KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network and CIMTEC announce multi-year collaboration to tackle aggressive cancers.

London, Ontario, June 12, 2014 – KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (KalGene) is expediting development of a prognostic marker and companion therapeutic that specifically targets aggressive cancers.

“KalGene is focused on growth, with a vision to be a world class oncology company bringing targeted medicines to patients, says Dr. Nathan Yoganathan, President and Chief Scientific Officer at KalGene.  We are developing precision medicine tools that provide more effective cancer therapeutics that will also significantly alleviate patient suffering during treatment and improve overall quality of life.”

Precision medicine seeks to predict which patients will respond to a particular therapy in advance of treatment. This allows physicians to only prescribe treatment to the individuals who are most likely to benefit. 

KalGene has several projects in its pipeline ranging from early stage research to clinical trials. The current project focuses on metastatic disease, an unmet medical need for breast, colon and brain cancer. KalGene’s principals, Dr. John Gillard and Dr. Nathan Yoganathan believe they have a unique solution and are enlisting the expertise of Canadian and international partners.

The complex project is a multi-stage and multi-year undertaking involving Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC); Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI); and Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network (OCBN) at Queen’s University.

CIMTEC is providing project management services and coordinating the expertise of world-leading research laboratories in multiple cities. In addition, its engineers are creating digital pathology algorithms to quantify new biomarkers.

Sunnybrook Research Institute’sBiomarker Imaging Research Laboratory (BIRL), headed by Dr. Martin Yaffe, and Angiogenic Signalling Laboratory, headed by Dr. Dan Dumont, respectively, are providing extensive expertise in optimizing multiplexed immunohistochemistry imaging; and characterizing the structure and function of specific antibodies to develop a therapeutic that targets aggressive cancers.

The Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network (OCBN), through its laboratory operations at Queen’s University under the direction of Dr. Harriet Feilotter, is further contributing to the optimization of IHC staining and providing avenues for expert clinical review. Dr. Ken Evans, CEO of OCBN says, “We’re excited to be part of this team effort, and to provide and build upon our laboratory services in this important area.”

“CIMTEC is proud to be a key partner in the development of KalGene’s advanced cancer diagnostic system”, says Bart Sullivan, CEO of CIMTEC. “We are contributing expert knowledge of the medical imaging landscape in Canada, connections to clinician-scientists and academic institutions, and extensive technology development and project management expertise to support KalGene’s success.”  

Dr. Martin Yaffe, Principal Investigator, Biomarker Imaging Research Laboratory at Sunnybrook Research Institute, says, “KalGene’s initiative is a great example of the role biomarkers can play in delivering more individualized patient therapies.”


KalGene Pharmaceuticals

KalGene is a privately held company working in partnership with many of North America and Europe’s leading clinician-scientists and academic institutions. KalGene is focused on the development of targeted therapeutics and companion diagnostics for cancer. Its oncology programs are aimed at improving clinical and survival outcomes through the use of personalized medicine. 

Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC)

CIMTEC facilitates the commercialization of world-leading medical imaging technology. CIMTEC’s mission is to enable and accelerate commercialization of medical imaging innovations ensuring that Canada’s investment in imaging technology translates into economic growth and job creation.

CIMTEC provides researchers and small to medium-sized companies with critical expertise, technical capabilities and infrastructure to allow them to grow and create Canadian high-tech jobs and economic growth.

Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI)

Sunnybrook Research Institute is one of Canada’s leading centres of innovation. Its mandate is to make discoveries and achieve clinical impact via the medical marketplace. Its 280 scientists, whose expertise spans the biological, physical and evaluative clinical sciences, have a notable track record of commercializing their discoveries in diffuse clinical domains. Last year, SRI conducted more than $100 million of research.

Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network (OCBN)

Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network (OCBN) at Queen’s University is dedicated to discovery and development of biomarkers to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of human diseases. OCBN has developed partnerships with national and international research teams. In 2012, it formally merged with the genomics labs located within the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen’s.


Darlene Pratt
CIMTEC, Director of Marketing Communications
519-858-5013 ext. 25324

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