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MaRS Innovation and CDRD announce strategic collaboration


Toronto, ON and Vancouver, BC – MaRS Innovation and the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) have entered into an agreement to collaborate on projects of mutual interest with a goal to advance and commercialize early-stage health-related discoveries.

The partnership “provides an opportunity for the two organizations to augment each other’s strengths, and leverage resources to generate attractive packages for potential partners, thereby supporting both of our organizations’ mandates of commercializing promising academic research,” said Dr Rafi Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation.

The first joint project arising out of this collaboration involves technology developed by Dr Paul Fraser (University of Toronto) and Dr Bruce Verchere (University of British Columbia), who are investigating amyloid aggregation inhibitors as a novel approach to address the treatment of diabetes.

“As the inventor, I am looking forward to seeing this innovative technology progress even further by combining the extensive medicinal chemistry work of my lab with the diabetes-specific expertise of Dr Verchere. The support of MI and CDRD will accelerate and augment the development of this program,” said Dr Fraser, professor and Diener Chair for neurodegenerative diseases at the University of Toronto.

“We believe this technology has the potential to be disease modifying and could create a new paradigm for treating Type 2 Diabetes. Working with MI and CDRD will provide us with project management oversight, funding support, and access to extensive drug development personnel and infrastructure,” said Dr Bruce Verchere, professor and Irving K Barber Chair in diabetes research at the University of British Columbia. Dr Verchere is also head of the diabetes research program at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI).