Some of the hottest areas in biotech that are emerging and driving growth and investment are in the field of regenerative medicine and cell and gene therapy. There have been several acquisitions over the past year that really got the ball rolling with hopes to advance immunotherapies. Despite the curative potential, these therapies come with a hefty price tag and…
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The recent Blood article by Schroeder et al. demonstrates that plerixafor mobilizes a unique hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) product that is enriched in plasmacytoid dendritic cell precursors (pre-pDCs). This study further reports that enrichment of these cells in plerixafor-mobilized allografts is associated with lower cumulative incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). In an earlier study, Waller…
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During an ischemic stroke, a blockage in an artery prevents blood flow through the affected area of the brain, resulting in oxygen deprivation and cell death. Ischemic stroke, caused by blood clots, is the most common type of stroke. Dr. Brian MacVicar and Dr. Louis-Philippe Bernier recently uncovered how two types of cells, astrocytes and pericytes, work together to regenerate blood…
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Prostate cancer cells depend on androgens to grow and thrive.  Because of this dependency, hormone therapy – the blockade of androgens and the androgen receptor (AR) – has been the cornerstone of prostate cancer treatment for decades.  As science has progressed, therapies that are better and better at blocking these male hormones and slowing the growth of prostate cancer have…
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UBC and BC Cancer scientists have uncovered some of the tricks used by the deadliest ovarian cancer to escape the immune system, setting the stage for a better understanding of how and why patients respond to promising new immunotherapies. The study, published May 10 in Cell, used advanced molecular measurements and computer algorithms to analyze how immune cells infiltrate tumours. They…
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Twelve exceptional BC health professionals have been funded in MSFHR’s second Health Professional-Investigator (HP-I) competition. Each will receive funding to support research focused on answering questions derived from their practical experience and clinical expertise. MSFHR’s HP-I Program is designed to develop BC’s research talent and help decrease the gap between health research and its implementation by supporting health professionals who are…
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Chemically Controlled Aggregation of Pluripotent Stem Cells

This study develops a novel technology to control aggregation of pluriportent stem cells in suspension manufacturing processes. Aggregation is a critical and highly variable property in stem cell bioreactor manufacturing. We discovered a chemical method to control the way stem cells aggregate in a predictable and reproducible manner. This technology will improve the robustness of pluripotent stem cell manufacturing processes and help move these therapies towards efficient clinical production…
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A scientist who developed a lab test to predict whether children with cancer are susceptible to potentially life-threatening side effects from three chemotherapy drugs is now focusing on five other medications so parents and doctors can discuss safer, personalized treatment. Bruce Carleton, director of the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Programme at BC Children’s Hospital, said adverse reactions linked to the five medications…
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Guarding Women Against One of Their Deadliest Cancers

Research into ovarian cancer could lead to potential life-saving measures. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer for women—but one of the most deadly. In 2017, approximately 2,800 Canadian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer1, and an estimated 1,800 lost their lives to the disease. While survival rates are slowly increasing, early diagnosis and treatment dramatically improves a woman’s…
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The largest technology conference in Western Canada is returning is Vancouver — and one of this year’s displays is straight out of a science fiction novel. Beginning Monday and taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the three-day B.C. Tech Summit will showcase new technology that can change industries. Conference speakers include Premier John Horgan and federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development…
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