“IP&C’s success in transitioning life sciences technologies from lab to market, which can be a decade-long process and require substantial investment dollars, hinges on strategically positioning our innovations for external partnerships. Fostering a robust culture of innovation and entrepreneurship helps accelerate SickKids’ world-class clinical and research discoveries towards partnership and maximum patient impact.”
– Ihor Boszko, Executive Director, Industry Partnerships & Commercialization
Every day, new discoveries are developing in SickKids laboratories, but it can be challenging to understand what it takes to turn innovative ideas into clinically useful products or services that can benefit patients. Industry Partnerships & Commercialization (IP&C) is the hub of technology transfer and commercialization at SickKids, helping fast-track promising scientific and clinical research discoveries into real-world applications, while generating financial returns for the organization.
Over the past three fiscal years, 137 licensing deals have closed, and over $11.1 million in gross revenue has been generated for the hospital. To promote our top innovations to external investors and partners, the annual SickKids Innovation Showcase helps profile the most advanced projects ready for partnership. In only two years, the showcase has catalyzed several deals for the SickKids Research Institute. With the goal of fostering a culture of innovation at SickKids, each year the IP&C office also presents an ongoing education series on best practices and realities of commercializing health sciences technologies.
Our hard work is paying off. A cancer research discovery made by Dr. Jayne Danska, Senior Scientist at SickKids, alongside University Health Network collaborators, led to a product at the centre of a large industry acquisition of Trillium Therapeutics, a UHN-SickKids start-up. SickKids also signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Providence Therapeutics for an immunotargeting technology platform building on the work of SickKids Senior Scientist Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien and Dr. Brian Barber, Emeritus of the University of Toronto. Working closely with IP&C to commercialize his Multabody (MULTi-specific, multi-Affinity antiBODY) platform, which uses a unique design to simultaneously target multiple sites on a pathogen to effectively deliver neutralizing antibodies, most recently applied to fight COVID-19, Julien is also behind the creation of a start-up company, Radiant Biotherapeutics. Currently raising their Series A funding, Radiant Biotherapeutics is leveraging the Multabody platform to develop first-in-class therapies.