Many new treatments, engineering solutions, and diagnostic methods for heart failure never reach the clinic and never have a chance to impact our patients. These potentially life-changing advances become stuck in the gap between the research labs where they are developed and the stage where their underlying concept is implemented into clinical practice.
Be it an invention or a discovery, intellectual property (IP) developed through research often requires further refinement in order to interest potential investors or companies, who are often better suited to driving its commercialization. This is particularly true of health-care products.
The process of commercialization bridges the gap between a concept and the creation of something valuable to physicians and patients. It draws a line connecting science and enterprise. Yet, the process involves a collaborative effort from a team with diverse expertise including researchers and their institutions, corporate partners, IP experts, investors, entrepreneurs, governments, key opinion leaders, and end-users.
At the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, we know that successful commercialization of the innovation that will emerge from the Centre’s initiatives is a critical piece of the goal towards solving heart failure. To that end, the Centre is cultivating, supporting and enabling innovation in cardiovascular patient care, and helping develop technologies with strong translational potential.
The Centre’s Entrepreneurship for Cardiovascular Health Opportunities (ECHO) program is a specialized hands-on training program led by veteran entrepreneurs and consultants across a variety of sectors. ECHO provides innovators of cardiovascular technologies with entrepreneurship training, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities. It seeks to help bring novel innovations to market.
Our Innovation Fund will support bench research, proof of concept development and the clinical assessment of new diagnostics, therapeutics and technologies. It is intended to raise great ideas off the ground and help researchers attract additional support and momentum for moving their novel ideas forward. Investigators must demonstrate they are leveraging and developing the very best ideas, technologies and methodologies that have a practical means of being delivered and used within the clinical sphere.
With a wide network of experts, a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, industry connections, and existing IP, we are uniquely positioned to drive success in this area. Through this effort, we will help fulfill our mission to deliver a positive impact to the 1 million Canadians living with heart failure.
Built into the mandate of the Centre are future sustainability opportunities for commercialization and government support. They include:
- Guidelines and strategies for the clinical uptake of next generation sequencing-based diagnostics in heart failure
- Age-appropriate pharmacogenetic screening methods and tools for cardiovascular drugs
- Research community will have free access to bioinformatics software and pipeline for robust and rapid analyses of whole genome sequencing
- New clinical care algorithms and technologies for individualized care of children and adults with heart disease
- Co-development projects with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, NGOs and such government agencies as NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC and OCE