die daily as part of a normal biological mechanism: replacing old cells by new ones. … Read More

Monday January 24th, 2022


MOHAMED BENDERDOUR

Topic nanovectors for targeted gene therapy of cutaneous psoriasis


Challenge: Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that manifests itself as scaly patches, especially on the elbows, knees and scalp. The skin undergoes a profound modification of the epidermis, with an infiltration of inflammatory cells and increased proliferation of skin cells. Inflammatory modulators called Interleukin (IL) -17 and -23 have been identified as key factors in this disease. These … Read More

Monday January 17th, 2022


PHILIPPE JOUBERT

Development and Evaluation of a Multimodal Approach to Predict Lung Cancer Risk and Determine EGFR Mutation Profile in a Lung Cancer Screening Population


Challenge: Lung cancer is the most lethal cancer in industrialized countries, with different studies showing that its high mortality can be reduced through an early diagnosis. Implementation of a lung cancer screening program for patients at high risk of developing the disease has been recently recommended by the Quebec National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS). This program … Read More

Tuesday January 11th, 2022


DAVID Y. THOMAS

VIPER, the lentiviral IPPER platform for drug discovery in trafficking diseases. IPPER-accelerated development of pharmacological correctors for cystic fibrosis


Challenge: Drug discovery by high-throughput screening of candidate compounds faces challenges and needs the development and validation of specific platforms. An example of complex diseases that would benefit from such platforms is cystic fibrosis, a lung disease caused by genetics and aggravated by air pollution. An immediate response of bronchial epithelial cells to pollution is the downregulation of CFTR from the cell … Read More

Friday January 7th, 2022


DAVID Y. THOMAS

Development of pharmacological correctors for Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (ATD) using VIPER


Challenge: Drug discovery by high-throughput screening of candidate compounds is usually limited in efficacy as their functional potential is not assessed in relevant biological systems, such as patient cells, during this first selection; new platforms are needed that enable functional testing within specific biological systems. An example of protein trafficking that would benefit from such platforms is Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (ATD), an orphan disease, whose behaviour in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is complex, rendering the design of therapeutic candidates difficult. Solution: The primary goal … Read More


PHILIPPE SÉGUÉLA

Discovery of analgesic drugs targeting the acid-sensing ion channel family


Challenge: Chronic pain affects at least 20% of the population and its societal costs exceed those of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes combined. Most chronic pain patients report many significant side effects from the current opiate-based treatments, including opioid addiction, and these treatments are not highly effective. New, non-opioid therapeutics are therefore needed. Solution: Professor Séguéla, an international expert and … Read More


MASSIMILIANO PAGANELLI

The Encapsulated Liver Tissue as a treatment for acute liver failure: proof-of-concept efficacy and safety in large animals using liver organoids composed of primary cells


Challenge: Acute Liver Failure (ALF) is an extremely severe, progressive syndrome resulting from a sudden insult on the liver that exceeds the organ’s innate regenerative capacity. No effective treatment exists for ALF except for liver transplant, which is limited by organ shortage, heavy morbidity and need of lifelong immunosuppression treatments. Temporary replacement of liver functions while the patient’s own liver … Read More

Wednesday January 5th, 2022


MOHAMMAD A. QADIR

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

Thursday December 3rd, 2020


TULLY MICHAEL UNDERHILL

Platform to target small-molecule therapeutics to bone – Novel prodrugs to selectively deliver therapeutics to bone


Challenge: Musculoskeletal diseases represent the second largest contributor to disability worldwide (WHO). Despite efforts made in the past few years, drugs development in bone therapy is challenging. Indeed, bone is a difficult tissue to drug due to its material properties and limited vascularity, requiring high drug doses and frequent administration to achieve efficacy. Most FDA approved bone therapeutics are focused … Read More

Wednesday December 2nd, 2020


ÉRIC MARSAULT

Bacterial ATP synthase inhibitors – A novel approach toward antibiotics targeting difficult-to-treat Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial infections


Challenge: Despite the availability of antibiotics, bacterial infections remain a major and growing health threat. Antibiotic resistance is a leading cause of deadly hospital-acquired infections worldwide. In 2017, the World Health Organization published a list of high-level threats bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed. Among them, Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and its persistent forms, Methicillin-resistant SA (MRSA) and Pseudomonas … Read More


THOMAS DURCAN

Development of a high throughput 3D microphysiological platform for rapid automated assessment of human brain organoids response to drugs targeting neurological disorders


Challenge: Showing architectural similarities with the real human brain, brain organoids offer a promising avenue for understanding human biology, disease processes and for the development and validation of drugs to treat brain-related diseases. By engineering personalized organoids from the reprogrammed cells of patients, scientists can study disease in a very individualized way. However, brain organoids are not yet suited to … Read More

Wednesday November 25th, 2020


RATMIR DERDA

Macrocyclic peptides as the next-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics


Challenge: When considering drug discovery, the pharmaceutical industry faces many challenges. Indeed, each drug class, namely small molecules, antibodies or peptides-based therapeutics, possesses its own characteristics and comes with its own challenges. While presenting similar features than peptides in terms of activity, selectivity and potency, macrocycle peptides also present enhanced permeability and stability towards proteases. Macrocycles are also ideally positioned … Read More


*GAÉTAN MAYER

Development of a new class of oral and highly potent non-statin LDL-cholesterol lowering therapeutics for patients at high cardiovascular risk


Challenge: Blood level of cholesterol-rich low-density lipoproteins (LDLc) is directly correlated with the incidence of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk. Statins, currently the most prescribed class of lipid-lowering drugs, reduce LDLc by increasing LDL receptor (LDLR) gene expression. However, while being on maximally tolerated lipid-lowering therapy, a majority of high-risk patients still have uncontrolled LDLc and remain at high risk of … Read More

Friday November 20th, 2020


MIKE SAPIEHA

Development of novel biologic inhibitors of Semaphorin3A 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


YVES FRADET

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


YVES ST-PIERRE

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


*NATHAN YOGANATHAN

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


*CARL HANSEN

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


DAVID JUNCKER

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


*XIAOLONG YANG

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


YVES FRADET

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


BORHANE ANNABI

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


*JEFFREY COULL

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


*DANIEL CHELSKY

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


*ROB HUTCHISON

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


*PATRICK VERMETTE

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


*PATRICK VERMETTE

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


*GORDON SHORE

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


*JASON MAYNES

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


RICHARD MARTEL

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


*RICHARD KREMER

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


*HENRY KRAUSE

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


*RICHARD HOGE

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


*HENRY KRAUSE

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


BRIAN CHEN

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


*MICHEL G. BERGERON

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


*MICKEY BHATIA

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


*JACQUES CORBEIL

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


CLAIRE DUBOIS

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


EDWARD FON

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


*DERRICK GIBBINGS

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


GABRIELLA GOBBI

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


*PAVEL HAMET

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 had developed a Polygenic Risk Score (PRS) in T2D Caucasian patients that combines data on sex, age of onset and diabetes duration to better predict risks of complications. Because ethnicity and genetic … Read More


*CLAUDE PERREAULT

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


*TERRY HÉBERT

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


*ALAIN NEPVEU

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


*FRÉDÉRIC CALON

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


MARK BASIK

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


CHERYL ARROWSMITH

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


*PHILIPPE GROS

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


*MORAG PARK

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


MORAG PARK

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


*STEVEN LAPLANTE

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


*FERNAND GOBEIL JR

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


*MATHIEU PERRÉE

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


*MICHEL MEUNIER

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


*SYLVAIN MARTEL

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


TRAIAN SULEA

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


*ANDREI YUDIN

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


*DAVID Y. THOMAS

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


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