An in vitro Platform of Antigen-Presenting Cells to Evaluate Critical Quality Attributes in Vaccine Formulations

Sanofi-Pasteur is developing new vaccine formulations that need to be evaluated on their efficacy and potency. Traditionally, the use of animal models to predict human immunity has been accepted as the best way to select vaccine formulations. However, animal models can be costly and time-prohibitive, and the assays employed to assess vaccine efficacy and potency are not ideal for rapid screening and optimization of multiple formulations. To overcome these limitations, we propose to test new vaccine formulations utilizing laboratory cultured macrophage cells.

Understanding the Mechanism of Probiotics for Human Health

DoseBiome has developed a new probiotic that targets several aspects of oral health: dental caries, periodontal diseases, and halitosis. This project aims to understand the exact mechanism of our probiotic's inhibitory properties against the pathogens associated with the above diseases. DoseBiome is a new start-up in the probiotic/microbiome health sector, and this project will allow for improved technology and manufacturing processes for our oral probiotic line.

Impact of Repeated Vaccination on 2017-2018 Influenza Vaccines Effectiveness – A Retrospective Study

Influenza causes seasonal illness characterized by fever, myalgia and respiratory symptoms which can lead to hospitalization and death. Although it is a vaccine preventable disease, influenza contributes directly and indirectly to a large number of hospitalizations and outpatient visits. More specifically, influenza causes every year approximately 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada, of which 90% occur in people 65 years and older. Recently, numerous studies have investigated the impact of repeated vaccination on its effectiveness reporting a large variety of results.

Genomic resources for cannabis research

Cannabis has been in use for a long period of time both as medicine and as well as a recreational drug. With the current legalization of the crop in Canada, cannabis industry is expanding but there is limited information on improving the medical cannabis in terms of the content of minor cannabinoids such as THCV or developing a variety that is tolerant to fungal pathogen such as powdery mildew.

Transcriptomics as an Adventitious Virus Detection Strategy

As an analytical platform, the Sanofi Pasteur Analytical Sciences (Toronto) Molecular Biology Centre (MBC) is applying and optimizing the use of high-throughput sequencing (HTS). The detection of adventitious viruses in biological products relies on a set of methods defined by the regulatory agencies called the compendial methods. High-throughput sequencing has the potential to improve the current breadth of detection and to remove some poorly performing compendial in vivo animal tests.

Since 2016, the Molecular Biology Centre has used HTS for the detection of adventitious viruses.

Applying Traditional Chinese Medicine to Osteoporosis

Herbal medicines are mainly used to maintain health, prevent diseases and treat chronic conditions. Although many Canadians have taken or are regularly take herbal products, there still are concerns about the safety and quality of these products. Osteoporosis is a chronic disease called silent thief since there are no symptoms until bone fractures happened. The fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. Especially for women approaching or being in menopause, lose 2-3% of their bone mass each year.

Formulation scale-up and characterization for a manganese-based contrast agent

To design effective and patient-specific cancer therapy, sensitive detection of relapse and distant metastases by non-invasive medical imaging is essential, for which MRI offers tremendous potential due to wide availability of the equipment in clinic and avoidance of ionizing radiation. Although gadolinium-based contrast agents are the most frequently used for MRI, they are associated with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and brain deposition. Thus, less toxic manganese ions (Mn2+) are exploited as an alternative for tumor detection using MRI.

Evaluating the Co-Translational Framework for systematic translation of scientific knowledge towards implementation

The University of Toronto’s Translational Research Program (TRP) is a graduate program that developed the Co-Translational Framework (CTF) to systematically mobilize research towards innovations to improve health outcomes.
The Translational Research for Innovation initiative is the research mechanism to help validate the CTF to facilitate meaningful collaboration between industry and academia.

Optimization of Angiotensin II Receptor type 1 Blockers (ARBs) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) is a lung disease that cause a lot of suffering to the Canadian population. To accelerate the drug discovery process, an old blood pressure lowering medication was tested to block the progression of COPD. A patient study showed that the old medication did provide some protective effect to the lung airways of COPD patients. However, we have found that this old medication does not slow down COPD by lowering blood pressure, but rather by acting on a new, unknown target.

Improving the properties of active pharmaceutical ingredients by polymorph, salt and cocrystal screening

Solids exist as crystals, amorphous or subcooled liquids. The degree of crystallinity determines the long range order in a solid phase. Molecules when transferred from the solution to the solid phase may take many different crystal forms (polymorphs, solvates/hydrates, salts, co-crystals). Theoretically, there are 230 space groups describing the diversity of a crystalline material. About two thirds of pharmaceutical small molecules exist in more than one polymorphic solid form. Crystallization of polymorphs still has a touch of art.