Promotive Communications

Lab Focus February March 2017

Laboratory Focus is Canada's leading editorial-based lab publication. Providing readers with the latest technology updates through application and tech notes, as well as covering new products and trends in laboratories across Canada.

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3 Laboratory Focus February/March 2017 news biocanrx, and Partners, announce fundinG to manufacture first made-in- canada car-t cells ElEctrophysiology laboratory opEns at Montréal hEart institutE and clinical research based on the latest scientific discoveries in cancer immunotherapy and to aggregate, as well as share data to help accelerate cancer research. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths in the coun- try. In fact, two out of five Canadians (45 per cent of men and 42 per cent of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes. "Cancer is a complex disease, and one that poses a significant burden across the world," said Ronnie Miller, president and CEO, Roche Canada. "As a research-driven organization, Roche is proud to have the Princess Marga- ret Cancer Centre join the imCORE Network to help us better understand immune biology and cancer, and to ultimately improve treatment options." The imCORE Network is comprised of 21 academic centres, inclusive of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, from nine countries across the globe, working together to access and share technology, data and expertise to ad- vance science. continued on page 4 continued from page 2 "The imCORE Network provides a great opportunity for academic centres like ours to collaborate and explore new concepts, both in the laboratory and in the clinic," said Dr. Lillian Siu, medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Cen- tre and site lead for the imCORE Network. "This type of collective learning is exactly what is needed to make important progress in a field as fast-moving as cancer im- munotherapy." As a part of a global announcement regarding the launch of the imCORE OTTAWA, ON – BioCanRx and its partners are funding 16 col- laborative research projects aimed at developing clinical Chimeric Antigen Receptor modified T cell (CAR-T) manufacturing capabilities in Canada. According to the organization, CAR-Ts are a powerful new tool for treating cancer and have begun to provide hope to patients with- out other therapeutic options to treat and cure their disease. Such therapies are also considered on the cutting edge of cancer thera- peutics and have shown promise in paediatric and adult patients with certain blood cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma. While promising, the develop- ment of such therapies also require sophisticated manufacturing and expertise. Canada currently does have the basic laboratory infrastruc- ture in place, but this new funding will be used to fully develop the expertise and capacity required to deliver this technology. Additionally, the research proj- ects will advance several innovative engineered T cell designs, benefit- ing from this infrastructure and ca- pacity investment, and accelerate delivery of these novel concepts into clinical testing in Canada. Dr. John Bell, scientific director, BioCanRx adds that this CAR-T manufacturing initiative is unique in that it shows that Canada's academic community recognizes MONTRéAL, QC – A new electrophysi- ology laboratory (EP Lab), equipped with robotic and magnetic navigation, and dedicated to studying congenital heart diseases in Canada has opened at the Montréal Heart Institute (MHI). Dr. Denis Roy, cardiologist and ex- ecutive director of the Institute calls the addition of the EP lab an advance- ment that benefits patients from across Canada and beyond. He adds that just a few decades ago, most children presenting with serious forms of con- genital heart diseases died during child- hood; today however, more than 90 per cent survive until adulthood, which leads to a rapid increase in the patient population presenting with congenital heart diseases. Thanks to this new robotic magnetic navigation platform, and combined with the expertise of its medical team, Roy believes the MHI has strengthened its international lead- ership position in the treatment of adult congenital heart diseases. "This Canadian first will benefit not only Québec patients and those hailing from other provinces, but it will also benefit patients from abroad," he says. "Thanks to this new (EP) lab, we will be able to perform interventions to treat arrhythmia in patients present- ing with the most complex forms of cardiac malformations," adds Dr. Paul Khairy, cardiologist-electrophysiologist and director of the Adult Congenital Heart Centre at the MHI. He explains that robotic magnetic navigation enables complex interven- tions aimed at mitigating arrhythmia by destroying the responsible electric cells and thus restoring a normal car- diac rhythm. "Thanks to the robotic and mag- netic system, we can effectively and accurately guide catheters in a safe manner through complex anatomies caused by cardiac malformations," says Khairy. "The first patients we treated with this new modality pre- sented with serious forms of congeni- tal heart diseases. A catheter ablation would not have been a viable option in those cases if it weren't for the so- phisticated functionalities this robotic magnetic navigation platform offers." Construction of the lab was made possible with the support of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, St-Jude Medi- cal, Dalfen Family Foundation and the Montréal Heart Institute Foundation. To see this story online visit physiology-laboratory-opens-at-Mon- tréal-heart-institute Network, Roche is investing up to 100 million Swiss Francs (more than $130 million Canadian dollars) to support ba- sic and clinical research collaborations related to cancer immunotherapy. The investment is incremental to Roche's on-going research and development of investigational medicines and treat- ment approaches in the field of cancer immunotherapy. To see this story online visit margaret-cancer-centre-joins-roches- global-cancer-research-network Dr. Denis Roy, Dr. Laurent Macle, Mr. Keeron Tom, Dr. Paul Khairy and Mrs. Melanie La Couture (CNW Group/Montréal Heart Institute Foundation)

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