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Blueline Bioscience announces milestone achievement by all Blueline Drug Target Program grant winners
Date:1/6/2016

TORONTO, Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Blueline Bioscience, a Canadian biotechnology incubator based in Toronto's MaRS Discovery District and backed by venture capital firm Versant Ventures, today announced the first milestone achievement by all six of the Blueline Drug Target Program (BDTP) 2015 grant competition award winners. The competition provided a unique opportunity for academic researchers with novel drug targets and mechanisms of action to collaborate with Blueline towards the goal of translating their research discoveries into high impact therapeutics.

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Selected from over 180 applications and more than 40 Canadian research institutes, the six BDTP principal investigators collaborated with Blueline to fine-tune their 12-18 month research plans. The first milestone of each plan consisted of feasibility studies to test key hypotheses. The milestone achievements announced today unlock the second tranche of funding to support proof of concept studies defined in their plans. Once completed, promising programs will be positioned for future company creation and venture capital investment.

Stefan Larson, President of Blueline, stated, "We're very pleased with the early success of this innovative venture-backed grant program. The number and quality of applications highlights the need for increased funding and industry collaboration across Canada to translate academic discoveries into new therapeutics." Awardee Dr. Michael Rudnicki added, "This grant provided an extraordinary opportunity for both funding and venture collaboration to advance exciting translational stem cell research in my lab."

About the Blueline Drug Target Program Grant Winners
Leading academic researchers from across Canada were awarded grants for the top six proposals.

  • "Investigation of a novel protein interaction with mutant CFTR as a therapeutic target for treating Cystic Fibrosis" - Dr. Christine Bear, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Dr. Igor Stagljar, University of Toronto
  • "Integrin-Linked Kinase (ILK) as a novel cardiac target" - Dr. John Coles, SickKids and Dr. Jason Maynes, SickKids
  • "Investigations into a novel, unexplored signalling pathway in inflammation" - Dr. Philippe Gros, McGill University
  • "Investigations into novel polymer conjugates for the treatment of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma" - Dr. Urs Hafeli, University of British Columbia
  • "Development of eIF4F inhibitors" - Dr. Jerry Pelletier, McGill University
  • "In-niche stem cell screens to identify small molecule compounds that induce muscle satellite stem cell expansion" - Dr. Michael Rudnicki, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa

About Blueline Bioscience
Blueline Bioscience is a biotech incubator established by Versant Ventures in Toronto, Canada.  Headquartered in the MaRS Discovery District of Toronto, Blueline Bioscience works with academic and medical researchers to translate discoveries into early-stage biotechnology companies.

About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare investment firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great healthcare companies. The firm invests across the healthcare sector and at all stages of company development, with an emphasis on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. With $1.9 billion under management and offices in North America and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating, and scientific expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm's founding in 1999, nearly 40 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. For more information, please visit www.versantventures.com.


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