Exactis Innovation to drive network-based precision oncology research with $1M grant
Exactis Innovation is pleased to award $1M CDN to catalyze clinical research on innovative precision oncology therapeutics in Canada. This grant will support a multi-centre clinical trial in the Exactis research network comprising eleven premier cancer care institutions across Canada.
The grant is awarded to a research team led by Dr. Helen MacKay (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) and Dr. Diane Provencher (Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal) to evaluate a novel combination of therapies in ovarian and breast cancer. The trial has arisen from research conducted in the laboratories of Dr. David Andrews (Toronto) and Drs. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson and Francis Rodier (Montreal). Applications from across Canada were evaluated by a committee of international experts in the field of personalized medicine.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce our international Scientific Advisory Committee’s recommendation to fund the outstanding clinical research proposal submitted by Dr. MacKay and her highly qualified team,” said Dr. Christophe Le Tourneau, Head of Drug Development and Innovation (D3i), Institut Curie, and Chair of the competition Scientific Advisory Committee. “Dr. MacKay’s proposal is founded on a highly original biomarker driven strategy and makes use of cutting-edge translational protocols, including patient derived ‘avatar’ cell constructs, to optimize and personalize the patient’s therapy.”
Patients with high-grade serous ovarian and triple-negative breast cancer, who have a particularly poor prognosis and limited therapeutic options, will be enrolled in the trial through the Exactis’ Personalize My Treatment (PMT) molecular patient registry across the Exactis network. Patients at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Ottawa Hospital, Jewish General Hospital, Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal and the London Health Sciences Centre will have the opportunity to participate in the trial.
“Dr. Provencher and I, together with the scientific leads for this project, Drs. Andrews, Mes-Masson and Rodier, are very excited to have the opportunity to bring our work into the clinic,” said Dr. Helen MacKay, the study’s lead clinical investigator. “In combining a clinical trial with patient derived ‘avatar’ models in the laboratory we hope to bring a new approach to personalizing treatment for women diagnosed with these cancers. We hope this will benefit not only women with breast and ovarian cancers but be applicable to those diagnosed with other types of cancer.”
“I am excited that the funding of this proposal will help bring together a world class clinical research team to support access to an important clinical trial for Canadian patients. The therapeutic combination described in Dr. MacKay’s proposal integrates exciting recent preclinical evidence with a well-proven treatment paradigm and unites them in the Exactis Network research framework to provide access to precision oncology treatment for patients” said Dr. Gerald Batist, Chief Medical Officer of Exactis Innovation. “We are proud to partner with Dr. MacKay and her team,” said Mr. Richard Fajzel, Chief Executive Officer of Exactis Innovation. “This study will leverage our PMT registry and the Exactis Network Centres of Excellence infrastructure to help identify, recruit and, ultimately, offer innovative treatments to Canadian cancer patients.”
For further information contact:
Andrew Slack, PhD
Director, Medical Affairs, Exactis Innovation