The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Boosting Canadian Commercialization at the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research

Alex Philippidis ran a great story at GenomeWeb last week on the OICR’s plans for 2010, which include hiring 40 more staff, growing informatics capabilities and providing additional support for its Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization program.

On the commercialization front, the news is particularly exciting.  OICR has already been willing to participate in novel initiatives like POP-CURE, and has now hired two executives with extensive industry experience:

Franklin Stonebanks, the new chief commercial officer, “founded global life-science advisory firm Blackcomb Advisors; served as president and CEO of Cynvec; and held managerial positions in the venture funds of Johnson & Johnson and IBM, where he also led its healthcare and life science mergers-and-acquisitions effort.”

Nicole Onetto, the new deputy director, was “senior VP and chief medical officer of ZymoGenetics, and earlier served as executive VP and chief medical officer of OSI Pharmaceuticals. She was international project leader for Taxol, and led the clinical development of Tarceva (erlotinib) for non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Canada.”

The OICR team has already invested over $5 million in 12 startups, three of which have since been acquired.  The funded projects include imaging technologies, biomarkers and new therapeutics.  These two should be great additions, and together with Rafi Hofstein, are raising the international profile of Canadian innovation.

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