BioCanRX and Partners Announce Funding for Eight New Projects


OTTAWA, ON – Tuesday, May 29th, 2018


BioCanRx and its partners are pleased to announce $22,564,174 in funding towards eight new projects: two clinical trials, two Enabling Study projects, three Catalyst projects, and one Clinical, Social & Economic Impact project. These projects come out of the latest round of BioCanRx’s full applications.


Funding partners for these projects include Adaptive Biotechnologies, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), Centre d’excellence en thérapie cellulaire (CETC), Centre de recherche du l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) Cancer Axis Immune Monitoring Platform, Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) Research Center, CHEO Foundation, CHUM Leukapheresis Unit, Debiopharm International SA, EMD Serono, Flutter Foundation, Fondation Charles Bruneau, Institut du Cancer de Montréal (ICM) , Merck Canada, Merck KGaA, Miltenyi Biotec, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Ontario Research Fund- Research Excellence (ORF-RE), Pall Biotech, Pfizer, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation – University Health Network, Turnstone Biologics, and Wilson Wolf Corporation.


These eight research projects feature partnerships from across the BioCanRx network, with teams comprised of researchers, clinicians and trainees collaborating to find improved therapies and better outcomes for cancer patients.


Below are the objectives for the eight-funded projects:


Clinical Trials:


  • Dr. Marcus Butler’s clinical trial aims to assess the feasibility and safety of a combination therapy approach using Merck’s pembrolizumab treatment following lymphodepleting chemotherapy, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) administration, and low dose IL-2.
  • Dr. Glenwood Goss’ clinical trial aims to understand the immune mechanisms at play prior to and after exposure to Debiopharm’s SMAC mimetic Debio1143 with the anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab (Pfizer- EMD Serono/ Merck KGaA) combination therapy in order to identify sensitive populations and biomarkers of efficacy that will drive further development.


Enabling Studies:


  • Dr. John Bell’s Enabling Study project aims to prepare a made-in-Canada optimized Oncolytic Vaccinia virus product (OncoVac) with enhanced cancer cell killing and immune stimulation, for translation into clinical trials in Canada.
  • Dr. David Stojdl’s Enabling Study project aims to discover, engineer, validate, and clinically test an oncolytic vaccine therapeutic to treat patients with Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).


Catalyst Projects:


  • Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo’s Catalyst project aims to develop a new oncolytic virus vaccine combination strategy optimized to target sarcoma.
  • Dr. Michel Duval’s Catalyst project aims to optimize dosage of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), as a therapeutic strategy to prevent leukemia relapse.
  • Dr. Simon Turcotte’s Catalyst project aims to optimize a cell sorting strategy for PD1-expressing tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes with heightened tumour reactivity in patients.


Clinical, Social and Economic Impact Study:


  • Dr. William Wong’s Clinical, Social and Economic Impact project aims to use an innovative approach to establish a policy framework to support the decision-making process regarding the implementation and reimbursement of future CAR T-cell therapy.


Read the eight new full project summaries:


Phase Ib trial of pembrolizumab administered following adoptive cell therapy- A multiple cohort study; The ACTIVATE (Adoptive Cell Therapy InVigorated to Augment Tumor Eradication) Trial.


Interrogation of Biomarkers in Patient Samples from a Phase Ib Trial of the Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor, Avelumab, in Combination with SMAC Mimetic Debio1143


Development of a Novel, Phase 1-Ready, Viro-Immunotherapeutic


Oncolytic Rhabdovirus Immunotherapy for Brain Cancer


Anti-DEC205 priming in heterologous prime-boost with OVs for sarcoma


Ground-breaking immunotherapy to prevent acute lymphoblastic leukemia relapse: dosage and therapeutic settings of plasmacytoid dendritic cell infusions


Improving adoptive cell transfer immunotherapy with clinical-grade cell sorting of tumor-reactive T cells infiltrating solid tumors


Developing System-level Policy Model for regenerative medicine and cell therapy in Oncology