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KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network and CIMTEC Announce Multi-year Collaboration to Tackle Aggressive Cancers

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KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (KalGene) is expediting development of a prognostic marker and companion therapeutic that specifically targets aggressive cancers. 

“KalGene is focused on growth, with a vision to be a world class oncology company bringing targeted medicines to patients, says Dr. Nathan Yoganathan, President and Chief Scientific Officer at KalGene. We are developing precision medicine tools that provide more effective cancer therapeutics that will also significantly alleviate patient suffering during treatment and improve overall quality of life.”

Precision medicine seeks to predict which patients will respond to a particular therapy in advance of treatment. This allows physicians to only prescribe treatment to the individuals who are most likely to benefit. 

KalGene has several projects in its pipeline ranging from early stage research to clinical trials. The current project focuses on metastatic disease, an unmet medical need for breast, colon and brain cancer. KalGene’s principals, Dr. John Gillard and Dr. Nathan Yoganathan believe they have a unique solution and are enlisting the expertise of Canadian and international partners.

The complex project is a multi-stage and multi-year undertaking involving Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC); Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI); and Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network (OCBN) at Queen’s University.

CIMTEC is providing project management services and coordinating the expertise of world-leading research laboratories in multiple cities. In addition, its engineers are creating digital pathology algorithms to quantify new biomarkers.

Sunnybrook Research Institute’s Biomarker Imaging Research Laboratory (BIRL), headed by Dr. Martin Yaffe, and Angiogenic Signalling Laboratory, headed by Dr. Dan Dumont, respectively, are providing extensive expertise in optimizing multiplexed immunohistochemistry imaging; and characterizing the structure and function of specific antibodies to develop a therapeutic that targets aggressive cancers.

The Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network (OCBN), through its laboratory operations at Queen’s University under the direction of Dr. Harriet Feilotter, is further contributing to the optimization of IHC staining and providing avenues for expert clinical review. Dr. Ken Evans, CEO of OCBN says, “We’re excited to be part of this team effort, and to provide and build upon our laboratory services in this important area.”

“CIMTEC is proud to be a key partner in the development of KalGene’s advanced cancer diagnostic system”, says Bart Sullivan, CEO of CIMTEC. “We are contributing expert knowledge of the medical imaging landscape in Canada, connections to clinician-scientists and academic institutions, and extensive technology development and project management expertise to support KalGene’s success.” 

Dr. Martin Yaffe, Principal Investigator, Biomarker Imaging Research Laboratory at Sunnybrook Research Institute, says, “KalGene’s initiative is a great example of the role biomarkers can play in delivering more individualized patient therapies.”

Source: CNW