Two UHN-based start-ups, Nanovista and AVROBIO, will join the newly opened Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS life sciences incubator in Toronto after winning a Quick Fire Challenge and being awarded residency.
Nanovista focuses on providing multimodal visualization agents designed to improve the performance of image-guided high-precision cancer therapy. This early stage start-up company was co-founded by Techna scientists Dr. Jinzi Zheng, and Dr. David Jaffray, together with Dr. Christine Allen. Nanovista’s lead product is a nanoparticle multimodal imaging agent that can be used with pre-operative CT imaging to visualize and locate tumors for improved surgical planning, and then also be used intra-operatively with fluorescence imaging for more accurate resection during surgery.
“Joining JLABS will provide us with valuable business and commercialization expertise, bringing us one step closer to delivering this product to market to help patients,” said Dr. Zheng, pictured right. “Being part of an innovation community will also enable us to learn from each other and our experiences, and bounce ideas around with the other start-ups.”
AVROBIO, the other UHN spin-off joining JLABS, is a clinical-stage company focused on transformative ex vivo gene therapies targeting cancer and rare diseases, with a priority on the development of two novel cell and gene therapies pioneered within the labs of UHN’s EVP of Science and Research Dr. Christopher Paige, and Dr. Jeffrey Medin (now at the Medical College of Wisconsin). These are among 22 start-ups that were announced as part of JLABS’ first cohort accepted at the incubator.
Based on stories originally by UHN’s Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) office and UofT News.