Innovation to Commercialization Award

Cellular resolution OCT for clinical ophthalmology

Two of the leading causes of irreversible vision loss in developed countries are age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). These diseases lead to the death of photoreceptors, the light-sensitive cells in the retina located at the back of the eye.

Treatments are currently available for “wet” AMD and DR, but there are currently no effective treatments for “dry” AMD. The key to preserving sight is early diagnosis, and monitoring the effects of the novel therapies in development.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

An advanced wearable robotic exoskeleton for assisting people with lower limb disabilities

Human locomotion is influenced by many factors, including neuromuscular and joint disorders that affect the functionality of joints and can cause partial or complete paralysis. Reduced mobility is estimated to affect over 1.5 million people in the United States alone. Many individuals require mobility assistive technologies to keep up with their daily life, and the demand for these devices increases with age.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018
Partners: 

AAPLE-Walk: A novel gait-mimicking exercise machine for cardiovascular fitness and rehabilitation

Heart disease and diabetes are just two of many conditions that can occur in people after a spinal cord injury (SCI). Exercise can play a significant role in mitigating the risks associated with these conditions, but typical exercise options for people with SCI or other lower limb disabilities are usually limited to seated upper body exercise (for example, wheeling or hand cycling).

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Novel infection resistant coating for indwelling urinary devices

Urinary catheters are polymer tubes inserted into the bladder to drain urine. Over 25% of patients in hospital are fitted with a catheter during their stay. These tubes are a major cause of infection in hospitalized patients and result in longer hospital stays with skyrocketing health care costs and may result in death. In fact, infections acquired in hospitals are the fourth leading cause of death in hospitalized patients. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Engineered T regulatory cells to treat Crohn's disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an incurable disease that affects about 230,000 Canadians. People with IBD suffer from diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, intestinal blockages, and other complications. Current treatments can control symptoms in many people, but they are not curative, and can have side effects like increased risk of infections. The causes of IBD are so far unknown.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Novel PET imaging agents for prostate cancer detection

Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging provides the most accurate and sensitive detection of cancer in patients. Yet PET is challenged by cumbersome methods that impede the clinical production of PET imaging agents and diminish their distribution and use. A critical unmet need for PET imaging is access to user-friendly methods to simplify and speed up time-sensitive radiosynthesis to deliver imaging agents to clinics.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Treatment of sinusitis

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is an inflammation of the nasal sinuses, and is one of the most common medical complaints in North America, affecting up to 16% of the population. It leads to around 24 million physician visits per year, with an aggregated cost of more than $6 billion. Although the pathophysiology behind CRS isn’t fully understood, it appears to be largely triggered by bacterial biofilm infections. The microbes associated with these biofilms are diverse, and treatment options (including antibiotics) are limited and often fail to cure the disease.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Molecular classification for stratification and improved clinical management of endometrial cancers

In the current landscape of endometrial cancers (ECs), there is a shortfall in the management, treatment and evaluation of EC patients. Treatment tends to not be standardized, patients are commonly over- or under-treated, and diverse ECs are grouped together in clinical trials. Because of this inconsistency in diagnosis, it is difficult, if not impossible, to properly assess and compare how different treatments work.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Servo-controlled device to maintain physiological functioning

300,000 individuals live with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the US alone, of which 180,000 suffer from orthostatic hypotension, sudden falls in blood pressure upon standing. Such dysregulated blood pressure can also be caused by multiple sclerosis, autonomic failure, autonomic neuropathy, or neurological cancers. A high quality, efficient, and cost effective method is needed to help these individuals regulate their blood pressure.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Liquid skin substitute accelerates burn and non-healing wounds

Self-expanded mesh grafts are routinely used to treat large burn injuries and skin defects. Although this treatment saves lives, the healed tissue has a fish net-like appearance, a disfigurement that can be devastating for patients. Furthermore, chronic and non-healing wounds seen in the elderly and diabetic patients and those with disabilities such as spinal cord injured patients are the most difficult and costly to treat. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Smart Text Analytic Tools (STAT) for analysis of patient-centred communications to strengthen health systems in BC

Healthcare stakeholders, including health authorities, facilities, pharmaceutical companies and insurers are increasingly acknowledging the importance of big data to enhance understanding of health behaviours and health systems. Existing analytic tools available to navigate the volume of diverse data types at a frequency that can match the speed at which data is generated are in early stages of development, and often lack validation due to limited access to health data.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Near infrared spectroscopy for the hemodynamic monitoring of acute spinal cord injury

One of the only treatments that could potentially improve paralysis in patients who have suffered an acute traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is the elevation of the mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) to provide enough blood supply to the injured spinal cord. It is, however, difficult to know what the MAP target should be for a given patient to optimize their neurologic recovery. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Genomic Organization At Large (GOALS) predicts aggressive biological behaviour in prostate and breast cancers

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer for men in North America. Prostate cancer deaths have been in decline since the mid-1990s after the discovery of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA), which, when used for screening, results in a steep increase in the number of early diagnoses. A large percent of these PSA-detected cases do not express clinically, are slow growing, and do not require treatment, and therefore do not contribute significantly to overall mortality. Conversely, some slow growing cancers are very aggressive and result in death. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

Development of a novel organ preservation solution in transplantation

There is a need to improve donor organ preservation strategies to meet donor organ requirements for transplantation. Strategies such as cold flushing and organ preservation solutions are common practices to mitigate organ damage incurred during the transplant procurement, transport and implantation processes, but these solutions can be inadequate for marginal or extended criteria donors (ECD) that are being used in response to increased demand. New organ preservation solutions that are more effective in protecting donor organs, particularly from ECD, are required to fill this gap.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

DNA-PK inhibitors for use in combination with radiation therapy

Half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy, impacting about seven million people worldwide each year. Enhancing tumour sensitivity to radiotherapy would have a far reaching and significant impact on patients with many kinds of cancer. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

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