Press Releases

Life Sciences Ontario Announces Recipients of 2018 LSO Awards

TORONTO– LSO today announced the recipients of its 2018 LSO Awards, recognizing outstanding individuals and companies contributing to the success of Ontario’s life sciences sector. The awards will be presented during LSO’s Celebration of Success Awards Dinner at Toronto’s Liberty Grand, February 28, 2018.

The 2018 awardees are as follows:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ilse Treurnicht, Former CEO, MaRS Discovery District
  • Community Service Award: George Mallay, Past General Manager, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
  • Volunteer Award: Shanna Brisebois, Manager, Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
  • Life Science Company of the Year: Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The LSO Awards are an important part of the organization’s mandate to advocate for Ontario’s life sciences sector, by celebrating the individuals and companies behind its success.

“This year’s LSO Award recipients represent an outstanding group of Ontario life sciences innovators who have made an enormous impact on our sector,” says LSO President and CEO Jason Field. “Ontario’s life sciences sector holds the key to our economic and social prosperity – and it is fueled by the contributions of talented and hardworking individuals.”

To register for LSO’s 2018 Celebration of Success Awards Dinner, click here.

To explore sponsorship opportunities, contact: admin@lifesciencesontario.ca

Biographies

Ilse Treurnicht, Former CEO, MaRS Discovery District

Lifetime Achievement Award

For the past 12 years, Ilse Treurnicht has overseen the development of the MaRS Centre, an innovation hub located in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District, as well as the launch and growth of MaRS’ broad suite of programs and partnerships. Today, the 1.5-million-sq.-ft. facility offers specialized infrastructure to leading research groups, startups and young scaling firms, multinational businesses and investors – drawing 6,000 people from 150+ organizations to work there every day.

MaRS supports innovators and entrepreneurs building high-impact growth businesses, providing connections to critical talent, capital, and customer networks. In addition, MaRS works with partners to accelerate the adoption and diffusion of innovation in regulated sectors, with a special focus on modernizing procurement, liberating data, and developing outcomes-based funding models in the health sector.

Ilse joined MaRS in 2005 from her role as CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund. She has been a research scientist and entrepreneur, with senior roles in a number of emerging technology companies. She was Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance in 2010 and served on the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), and is a member of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth. She chairs the board of Triphase Accelerator Corporation, a cancer drug development firm.

Ilse holds a DPhil in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

George Mallay, Past General Manager, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership

Community Service Award

George Mallay has more than 30 years’ experience in the economic development profession, including strategy, marketing, land and real estate development, venture financing, and entrepreneurship. He helped facilitate thousands of jobs and several billion dollars in new capital investment, and develop high tech/cluster support infrastructure for the Sarnia-Lambton hybrid chemistry cluster and Ottawa technology complex.

George recently retired after 21 years as General Manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership. He played a leading role in establishing the award-winning Western Sarnia-Lambton Research and Development Park. He has also been a Board member of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada since its inception, advocating for development of the hybrid chemistry complex, and was the catalyst behind the Sarnia-Lambton Industrial Alliance.

George is past co-chair of the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative and has served on the Lambton College Foundation Board, Bluewater Technology Access Center, RAIL, and the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce. In 2016 he also served as chair of the Ontario Cleantech Alliance. He holds degrees in economic geography and urban planning, as well as an MBA.

Shanna Brisebois, Manager, Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

Volunteer Award

Shanna Brisebois is Manager of Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. In this role, Shanna works with government, industry, and patient groups to strengthen Ontario’s life science ecosystem and ensure patients have access to the medication they need to improve their lives.

Prior to joining Novartis, Shanna led communications at de Souza Institute, a not-for-profit in oncology continuing education. While in government, Shanna held a number of senior positions in the ministries of Health Promotion, Municipal Affairs and Housing and Infrastructure. Shanna also worked as a public affairs consultant at Fleishman-Hillard as an Associate Vice-President representing the health and life sciences sectors.

Shanna is passionate about community engagement and building a strong Ontario. She was part of the team that successfully won the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bid. Shanna was also part of the team in Ontario’s recent BIO bid. She is active in the community, sitting on various not-for-profit committees and groups, including United Way’s GenNext.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Life Sciences Company of the Year

Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company located in Hamilton, Ontario, focused on becoming the leader in the targeted alpha therapy field. Fusion, which is a spin out from McMaster University’s Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), exploits its unique expertise in linking medical isotopes to targeting molecules to create highly effective cancer therapeutics. In addition to its lead program, FPX-01, with a clinical trial planned for early 2018, Fusion is expanding its pipeline of products through a proprietary protein discovery platform, in-licensing targeting molecules and forming new strategic partnerships.

FPX-01 has been designed to deliver and internalize a lethal and highly localized radioactive payload into cancer cells. The precise targeting causes selective and extremely effective destruction of tumor cells at low doses. The recent marketing launch of Xofigo® (radium-223 dichloride), an alpha emitting agent for the treatment of bone metastases associated with mCRPC, has re-invigorated the radiopharmaceutical space and created demand for using alpha therapy for other cancers.

Fusion believes that FPX-01 will benefit from this positive market environment and defined regulatory pathway and, as FPX-01 has the capacity to treat a broad range of hard-to-treat cancers, it also has the potential to achieve significant commercial success.

ABOUT LIFE SCIENCES ONTARIO (LSO)

Life Sciences Ontario is a member-driven organization that represents and promotes the province’s vibrant and diverse life sciences sector. LSO collaborates with governments, academia, industry, and other life science organizations in Ontario and across Canada to promote and encourage commercial success throughout the sector. Membership in Life Sciences Ontario includes individuals, students, emerging companies, investors, service providers, and companies with marketed products. The organization provides a wide range of networking and educational events, and operates a mentorship program that is helping to develop highly-skilled talent and build new business opportunities for the life sciences sector.LSO is an effective conduit for delivering policy options to governments, and is dedicated to promoting Ontario’s life sciences sector internationally.

 

 

Contacts

Fusion Pharmaceuticals
Lynn Wick
905-525-9140 x26882
wick@fusionpharma.com

Life Sciences Ontario
Melissa Hughes
Director, Marketing & Communications
melissa@lifesciencesontario.ca

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Completes Oversubscribed Series A Financing Totaling $46 Million USD to Develop Targeted Alpha Therapeutics

HAMILTON, ONTARIO, September 25, 2017Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted alpha-particle radiotherapeutics for treating cancer, today announced it has completed a second closing of its Series A financing, securing an additional $21 million USD in capital and bringing the total capital raised to $46 million USD. New investors in the second closing include Adams Street Partners, Seroba Life Sciences, and Varian Medical Systems Inc., who join the existing group of international investors, FACIT, Genesys Capital, HealthCap, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., and TPG Biotech.

 

Fusion Pharmaceuticals also announced that Terry Gould of Adams Street Partners and Alan O’Connell of Seroba Life Sciences have joined the company’s board of directors.

 

Targeted alpha-particle emitting radiotherapeutics combine the precision of molecular targeting agents, such as antibodies, with the potency of alpha-particle emitting radioisotopes to specifically attack and eradicate cancer cells. Fusion uses its radiochemistry expertise to convert established and novel targeting molecules into potent alpha therapies.

“We are delighted by the significant interest in Fusion Pharmaceuticals, which is driven by the excitement for our pipeline as well as the precision and potency that can be achieved through targeted delivery of medical isotopes that emit alpha particles,” said John Valliant, Ph.D., Fusion’s Chief Executive Officer. “Fusion will use the additional funds to accelerate the clinical development of our lead program FPX-01, expand our pipeline through in-licensing targeting molecules and form new strategic partnerships.”

 

FPX-01 is an antibody-targeted radiotherapy, which seeks out a specific biomarker of resistance that is present on nearly all types of treatment refractory cancers. The technology is designed to selectively deliver actinium-225 to tumor cells so that in conjunction with internalization, the alpha particles emitted will eradicate diseased tissue.

 

Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a spinout from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), which is a  Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The CPDC, which was created with the support of multiple stakeholders, including the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), has rapidly become a world leader in the development, translation and manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals.

 

Fusion Pharmaceuticals is also developing centyrin-based alpha therapies against a series of cancer markers. Centyrins are small proteins that are characterized by high selectivity and specificity, combined with tunable pharmaceutical properties and efficient manufacturing. Fusion obtained the candidates through two licensing agreements with Janssen Biotech, Inc. in transactions facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

 

About Fusion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada focused on becoming the leader in the targeted alpha therapy field. Fusion will exploit its unique expertise in linking medical isotopes to targeting molecules to create highly effective therapeutics. In addition to its lead program, FPX-01 with a clinical trial planned for early 2018, Fusion is expanding its pipeline of products through a proprietary protein discovery platform, in-licensing targeting molecules and forming new strategic partnerships.  For more information, please visit www.fusionpharma.com or contact info@fusionpharma.com.

 

Contacts

Fusion Pharmaceuticals
Lynn Wick
905-525-9140 x26882
wick@fusionpharma.com

Media/Investors
Andrew Mastrangelo
LaVoieHealthScience
617.374.8800, ext. 108
amastrangelo@lavoiehealthscience.com

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Launches with a $25M USD Series A Financing to Develop Targeted Radiotherapeutics as Cancer Treatments

HAMILTON ONTARIO, February 23, 2017 – Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a newly formed biopharmaceutical company developing targeted alpha-particle radiotherapeutics for treating cancer, today announced the closing of a $25 million Series A financing led by founding venture investor, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., with investments by HealthCap, TPG Biotech, Genesys Capital and FACIT (Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust). Targeted alpha-particle emitting radiotherapeutics combine the precision of molecular targeting agents, such as antibodies with the potency of alpha-particle emitting radioisotopes to specifically attack and eradicate cancer cells.
The syndicate is strengthened by HealthCap’s specialized expertise in pioneering a new wave of successful radiotherapeutic companies, such as Algeta and Nordic Nanovector.
Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a spinout from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), an organization that Dr. John Valliant, Ph.D., founded in 2008 and is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The CPDC, which was created with the support of multiple stakeholders, including the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), has rapidly become a world leader in the development, translation and manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals.
In addition to Dr. Valliant, founder and chief executive officer, the company’s board of directors consists of Asish Xavier, Ph.D. (Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.), Robert Sutherland, Ph.D., Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), Eran Nadav, Ph.D. (TPG Biotech), Johan Christenson, M.D. (HealthCap) and Damian Lamb (Genesys), who will assume the role of chairman of the board.
“Targeted delivery of medical isotopes that emit alpha particles can be used to kill tumor cells with remarkable precision and unprecedented potency, and it has the added potential of having complementary effects with treatments which activate the immune system,” said Dr. John Valliant, CEO. “Fusion is focused on combining our expertise in radiopharmaceutical development and production with the appropriate targeting molecules to create a new generation of therapeutics that can address the need for better cancer treatments. Fusion is proud to join a wave of new Canadian biotech companies that are being launched with innovative technologies emerging from research institutions like McMaster University.”
Fusion Pharmaceuticals will use the financing proceeds to advance its lead program, FPX-01, into human clinical trials. FPX-01 is an antibody-targeted radiotherapy, which seeks out a specific biomarker of resistance that is present on nearly all types of treatment refractory cancers. The technology is designed to selectively deliver actinium-225 to tumor cells so that in conjunction with internalization, the alpha particles emitted will eradicate diseased tissue. In parallel, Fusion Pharmaceuticals gained access to a centyrin-based targeting molecule in preclinical development that has the potential to deliver isotopes to several cancer types and access to the centyrin protein targeting platform in two licensing agreements with Janssen Biotech, Inc. in transactions facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
Centyrins are protein targeting agents, proprietary to Janssen Biotech, characterized by high selectivity and specificity, combined with tunable pharmaceutical properties and efficient manufacturing. Fusion Pharmaceuticals is building its pipeline through access to the centyrin platform in combination with proprietary labeling technologies, which can be applied to a wide range of targeting molecules.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals – A Product of a National Centre of Excellence with Comprehensive Sector Expertise

Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a spin out from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), which is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) located at McMaster University. The CPDC was created to take promising new technologies developed at Universities and use the arising knowledge advantages to realize economic and health benefits for Canadians. The CPDC, which employs over 80 people and has locations and major partnerships in Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Boston, is supported by a range of stakeholders including the Networks of Centres of Excellence, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, McMaster University and several industry partners. See www.imagingprobes.ca for additional details.

Innovation Driven and Experienced Management Team

Fusion Pharmaceuticals was founded by Dr. John Valliant, who was also the founder and CEO of CPDC. Under Dr. Valliant’s direction, the CPDC supplied radiopharmaceuticals for over 40 clinical trials, facilitated the creation of three new companies, including building a rapidly expanding manufacturing business. Dr. Valliant, a Canada Research Chair in Medical Isotopes and Molecular Imaging Probes, is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University. He has won numerous awards including being selected as one of Canada’s top 40 under 40 in 2010.
Fusion’s discovery and development programs are led by the chief scientific officer, Dr. Eric Burak, Ph.D. Eric previously held positions at CPDC, Theracos, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals and Guilford Pharmaceuticals. Eric oversees a world-class team of chemists and biologists who have extensive experience and unique skills in the alpha therapy field.

Alpha Therapies

Certain medical isotopes emit alpha particles, which are highly energetic ions that deposit their energy over very short distances traveling approximately the width of a single cell. When alpha emitting medical isotopes are delivered to cancer cells, they can kill tumor cells through multiple mechanisms including double stranded DNA breaks, which makes repair and hence resistance unlikely. Targeted alpha therapeutics use significantly smaller amounts of material than typical antibody-drug conjugates making it possible to exploit a wider array of drug targets and they do not require complex linkers to release the warhead. One of the additional benefits of Fusion’s alpha therapeutic approach will be creation of a companion diagnostic with each candidate.

About Fusion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a new pharmaceutical company located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada focused on becoming the leader in the targeted alpha therapy field. Fusion will exploit its unique expertise in linking medical isotopes to targeting molecules to create highly effective therapeutics. In addition to its lead program, FPX-01, Fusion is building a pipeline of products through a protein discovery platform, that allows for the rapid screening of new targeting molecules to promote biomarker localization of alpha emitting medical isotopes. Fusion’s technology development team also has proprietary methods for introducing alpha emitters into targeting molecules.

Contacts
Media/Investors:
Sharon Correia
LaVoieHealthScience
scorreia@lavoiehealthscience.com
617-412-8779
Lynn Wick
Fusion Pharmaceuticals
wick@fusionpharma.com
905-525-9140 x26882

FACIT Announces Investment in Fusion Pharmaceuticals and Alpha-Emitting Radiotherapeutics

Image-guided medicines for hard to treat cancers built using next generation medical isotopes

TORONTO, ON (December 16, 2015) – FACIT and Fusion Pharmaceuticals (“Fusion”) announced today an investment to support the development of Fusion’s radiopharmaceutical FPX-01 for the treatment of cancer. Fusion’s drug candidate leverages the potent cell-killing potential of alpha particle-emitting medical isotopes, with the precise targeting ability of a monoclonal antibody to selectively internalize and destroy cancer cells while sparing neighbouring healthy cells. Early results from a Phase I imaging study demonstrated on-target delivery in patients with solid tumours. FACIT’s investment will support efforts to advance FPX-01 into a Phase I/II clinical trial to examine its potential to treat cancer.

Fusion is leveraging its unique expertise in creating alpha-emitting therapies to build and cultivate a pipeline of novel products through both in-licensing and academic/industrial collaborations. The effectiveness and value of alpha-emitting agents is validated by recent approvals and marketing launches of Bayer’s Xofigo®, which is administered on an out-patient basis. FPX-01 is expected to have the ability to treat a wide range of different tumour types given the high level of expression of the drug’s target in numerous cancers.

Jeff Courtney, FACIT’s Chief Commercial Officer, remarked “Given the re-invigoration of the radiopharmaceutical space, Fusion represents a unique opportunity to leverage the expertise of the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization in manufacturing radiopharmaceuticals and Fusion’s proprietary chemistry. We believe Fusion’s unique alpha-emitting therapies are positioned well to build on the recent successes in the field and, if proven to be effective in treating cancer, represent an attractive complement to existing and new oncology regimens.”

Fusion is a spin-out from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (“CPDC”) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Created in 2008 under the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (“CECR”) program, CPDC has received funding support from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (“OICR”) and additional private and public sector support. The CPDC has grown to become a leader in the clinical development and manufacturing of radioimaging and radiotherapeutics. In 2015, CPDC conducted a clinical trial in which FPX-01 was administered in an imaging study lead by Drs. Rosalyn Juergens and Karen Gulenchyn, at Hamilton Health Sciences.

“Alpha (particle)-emitting agents have the potential to eradicate even the most resistant types of cancers and unlike previous generations of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals they can be administered in conventional cancer treatment facilities,” said Dr. John Valliant, CEO of Fusion Pharmaceuticals and Professor at McMaster University. “Fusion’s approach has the added benefit that it uses non-invasive imaging to show that the drug hits the target of interest, and as a way to select patients who are most likely to respond to treatment. We are excited to be joined by FACIT to create a new Canadian biotechnology company to advance FPX-01 and build our pipeline of new drug candidates and tools to help deliver effective personalized treatments to cancer patients.”

About FACIT
FACIT (Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust) is an independent business trust established by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) to undertake development and commercialization activities related to cancer research, products and drug discovery. For more information, please visit the website at facit.ca or email info@facit.ca.

About Fusion Pharmaceuticals
Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage company focused on developing novel radiotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Fusion is a spin-out from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) at McMaster University, Hamilton. Please visit the website at fusionpharma.com.

Fusion Pharmaceuticals to Present at the Biotech Showcase 2016 Conference on January 11th, 2016

HAMILTON, ONT. — 05/01/16 — Fusion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Fusion”), a life sciences company focused on developing novel drugs for the targeted delivery of high-energy alpha-emitting radioactive isotopes to treat solid cancers, announced today that it will be featured as a presenting company at The Biotech Showcase™ 2016 Conference taking place from January 11-13, 2016. The conference will be held at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel, located at Union Square, San Francisco, California.

Chief Business Officer, Frank Gleeson, is scheduled to present on Monday, January 11, 2016 at 11:15 AM PST in Room Hearst. Frank Gleeson, Dr. Valliant, Founder and Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Eric Burak, Chief Scientific Officer, will be available to participate in meetings with the investment community during the conference.

About Fusion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Fusion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage company focused on developing novel radiotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Fusion is a spin-out from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) at McMaster University, Hamilton. Please visit the website at fusionpharma.com.

About The Biotech Showcase 2016 Conference

Biotech Showcase is an investor and networking conference devoted to providing private and public biotechnology and life sciences companies with an opportunity to present to, and meet with, investors and pharmaceutical executives in one place during the course of one of the industry’s largest annual healthcare investor conferences.