Last week Aspect Biosystems, a South Vancouver-based biotechnology company, announced a new collaboration with Merck, GSK, and McGill University’s Goodman Cancer Research Centre. The $2.2M project will leverage Aspect Biosystems’ microfluidic 3D bioprinting platform to develop highly physiological, high-throughput tissues for the accurate and predictive screening of immuno-therapeutics targeting difficult-to-treat cancers such as triple negative breast cancer. Essentially, the collaboration is looking to reproduce tumors from living cells of breast cancer patients to determine the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs and to predict the patient’s response to treatment.
Innovate BC has been a longtime supporter of Aspect Biosystems as they’ve utilized a number of our grant programs throughout the years to help grow, accelerate and commercialize their business:
In 2014 they placed second in the New Ventures Competition, one of North America’s largest competitions celebrating BC startups with over $250,000 in capital and in-kind business services awarded each year.
In 2015 Aspect participated in our Venture Acceleration Program through our partners at SFU Venture Labs. The program connects tech entrepreneurs and startups to a group of business and technology experts to further their idea, accelerate the process of defining their business model and set best practices to grow their business.
Later in 2017, and in partnership with the University of Victoria, Aspect was awarded $139,700 in Innovate BC Ignite Program funding to help further develop their functional 3D bioprinting platform and get it into market within a 3-year time frame. Our Ignite program provides industry and academic research projects up to $300,000 in funding and is open to innovative projects in the areas of natural resources, applied science and engineering.
“We are thrilled to partner with global biopharmaceutical leaders, GSK and Merck, as well as world-class groups at McGill and the Canadian Cancer Society that are dedicated to finding cures for cancer,” said Tamer Mohamed, chief executive officer, Aspect Biosystems. “We are deeply committed to forming strategic partnerships to accelerate the impact of our technology on patient outcomes.”