WDAsia participated in ChinaBio 2022

by ecomm on November 29, 2022 No comments

The WD Asia team was able to attend ChinaBio 2022 online from November 8 to 11, 2022. ChinaBio is one of the best life science events in China in terms of program, execution, relationship building opportunities and information exchange.

ChinaBio® Partnering Forum, the largest and most productive life science partnering event in China, offers multiple ways for attendees to be part of the event.

WD Asia was primarily interested in the partnering platform in hopes to expand our business network in the China. We were successful in connecting with major players in Chinese life science market and investment industry such as Hansoh Pharma, SLilly (China) Research and Development Co., Ltd., Pivotal bioVenture Partners China, China Resources Sanjiu Medical & Pharmaceutical Co., ltd and KPC PHARMACEUTICAL, INC. etc. WD Asia will continue to grow its business network and aim to collaborate with more Chinese partners.

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ecommWDAsia participated in ChinaBio 2022

WD Asia team participated in MaRS Impact Health 2022

by ecomm on September 1, 2022 No comments

WD Asia was able to attend MaRS Impact Health 2022 in person this May, after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference was a 3 day event consisting of numerous events which included a venture showcase of 18 startups split across 3 topics: Digital health, medical devices and biotech. Furthermore, the event also had various talks and panels that covers the important issues facing the healthcare community such as retaining talent within Canada, tackling international markets, and tackling misinformation.

WD Asia was able to learn more the current landscape of startup growth in Canada as well as get an update on what innovations startup companies are introducing to the life science sectors in various fields. We were able successfully have an introduction call as well as get an authorization letter signed with 2 startup companies; Aufero Medical and CSTS Healthcare.

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ecommWD Asia team participated in MaRS Impact Health 2022

WD Asia Team participated in Effervescence 2022

by ecomm on September 1, 2022 No comments

The WD Asia team was able to attend Effervescence 2022 in person in May 2022. The conference won awards for being one of the best in Canada in terms of program, execution, relationship building opportunities and its sustainability footprint.

The conference itself was comprised of series of 7 workshops, 15 panels and 2 different series of pitch competition, one for startups and one for research students.

WD Asia was primarily interested in the startup pitch competition in hopes to explore the growing life science sector in Montreal and also expand our business network in the Quebec region. We were successful in connecting with various stakeholders in the sector such as McGill HBHL, SNC-Lavalin, Merck USA, JLabs Canada, Oyster Venture and Innovacorp. WD Asia will continue to grow its business network and aim to collaborate with more Quebec based SMEs.

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ecommWD Asia Team participated in Effervescence 2022

WD Asia team participated in the Bio Asia-Taiwan 2022

by ecomm on August 26, 2022 No comments


The WD Asia team participated in Bio Asia-Taiwan 2022 online. The globally recognized event hosted both online and in-person participants to cultivate a high level of innovation and international engagement within the biomedical sector. This year’s theme was “Connecting the Asian Value Chain”, it reflected the importance and need to connect with the vast Asian bio industry entities in order to maximize opportunity, innovation and ROI.

WD Asia held 10 online meetings at the conference; meeting with potential partners from Taiwan and reconnecting strategic Asian partners: Bora Biologics, Center Laboratories, FunPep Co., Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries Promotion Office, Santen Pharma., Nihon Servier, Etc.

The insight from the event strengthened our understanding of the Taiwanese life science market, its needs and discussing possible collaboration opportunities. We will continue building a solid network in Taiwan and bring more Canadian innovations to Taiwan, WD Asia will be more active in Taiwan market.


The WD Asia team last participated the inaugural Bio Asia-Taiwan in 2019 together with other Canadian organizations. The conference is jointly organized by the global Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and the Taiwan Bio Industry Organization (Taiwan BIO).

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ecommWD Asia team participated in the Bio Asia-Taiwan 2022

WD Asia team participated in the Bio Korea 2022

by ecomm on August 26, 2022 No comments

The WD Asia team attended BIO KOREA 2022 which was held in both onsite and online from May 11-13, 2022. BIO KOREA has been held every year since 2006 and serves as a business platform for international biohealth companies. As an international convention, BIO Korea is known for providing various opportunities to develop business networks and assure competitive advantages in the bio health industry.

This was an amazing opportunity for the WD Asia team to have an overview of Korea life science industry through its curated seminars and forums. Moreover, we had 9 zoom meetings with strategic and industrial partners to discussing the WD Asia platform as well as the projects that we represent. Through BIO Korea, WD Asia team was given the chance to explore Korea market and foster more partnerships within the Korean life science ecosystem. We will continue to enhance our position in this market and connect with local partners in the regions in the near future.

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ecommWD Asia team participated in the Bio Korea 2022

Medical software licence underlines WORLDiscoveries success

by ecomm on August 22, 2022 No comments

Ting-Yim Lee has developed medical imaging software so versatile he jokingly calls it the Swiss army knife of diagnostics.

His cutting-edge CT Perfusion technology measures blood flow in bodily tissues, helping computerized tomography scans guide treatment for patients who have had a stroke.

The software is also used to get a handle on the spread of cancer in patients and to assess how well tumours have responded to treatment.

Lee is also working to adapt it for patients with heart attack, pulmonary embolism or arthritis.

“I would like to think we can push as many applications as possible,” said the professor at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, scientist at Robarts Research Institute and at Lawson Health Research Institute.

Lee’s innovation, licensed to GE Healthcare Systems for use in their scanners, is a significant reason why WORLDiscoveries has just moved up in the AUTM national rankings for technology transfer revenues.

WORLDiscoveries, the business development arm of a research partnership between Western, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson, moved to sixth place, from seventh, in the Canadian rankings of AUTM, which works with more than 800 research institutions worldwide.

WORLDiscoveries returned $4.2-million in revenue from a portfolio of 159 licences, 33 of which were signed in 2018, the most recent rankings measurement period.

“This is an important metric for WORLDiscoveries and for Western,” Lee said. “In terms of societal responsibility, society wants to know that this publicly funded research is doing good and is leading to clinical application. It is not necessarily the most important metric, but return on investment is at least among the pool of measurements.”

Souzan Armstrong, acting executive director for WORLDiscoveries, said the new ranking demonstrates the organization’s drive for achieving excellence.

“We will continue to build on our success in generating revenue, and broaden our reach while building vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems,” she added.

Lee’s software has been licensed to GE Healthcare for 20 years, and it’s been far from a one-and-done arrangement. He is constantly refining the software and working with GE scientists, engineers and marketers to stretch the boundaries of discovery in human health.

Understanding blood flow – to the heart, the brain or a cancerous tumour – is often key to assessing and treating life-threatening conditions, Lee said.

“This sort of CT scan is the most accessible medical method used in hospitals to triage patients with stroke and cancer. It is not the end-all and be-all; it is an additional piece of information that helps cardiologists, neurologists and oncologists,” he said. “We say we’re improving the understanding of perfusion from head to toe. That is the major reason for the longevity of this licence.”

Colin Macaulay, the business development manager for the technology in WORLDiscoveries, said Lee’s story underscores the importance of building relationships among licensees and licence-holders. “It’s been a long-lasting relationship he’s had with this company, and it’s built on many years of co-operation and collaboration. It’s not just a transaction.”

Lee said it’s a cycle in which royalty income is plowed back into more research, which generates new ideas and gives birth to new technologies.

“This licensing isn’t just ‘give them the software and I’ll sit back and collect the royalties,’” he said. “I have never done that. I have always tried to stretch these new boundaries to grow with the technologies they’re developing. So that becomes a symbiotic relationship with them.”

This article was written by Debora Van Brenk and appeared in Western News.

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ecommMedical software licence underlines WORLDiscoveries success

Western Medical Innovation Fellowship alumna founded startup, Front Line Medical, receives Health Canada approval

by ecomm on August 22, 2022 No comments

Asha Parekh, PhD’15, who was a member of the first cohort of the Western Medical Innovation Fellowship, is seeing results after years of work as the company she founded receives Health Canada approval. Parekh, a biomedical engineer, co-founded the company Front Line Medical Technologies in 2017, with Dr. Adam Power, a vascular surgeon based at Victoria Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Front Line got an initial boost in spring of 2017 when the company was accepted to the first cohort of TechAlliance’s BURST program, an innovative incubation program for high-potential medical technology startups that provided the fledgling company with $70k worth of funding and mentoring. The company was also selected to participate in the second cohort of the Western Accelerator, another incubator that includes funding and various workshops.

Front Line Medical has received Health Canada approval for its COBRA-OS™ (Control of Bleeding, Resuscitation, Arterial Occlusion System) device after three years of research and development. The COBRA-OS is an innovative, easy-to-use aortic occlusion device with an extremely low-profile for temporary hemorrhage control and resuscitation.

“Even with all the advances in medicine today, trauma patients are primarily still dying from blood loss – this is our chance to change that,” said Power “While REBOA continues to emerge as a life-saving procedure, we saw the need for a simple, fast, low-profile device to maximize its benefit and ultimately save more lives.”

REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta) is used in emergencies when patients require hemodynamic support to maintain blood flow to the brain and heart, acting as a bridge to definitive care. COBRA-OS is the smallest on the market. Its significantly decreased size allows health care personnel easily deploy COBRA-OS, decreasing the time of the procedure and potentially improving patient outcomes.

This device can be used in multiple situations, including non-compressible torso hemorrhage in trauma, postpartum hemorrhage and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. While it has been primarily performed in-hospital, it is currently also being deployed in pre-hospital settings and military environments and being investigated for non-traumatic cardiac arrest.

“We have already seen great results, both from our pre-clinical and user validation studies,” said Parekh.

“When it comes to blood loss, timing is crucial and while most REBOA procedures take about 10 minutes, the COBRA-OS has taken just over a minute in our studies. Our ultimate goal is to lower the barriers to REBOA use around the world and after three years of hard work behind the scenes, Health Canada approval is our first step in making that happen.”

For more information about Front Line Medical and to stay updated on the availability of the COBRA-OS, please visit

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ecommWestern Medical Innovation Fellowship alumna founded startup, Front Line Medical, receives Health Canada approval

Technology Transfer’s role in green growth

by ecomm on August 22, 2022 No comments

Now more than ever countries are working hard to balance economic growth with sustainability and meeting environmental standards needed to combat the devastating effects of climate change. Public institutions like universities and research organizations have an important role to play through their portfolios of licensable green technologies.

By commercializing technological innovation, countries can help generate sustainable economic growth while soundly addressing climate change. Demand for green technologies has increased remarkably in recent decades.

To combat the environmental impacts of climate change, 43 countries have pledged to adhere to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These countries have agreed to implement measures to achieve the goal of reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases – generating the need for these various green technologies.

There are significant supports not only for researchers of green technology but also for businesses who pursue the commercialization of green technology. Environment and Climate Change Canada offers over 18 funding programs while provinces provide various grants and programs to businesses who are commercializing technologies or adapting their business to be Earth friendly.

Western has taken an active role in combatting climate changes by signing on to Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities. The University joined more than a dozen research-intensive Canadian universities to battle climate change through sustainable investing – part of the university’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. The University has also recently added a degree in climate change to its program offerings.

Western has also generated a number of green spinoff companies with the guidance of WORLDiscoveries like RenixWestern Maple Bio Resources, and RECAT Technologies to name a few.

If you have entrepreneurial aspirations or are looking to improve upon your existing business, consider licensing a green technology and be part of the solution to climate change. See a list of green technologies in our portfolio, and be aware that universities across Canada are also working towards solutions for climate change and have technologies available for licensing, some can be found at ExploreIP: Canada’s IP Marketplace.

Licensable green technologies

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ecommTechnology Transfer’s role in green growth

Science meets business at the Proteus Innovation Competition

by ecomm on August 22, 2022 No comments

Students bring home $5K prize for health tech go-to-market pitch

Another exciting year for the Proteus Innovation Competition has come and gone with five teams taking home over $25,000 in prizes.

Founded at Western by WORLDiscoveries and grown to collaborate with McMaster, Windsor, Waterloo and Guelph universities, the competition brings students together to propose viable paths to market for novel technologies developed at the partner institutions.

It’s a key event within the Western entrepreneurship ecosystem, awarding each winning team $5,000 and the chance to license the new technology and form their own startup.

“Proteus is a learning opportunity for students interested in the convergence of research, technology and entrepreneurship,” says Souzan Armstrong, Executive Director for WORLDiscoveries. “It’s also a chance to showcase innovations coming out of Ontario’s top institutions and engaging the ecosystem for support in bringing them to market through collaboration.”

Western put forward a Dynamic Cardiovascular Imaging for Rapid Patient Treatment Planning technology, developed by Dr. Aaron So, a Lawson Scientist and Professor of Medical Biophysics at Schulich Medicine and Dentistry. This novel CT scan software can accomplish in minutes what current technology takes hours to do – with much less computer processing power.

Team Rogers, a cross-faculty team comprised of Western students Eastelle Ding, Clara Sun, Ronald Cheung (Schulich), Aaron Cheung (Health Sciences), Lydia Ji (Ivey), took home one of the top prizes for their commercialization plan and pitch to a panel of judges.

The team stated they entered the Proteus Innovation competition because “the technologies at each institution were already well developed and researched – there was no need to think of a novel technology.”

After attending the competition launch event the team decided on Western’s technology because they felt it had great market potential and they wanted to represent their home institution.

When asked how their team came together, they said “surprisingly or not, we are actually all housemates who live on a street named Rogers – hence Team Rogers! The multidisciplinary nature of our team and household gave us an advantage. Our team consisted of students in epidemiology and biostatistics, occupational therapy, kinesiology, microbiology and immunology, pathology, and business.”

The biggest takeaway from the competition was how much practice it required to nail the pitch in front of the panel of judges, who come from various industries including medical science, venture capital, or government.

The team is exploring the opportunity to work with Dr. So on further development and commercialization of the technology. In addition to one of the top $5k prizes, the team also won the $1k audience choice award.

2021 Proteus Innovation Competition winning teams are:

Team Rogers and its commercialization plan for Western’s Dynamic Cardiovascular Imaging for Rapid Patient Treatment Planning. Team members: Eastelle Ding, Ronald Cheung, Aaron Cheung, Lydia Ji, Clara Sun

HydroMac and its commercialization plan for McMaster’s Antibacterial Phage Hydrogels. Team members: Daniela Carbonari, JingBo (Amy) Wang, Rimika Sachdeva

CIMD Solutions and its commercialization plan for Windsor’s Kinetic Energy Dissipation System. Team members: John Magliaro, Anthony Gudisey, Aryen Shakib

NovelGen Solutions and its commercialization plan for Guelphs’ Portable, Temperature-Controlled Storage System. Team members: Zaraa Malvat, Andrew Contant, Ethel Closa, Vivian Tran

PV Parkway and its commercialization plan for Waterloo’s Advanced Perovskite Films and Crystals for Stable Energy Harvesting Solar Panels. Team members: Angad Singh Vohra, Arshmeet Singh, Saatvik Arora

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ecommScience meets business at the Proteus Innovation Competition

Aaron So awarded NSERC Idea to Innovation grant

by ecomm on August 22, 2022 No comments

The Idea to Innovation (I2I) grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) exists to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology originating from research organizations and promote its transfer to a new or established Canadian company. The I2I grants provide funding to university faculty members to support research and development projects with recognized technology transfer potential. This is achieved through defined phases by providing crucial assistance in the early stages of technology validation and market connection.

In collaboration with WORLDiscoveries, Dr. Aaron So, Lawson Health Research Institute Scientist and Assistant Professor in Medical Biophysics at Western has been awarded the grant to help bring novel computed tomography (CT) software to market. A CT scan is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to obtain detailed internal images of the body non-invasively for diagnostic purposes.

The grant provides $125,000 in funding which will go towards development and validation of the software as well as equipment and patent costs. WORLDiscoveries worked with So to ensure his grant highlighted the commercialization value of his CT software, how it could be brought to market, and obtained letters of support from industry partners.

“It’s been a truly great experience,” said So about working with WORLDiscoveries on the grant application. “Dr. Patricia Pan helped me a lot on this grant, especially in the aspects of business plan and marketing strategy.”

CT is routinely used for anatomical assessment in patients with vascular and valvular diseases. Since blood flow assessment is also critical for optimizing the management of these patients, CT is often used in conjunction with other imaging tests for further disease evaluation, but this approach leads to ineffective clinical workflow. Current technology requires significant computations and processing times.

So’s novel CT image analysis method, which has been in development since 2017, was created to facilitate a one-stop anatomical and functional diagnosis with CT. It can accomplish in minutes what current technology takes hours to do – with much less computer processing power. This means the method does not require offsite image processing and allows blood flow measurement at a very high temporal resolution to unmask the underlying blood flow characteristics related to various vascular and valvular diseases. This translates to faster patient diagnosis and treatment planning.

“So’s technology has strong potential to overcome the current limitations of the static CT approach for blood flow assessment,” said Patricia Pan, Business Development Manager for WORLDiscoveries who guides the commercialization of the technology.

“This novel technology can compete with the existing CT-FFR method which is computationally intensive and has limited accuracy for coronary lesions that are moderately severe or densely calcified,” she continued.

Once developed with aid from the I2I grant, the technology can be licensed to any company with interests in the commercialization of medical imaging software.

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ecommAaron So awarded NSERC Idea to Innovation grant