The latest from CellCAN - July 2018!

CELLCAN IS RENEWED!

It is with great pleasure that we can share the good news with all of you: CellCAN's mandate and financing by the Network of Centres of Excellence has been renewed! We look forward to pursuing the improvement of the quality, safety and feasibility of cell and gene therapies in Canada through optimal manufacturing practices.

From the initial 7 founding Network affiliates, CellCAN now represents 13 affiliates and our Network keeps growing.

We want to thank our partners and collaborators who were key in our success and we are looking forward to keep working with all of you.

CELLCAN: REFOCUSED, REFINED AND GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

Many changes are readily apparent at CellCAN for the current 2018-2019 calendar year. It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of our new Chair of the Board of Directors, Mr. William Brock. Mr. Brock has served on the Board of Directors since the inception of CellCAN, and has taken over from Dr. Pierre Duplessis. His leadership and vision have guided us through the retooling of the CellCAN mission, vision, direction and business plan. It was a great pleasure working with Dr. Duplessis over the years and we wish him all the best on his future endeavours.

Our business approach to advancing cell and gene therapy manufacturing in Canada has been guided by our four new business pillars: build a stronger Canadian network, advance regulatory standards, generate effective outreach, position Canada as a world leader in cell & gene therapy manufacturing. CellCAN's focus on advancing the cellular manufacturing niche in Canada is reflected in our upcoming initiatives, such as the 2nd edition of the GMP Cell Therapy Manufacturing Workshop (look for the announcement coming within the next few weeks).

A SUCCESSFUL CANADIAN CELL & GENE THERAPY STRATEGY WORKSHOP

Over 400 attendees were able to learn about the Canadian cell & gene therapy ecosystem at the occasion of this workshop part of the ISCT 2018 pre-conference. With a program gathering experts discussing the cell manufacturing scene in Canada and over the world and the next steps to ensure the availability of these treatments for Canadian patients, the event was the perfect follow-up to our First Pancanadian Strategic Forum in March 2017 (see full report here). This workshop was also the occasion to follow up on the key takeaway messages from the CCA report and to showcase the Canadian expertise, know-how and infrastructure to an international audience. Stay tuned to learn more about our coming-up 2019 Strategic Forum!

Kelly Robinson's (Health Canada) presentation on access pathways for novel therapies is now available on our website. Stay tuned as more presentations will be available in the next few weeks!

Craig Hasilo, CSO of CellCAN, also received an award for the Canadian Cell & Gene Therapy Strategy Workshop at the ISCT 2018 Closing Gala. Thanks to all the members of the organizing committee who made this resounding success possible!

A GROWING CELL MANUFACTURING NETWORK 

Craig Hasilo, CSO of CellCAN, presented to the crowd at ISCT's product theatre CellCAN's network and its strategy to ensure optimal cell manufacturing in Canada. The opportunity was taken to announce that 4 additional cell manufacturing facilities have joined CellCAN's Network in the past year. You can see the complete map of our network here. Want to join CellCAN? Visit our website today: www.cellcan.com/join!

NOT TO BE MISSED : NEXT CTEG EVENT!

Friday, September 14, 2018, the second workshop of the CTEG will take place in Toronto. The program will be a great opportunity for trainees/HQP to get an introduction to Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship for Biotherapeutic Scientist. Full program, fees and more are available here. Register now! Travel support is available until July 18th, submit your applications

EDUCATING ON THE POTENTIAL OF CELL & GENE THERAPIES FOR BREAST CANCER TREATMENT

On may 5th, CellCAN presented a panel of experts at the annual Scientific Forum of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. Stéphanie Michaud (BioCanRx), Miguel Forte (ISCT), Denis Claude Roy (CellCAN), and Marie-Claude Bourgeois-Daigneault (OHRI), came together to discuss the hopes and the myths surrounding cell-based treatments, especially cancer immunotherapies. Dr. Marie-Claude Bourgeois-Daigneault also discussed her latest discovery that could lead to a treatment for aggressive breast cancer. The crowd, composed of over 300 cancer survivors, patients and their loved ones were also able to learn more about the rise of clinics offering unproven stem-cell treatments and how to be careful when seeking care.

A BIG CANADIAN IMPRESSION AT ISCT 2018

The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy had its biggest success ever in Montreal! Over 1600 delegates attended the conference and the Canadian regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapy field was showcased like never before at the occasion of this event. CellCAN was at the heart of the activities and gathered many partners from coast to coast in order to showcase the Canadian expertise, experience and market readiness on the international scene.

Mai Duong, a cancer survivor who was treated at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont in Montreal (thanks to cell therapy), attended the opening ceremony and made a compelling yet warming case for the importance of events such as ISCT and definitely inspired the hundreds of attendees to make the best of the meeting.

Dr. Denis Claude Roy, CEO of CellCAN was awarded for his contribution to the conference as co-chair of the event. Vanessa Laflamme, COO of CellCAN was also awarded for her special contribution to the event. Learn more about the activities of the 2018 ISCT week below.

A PAVILION IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS!

After the success of the first Canadian Pavilion at ISCT 2017, 11 Canadian partners gathered under the banner ‘'Stronger Together'' to showcase the Canadian strengths from research to commercialization in regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapies. BCRegMed, BioCanRx, C3i, CCRM, Héma-Québec, McGill Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Network, National Research Council of Canada, OIRM, Stem Cell Network and ThéCell were able to showcase their expertise, services and to connect with hundreds of the world's leading cell and gene therapy scientists, clinicians, policy makers, regulators, and product developers.

AN INDUSTRY NETWORKING EVENT À LA MONTRÉALAISE

On May 3rd, CellCAN and the Partners of the Canadian Pavilion hosted the Cell & Gene Therapy Networking Event at Montreal's historic location, the Ruelle des Fortifications. More than 160 executive level guests attended the evening with unique networking opportunities between the cell & gene therapy organizations of Canada, government representatives and industry leaders.

4 MILES IS NOT 5 KM!

Although the inaugural ISCT 5K run went on for a little more footsteps than anticipated, the runners had the chance to see beautiful old Montreal at sunrise on a perfect spring morning. Co-organized by ISCT and CellCAN, the run reunited more than 80 runners. This new initiative ‘'will benefit future grants to support students and ISCT members in the development of cell therapy around the world''. This event could not have been as successful without the precious help of the volunteers from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation whom we want to thank for their support!

INSPIRING THE TROOPS

On the last afternoon of the conference, William Brock, Chair of CellCAN's Board of Directors and survivor of acute myeloid leukemia had a very inspiring message for all the professionals working in the field of regenerative medicine, cell & gene therapy : ‘'I'm alive today because 30 and 40 years ago people like you were at conventions like this one''.

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There are many types of stem cells.