CDRD, Canada’s national life sciences venture, is pleased to announce an increased commitment to Sitka Biopharma with a $1.2M investment. This new investment will enable Sitka and its partner Cancer Research UK (CRUK) to accelerate critical development activities and rapidly enter clinical trials of STK-01, Sitka’s lead product for the treatment of bladder cancer. Preclinical studies have established that Sitka’s candidate formulation significantly improved…
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Cannabis for Health and Recreation: How Is Science Involved?

On October 17, 2018, the Cannabis Act came into effect, making recreational cannabis legally accessible across Canada. Despite this, there are still challenges in ensuring access to a consistent product across Canada, including in British Columbia, and questions remain about the physiological effects of long-term cannabis use. ​One of the major concerns is over the quality of cannabis reaching the public. Cannabis…
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AbCellera, a technology leader in therapeutic antibody discovery from natural immune repertoires, today announced a multi-target and multi-year collaboration with Novartis. Under the agreement, AbCellera will apply its expertise in antibody discovery and its single-cell screening technology to advance programs on up to ten targets elected by the pharmaceutical partner. “AbCellera continues to build its reputation as a high-powered innovation…
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As diseases of the central nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease, continue to impact the lives of Canadians, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Aspect Biosystems are working to develop new therapeutic models that could lead to improved treatments in the future and better outcomes for patients suffering from brain disease. As one might expect, the brain is…
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To understand how cellular machinery functions, scientists have looked to an organism’s DNA. But genome sequence has not proven to be the complete instruction manual that researchers had hoped for. “Now that we have hundreds of thousands of genome sequences, the new picture that emerges is confusing,” says Marc Vidal of Harvard Medical School. Genetic mutations do not always predict a cell’s…
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The incredible amount of data generated by genomics research offers enormous opportunities to solving challenges around health and wellness, food security, sustainable resource development and climate change, to name just a few. However, extracting value from this vast amount of information is also a critical challenge. With a limited number of tools available, Canada’s genomics research community is faced with…
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Linking genomics, evolution and ecology, study reveals broad implications of how species adapt to their local environment Variations in a single gene in tiny stickleback fish alter how they interact with their environment and potentially trigger changes across an ecosystem, a new study from the University of British Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania finds. The study, published today in Ecology…
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HIV Cure Research: Are We There Yet?

The second instalment of the SFU President’s Dream Colloquium on January 22nd brought to the stage Dr. Zabrina Brumme, Director of the BC-CfE Laboratory program. Dr. Brumme, who shares her expertise on HIV cure research internationally, joined the BC-CfE in 2018. In her colloquium lecture and a subsequent BC-CfE-hosted webinar, she provided a clear look into why we need a cure and…
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An international team of chemists, led by SFU graduate student Jessica Miller, has made progress in restoring functionality to a critical protein whose breakdown is responsible for more than 50 per cent of cancers. Of the 10,000 or so proteins in the human body, p53 is called “the guardian of the human genome” due to its critical function as a…
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Thrombomodulin: Old Protein with New Functions and Hope

As its name suggests, thrombomodulin (TM) modulates thrombin activity. The traditional role of TM is to vastly accelerate production of activated protein C from its zymogen by thrombin. This discovery, made in the 1980s, has established TM as an integral part of the anticoagulant protein C system. Given its wide expression in multiple cell types in humans, in addition to…
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