Bringing medical discoveries to life.

Enabling and leading commercialization and industry partnerships for a healthier world, Commercialization at UHN is the research commercialization hub based at the University Health Network in Toronto. We are the catalyst for accelerating UHN’s world-class research discoveries towards maximum patient impact globally. 

Technologies discovered, developed and de-risked at UHN form the basis of products and services improving health care for patients internationally, including therapeutics, devices and diagnostics. In many cases, these represent the foundational platforms for a number of successful companies first incubated within UHN.

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Technology Spotlight

Ex-vivo Lung Perfusion (evlp)

lungs on an operating table.

The ex-vivo lung perfusion keeps lungs alive outside the body prior to transplant, dramatically increasing the availability of donor lungs and doubling the lung transplant rate—and lives saved—at UHN.

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lungs on an operating table.
Technology Spotlight

ADELA

DNA inside a syringe

Precision medicine platform using a single blood test to diagnose & manage a variety of cancers and other diseases

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DNA inside a syringe
Technology Spotlight

TREADWELL
THERAPEUTICS

germs under a microscope

Best-in-class immunotherapies for multiple cancer types

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germs under a microscope
Technology Spotlight

MEDLY
THERAPEUTICS

A blood pressure machine

Digital Health platform supporting patients with heart failure and other chronic conditions.

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A blood pressure machine
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Commercialization Results

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Total financing for start-ups since 2014
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Exit valuation for UHN start-ups since 2018
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in 4 years
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formed since 2014
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Avrobio,
Trillium Therapeutics, BlueRock Therapeutics since 2018
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Total financing for start-ups since 2014
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Exit valuations for UHN start-ups since 2018
In 4 years
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Formed since 2014
Avrobio,
Trillium Therapeutics, BlueRock Therapeutics since 2018
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Note: Latest fiscal year, unless otherwise stated; all figures in CAD

Leading the way

our commercialization history

trillium logo
Acquired by Pfizer for USD$2.22B based on UHN cancer immunotherapy discovery.
2022
Adela logo
Launches with
USD$60M first financing round from five of the top venture capitals in America.
Founded on blood-based
cancer diagnostics platform
discovered at UHN.
2021
treadwell logo
Receives USD$91M Series B financing round.
2021
treadwell logo
Acquires
UHN cancer
immunotherapy
start-up TCRyption.
2021


uhn logo
Commercialization Lives Here
strategic plan launches;
rebranding  to
Commercialization at UHN. 
2021
TCRyption logo
Launches to develop cancer immunotherapy with USD $10M seed investment from TIO Bioventures. 
2020
Aquires Bluerock therapeutics for implied total company value of up to USD$1B to build leading position in cell therapy
2019
treadwell logo
Launches with USD$27M Series A financing round. Founded with license to develop novel cancer therapeutic targets discovered at UHN. 
2019
nanovista logo
launches with CAD$2.3M in seed funding to develop oncology imaging platform discovered at UHN.
2018
Cell-based regenerative therapy company launches with USD$225M Series A financing; largest in Canadian history for a biotech company at the time.
2016
acumyn logo
Acumyn forms based on QA platform for radiotherapy discovered at UHN, with future acquisition by Elektra (2018)
2015
northern bio logo
Forms to develop antibody-based therapeutics and secures USD$30M investment (acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2020).
2014
uhn logo
Expands focus on new venture/start-up formation and modern-day life science commercialization.
2014
Technology Development & Commercialization founded as UHN’s IP protection office.
1998
trillium logo
Acquired by Pfizer for USD$2.22B based on UHN cancer immunotherapy discovery.
2022
Adela logo
Launches with
USD$60M first financing round from five of the top venture capitals in America.
Founded on blood-based
cancer diagnostics platform
discovered at UHN.
2021
treadwell logo
Receives USD$91M Series B financing round.
2021
treadwell logo
Acquires
UHN cancer
immunotherapy
start-up TCRyption.
2021


uhn logo
Commercialization Lives Here
strategic plan launches;
rebranding  to
Commercialization at UHN. 
2021
TCRyption logo
Launches to develop cancer immunotherapy with USD $10M seed investment from TIO Bioventures. 
2020
Aquires Bluerock Therapeutics for implied total company value of up to USD$1B to build leading position in cell therapy
2019
treadwell logo
Launches with USD$27M Series A financing round. Founded with license to develop novel cancer therapeutic targets discovered at UHN. 
2019
nanovista logo
launches with CAD$2.3M in seed funding to develop oncology imaging platform discovered at UHN.
2018
Cell-based regenerative therapy company launches with USD$225M Series A financing; largest in Canadian history for a biotech company at the time.
2016
acumyn logo
Acumyn forms based on QA platform for radiotherapy discovered at UHN, with future acquisition by Elektra (2018)
2015
northern bio logo
Forms to develop antibody-based therapeutics and secures USD$30M investment (acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2020).
2014
uhn logo
Expands focus on new venture/start-up formation and modern-day life science commercialization.
2014
Technology Development & Commercialization founded as UHN’s IP protection office.
1998
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View New Ventures

Our Strategy

Accelerate

Commercial success of our most promising innovations and clinical capabilities

EMPOWER

Commercialization culture

Attract

And retain world-class commercialization talent at UHN

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Our success stories

UHN commercialization expertise has enabled the creation of new companies founded on UHN technologies and collaborations. These companies are now making an impact on health care around the world.

bluerock logo
Innovation:
Cellular Medicines
VC Funding:
US$225 Million
Annual Revenue:
US$4.8 Million
Rocking the world of cellular medicineS

University Health Network has long been a leader in regenerative medicine. In 2016, armed with one of the largest seed investments in biotechnology history, renowned UHN researchers Drs. Gordon Keller and Michael LaFlamme channeled their pioneering stem cell research into the creation of BlueRock Therapeutics, aiming to bring the incredible potential of stem cell therapies from the research lab to the clinic. In 2019, the thriving company was acquired by German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG for a total company valuation of approximately $1.3 billion – enabling UHN’s stem cell discoveries to translate into commercialized solutions, manufactured at scale for maximum global impact.

trillium logo
Innovation:
TTI-621 SIRPα fusion PROTEIN
Acquisition:
US$2.22 Billion (Pfizer Inc)
Impact:
Novel immunotherapy treatment for numerous cancers
Taking down cancer cells with molecular medicine

Understanding what gives dangerous cancer cells the power to hide and avoid destruction has taken decades of research. Groundbreaking collaborative work between UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) resulted in the discovery of a molecule that can shut down the protective mechanism used by cancer cells to evade destruction. The discovery became a key technology foundational to UHN start-up Trillium Therapeutics, created in the early 2000s. In 2022, decades of this work culminated in Trillium Therapeutics’ acquisition by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in a US$2.22 billion deal.

treadwell logo
Innovation:
Molecular and T-cell cancer therapies
SERIES B FINANCING (Treadwell):
US$91 Million
VC SEED FINANCING  (TCRyption)
US$10 Million
Pushing Boundaries to Overcome Oncology’s Biggest Challenges

Incubated at UHN, Treadwell Therapeutics and subsidiary TCRyption are successfully translating cancer research into groundbreaking immunotherapy treatments for difficult-to-treat cancers. Treadwell is a clinical stage, multi-modality company focused on commercializing oncology research. To date, Treadwell has secured US$91 million in series B financing, built a 9,000-square-foot state-of-the-art lab in Toronto, and established a licensing agreement with UHN to create a pipeline of pre-clinical biologics and small molecule assets. In 2021 Treadwell acquired TCRyption – a UHN incubated biotech company focused on broadening cancer treatment options via T-cell receptor (TCR) technologies developed at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

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View All Success Stories

Annual UHN

Commercialization awards

Inventor of the Year

2022
‍Winners

Drs. Heather Ross and Joseph A. Cafazzo

Drs. Heather Ross and Joseph A. Cafazzo

L to R: Mark Taylor, Director, Commercialization; Dr. Heather Ross, Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research

L to R: Mark Taylor, Director, Commercialization; Dr. Heather Ross, Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research

Drs. Heather Ross and Joseph A. Cafazzo were named 2022 joint Inventors of the Year for revolutionizing cardiac care through Medly, a digital health solution for heart health care from anywhere. Medly reduces heart failure management costs and hospitalizations by 50% and forms the basis of a new UHN venture, Medly Therapeutics, poised to bring heart care benefits to patients around the world.

View Past Winners
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About the Inventor
of the Year Award

Proudly sponsored by Commercialization at UHN, the UHN Inventor of the Year Award recognizes an inventor or team who has made a substantial and noteworthy contribution to developing healthcare innovations with high commercialization potential.

Do you think your medical innovation is a contender?

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