Assessment of DNA Ministring technology in cell transfection and the treatment of Colorectal Cancer (CRC)

Despite the power of gene therapy, its successful application to medicine has been diminished due to: (i) high toxicities and potentially fatal adverse effects; (ii) poor transgene expression in target cells; and (iii) extensive vector degradation. While viral vectors greatly improve efficiency, they sometimes lead to cancers due to chromosomal integration and may suffer from a lack of desired tissue selectivity. In contrast, nonviral systems have proven safer, but less efficient.

Nanoparticle-encapsulated Cannabinoid and Temozolomide Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) (the deadliest form of brain cancer) is associated with poor survival rates (approximately 12-15 months from the time of diagnosis). This is due to the fact that most cases of GBM are resistant to current standards of care. As a result, novel effective treatment options are highly desirable. It has recently been shown that the combination of cannabinoids (such as THC or CBD) with the standard of care chemotherapy agent, temozolomide, demonstrates promise in the treatment of animal models of GBM.

Novel formulation for the treatment of interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is an inflammatory disease of the urinary bladder and is recognized as a serious medical condition associated with a profoundly negative impact on patients’ quality of life. Currently, there are no widely acknowledged causes of this disorder and no effective treatments available. Panag is a Halifax based drug company which focuses on development of novel therapeutic treatments which can be used to alleviate both pain and inflammation associated with IC. The goal of our research is to provide IC patients with symptom and pain relief, as well as to improve outcome.

Chitosan-derivatives as a platform for drug and protein delivery

Triozan™ is a safe, biodegradable and biocompatible hydrophilic and highly quaternized biopolymer with advantageous physicochemical properties that enables an efficient encapsulation and protection of drug molecules against degradation while simultaneously maintaining therapeutic integrity. We propose to encapsulate three drug candidates into nanogels formed from Triozan to enhance their therapeutic application and overcome multiple barriers such as multi-drug resistance phenomenon present in bacteria and in cancer cells as well as biological barriers such as the hematoencephalic barrier

Elaboration of a Phase II clinical study protocol for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using AB-16B5, an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) inhibitor, in combination with docetaxel

The molecular mechanisms responsible for the occurrence of metastatic cancer are beginning to be elucidated with the identification of key regulators. Increasing evidence points to tumor cell epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) as an important contributing process to metastatic evolution. The identification of factors that are stimulated during EMT might provide the means to develop new drugs required to increase the effectiveness of current regimens and improve patient outcome.

Development and validation of BRET-based biosensors for drug candidate profiling

G protein coupled receptors (GCPRs) are proteins found at the surface of cells are responsible for activating numerous intracellular signaling pathways and thus are involved in regulating about every physiological response. Activation of GPCRs occurs by compounds as varied as photons, lipids, ions, small hormonal or neurotransmitter compounds or larger peptidic and protein molecules. As such, GPCRs are currently the target of up to 34% of marketed drugs.

Scientific and Clinical Hub for Orphan Drug Development

With rapid and cost-effective genome sequencing becoming the norm, many causal mutations for inherited genetic diseases are being rapidly determined. The discovery of new genes for inherited diseases is enabling rapid genetic and chemical genetic platforms to be used to discover drug targets and drugs/drug-like molecules as potential treatment options for patients with inherited diseases.

Development of novel, systematic methods for expanding, screening, and selecting biodiversity in industrial yeast strains

Yeast is arguably the most important industrial microorganism in the world, playing a critical role in the fermentation of food and beverage products, as well as cellular factory for production of biofuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. In order to produce such a range of products efficiently and economically, specialized yeast must be optimized for each task. Current tools for yeast optimization are lacking, especially in the sectors of food, beverage, and feed, where consumers demand non-GMO yeast products.

Exploring medical potential of cannabinoids

Evaluating the medicinal use of cannabinoids represents an area of massive untapped potential, especially considering its upcoming legalization in Canada. Currently, a significant proportion of medical cannabis research is based on self-reported use and outcomes, rather than carefully-designed research studies. Here, we aim to better understand the impact of cannabis administration in adults with obesity or tobacco dependence and its potential as an opioid-sparing medicine, using randomized controlled clinical trials.

Designing quality control strategies to assess the self-assembly and biological stability of chitosan nanoparticles

In this grant, the consortium will develop new methods to characterize nanoparticles prepared with a proprietary polymer. This study will enable the fabrication and characterization of better performing nano-sized particles encapsulating therapeutic molecules, commonly called nanomedicines. This study will allow to monitor how the polymers self-assemble into nanoobjects under different conditions, and to study how the nanoparticles perform in various environments. The project will develop and validate methods to streamline the development of nanoparticles with a variety of characteristics.

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