Source: University of British Columbia
UBC Biotech Partnership Produces Implantable Device, Earns National Innovation Award
October 18, 2006
University of British Columbia industry collaboration that produced a
therapeutic device implanted in more than two million coronary heart disease
patients has earned a Synergy Award for Innovation from the Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
The partnership between Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. and UBC is one of
seven national collaborations honoured with a $25,000 NSERC research grant.
"We are delighted to see that the huge impact that this research has had on
the lives of millions of people is being recognized with this prestigious
award," says Angus Livingstone, managing director of UBC’s University
Industry Liaison Office. "It is a great example of how UBC research can have
real-life applications and be the basis of highly successful partnerships
A collaboration started in 1992 between UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Prof.
Helen Burt -- an expert in drug delivery systems -- and Dr. William Hunter,
Angiotech President and CEO, produced a drug-loaded coronary stent.
Stents are surgically implanted cylindrical wire devices that support and
keep open blood vessel walls. However, they can damage vessels and trigger a
wound-healing response that results in overgrowth of blood vessels and
tissue that narrows the vessel again. The process is known as restenosis.
Hunter had a research interest in diseases involving angiogenesis, or
formation of new blood vessels. Burt, and her lab team led by John Jackson,
developed methods of encapsulating paclitaxel -- a drug that inhibits
angiogenesis -- into biomaterials to form coatings and implants. Their
collaboration led to a prototype paclitaxel-coated stent.
In the first 18 months after the launch of TAXUS®, a paclitaxel-loaded stent
that prevents restenosis, in the U.S., the product was implanted in more
than two million patients.
The continuing partnership between Burt and Angiotech has led to development
of several other controlled release drug delivery systems, with 43 patents
in 26 countries.
The UILO guides breakthrough UBC research to market. UBC investigators
conducted almost 6,900 projects and attracted more than $485 million in
funding from various sources in 2005 / 06.There were 60 patents issued to
UBC inventions in 2005 / 06, and the University received $16 million in
technology licensing revenue. UBC is consistently ranked among the world’s
40 best universities, one of only two Canadian universities in this
category. It is ranked within the top 10 North American universities, and
first among Canadian universities, in terms of the number of U.S. life
Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and
medical device company with 14 facilities in 6 countries and over 1,500
NSERC is a federal agency that supports some 22,000 university students and
postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies, funds more than 10,000
university professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more
than 800 Canadian companies to participate and invest in university research
For more information on the NSERC awards, visit www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca.
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