Discovering the mechanism of action of a novel immunotherapy, Cat-SPIRE, using a network analysis

Allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory condition of the nasal passages induced after allergen exposure in sensitized individuals. Approximately 20-25% of Canadians suffer from allergic rhinitis, with cat allergy affecting up to 15% of people with allergic rhinitis and/or asthma. Although existing immunotherapies have some effectiveness, these have safety problems and require long-term treatment.

Defining cell therapies using CNS tissue sources in living Parkinson's Disease patients

There is a critical need for new therapies for Parkinson’s Disease (PD), a devastating neurodegenerative disease. Current therapies for PD treat disease symptoms, but do not provide a cure. The ability to generate patient brain-derived cells may rapidly advance development of personalized therapies for PD and other incurable neurological disorders. This study will use brain samples from living patients with PD to develop viable human cells specialized to deliver deficient brain chemicals that restore and protect neurological function.

Intracellular growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: prospects for drug discovery

The success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the infectious agent of tuberculosis (TB), lies in its ability to primarily infect, reside, and multiply in the lungs of patients. Mtb infects white blood cells termed alveolar macrophages and hides from the host immune response as well as from many antibiotics used for treatment, creating additional challenges for anti-TB drug discovery. With the increasing prevalence of multi- and extremely- drug-resistant tuberculosis in several countries, there is a pressing need for new drugs against Mtb.

Tailoring Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy to Rescue Marginal DCD Livers for Transplantation

Today 25% of patients listed for liver transplantation die waiting for a liver to become available. The donor organ pool could be expanded by rescuing the 50% of livers donated after cardiac death (DCD) that are discarded due to the injury caused by prolonged periods of warm ischemia during organ retrieval. Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair.

Novel Biomarker Identification for Human Cytomegalovirus Disease in Transplant Patients

Organ transplants save patients with severe end stage organ failure but the need for subsequent lifelong immunosuppression can lead to a number of undesired consequences including the reactivation of viruses of donor or recipient origin. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is the most common opportunistic infection in transplant patients and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality.

Design and validation of a novel peptide immunotherapeutic for the treatment of dog allergies

Adiga Life Sciences Inc. developed a novel immunotherapeutic platform in which small components (peptides) of allergen proteins are identified and administered in a regimen that causes immune cells to become non-responsive towards the allergens. In a phase II clinical trial, the cat allergy treatment developed by Adiga using this platform reduced allergic symptoms in allergic subjects. However, the mechanism of action of the peptide treatment is still not fully understood.

Expanding the capabilities of a neurosurgery software platform to provide clinical solutions for advanced spinal cord imaging and intra-operative guidance

Pathologic changes that occur in the cervical spinal cord as a result of injury and disease are not well characterized with current clinical imaging techniques. Synaptive Medical has recently developed a suite of innovative medical imaging products focused on the brain and image-guided neurosurgery. They are interested in investigating the potential application of these technologies beyond the brain.

Assessment of the neuroprotective effects of a novel natural product derived formulation for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

"Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects approximately 1.5% of the global population over age 65. Current therapeutic interventions for PD are typically limited to attempts to correct the depletion of dopamine once motor symptoms become moderate to severe. Interventions with the potential to improve the cognitive function and quality of life of Parkinson’s patients by modulating non-motor symptoms, as well as interventions with the potential to slow the rate of loss of dopaminergic neurons and to delay symptom emergence remain an unmet need.

The use of improved antibody drug conjugates for targeted treatment of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer in Canada, however progress in the development of safer and more effective therapies has been slow. The use of antibody drug conjugates (ADC) is a promising therapeutic option that would allow for targeted killing of cancer cells, if the obstacle of getting the drug inside the cell can be overcome. The proposed research project aims to use iProgen's Antibody Internalization Domain technology to engineer ADCs targeted to bladder cancer, which can be readily taken into the cell.

Daily Health Guide: Decision support for fitness/weight management using Personal Health Records

We will build a prototype system that can be used to give a personalized recommendation for the ideal fitness/weight loss regimen for a consumer given their personal health record data. This will be based on building a relational probabilistic model that is based on standard medical ontologies, initially on expert knowledge, and can make predictions from personal health records. The system will be evaluated against experts in exercise physiology and metabolic endocrinology.