CARI Blog #3: CARI: Q&A session with our experts

June 3, 2021 CPDC

Over the past few months, adMare BioInnovations and the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) have shared with you information about the role and the potential of radiopharmaceuticals in healthcare and in the life sciences ecosystem in Canada.

Now we want to share some further thoughts from our resident experts bringing this initiative and this potential to fruition.

Dr. Ghadeer Shubassi, Senior Business Development Manager, CPDC & Dr. Stuart Cain, Associate Director of Scientific Evaluation, adMare

Our two organizations joined forces in September 2020 to create this initiative that supports radiopharmaceutical discovery projects with tremendous commercialization potential. We talked to two key members of the team, who gave us their perspective on CARI and the two organizations’ visions for Canada establishing a global leadership position in this game-changing area. Dr. Ghadeer Shubassi, the Senior Business Development Manager at CPDC, and Dr. Stuart Cain, the Associate Director of Scientific Evaluation at adMare, have been working at the forefront of CARI to assist its applicants since its launch. Hear what they have to say about the opportunities this initiative presents for both academic researchers and Canadian life sciences companies.

What is adMare and CPDC’s vision for CARI?

Dr. Ghadeer Shubassi: “As two leading Canadian organizations in our national life sciences ecosystem, CPDC and adMare share the vision to propel Canada’s life sciences industry to the next level of innovation and achievement. CARI is a strategic collaboration that combines adMare’s exceptional drug development, company creation, and investment experience with CPDC’s specific radiopharmaceutical expertise.”

Dr. Stuart Cain: “CARI has three main objectives: to seek out and uncover radiopharmaceutical opportunities arising from academic discoveries and early enterprises, to establish rigorous drug development programs around selected opportunities, and to drive the generation of proof-of-principle and other data supportive of the commercialization of new radiopharmaceutical assets.”

What are the roles played by adMare and CPDC within CARI?

Dr. Ghadeer Shubassi: “adMare and CPDC each have agreed to each contribute up to $100K through services offered in-house or at selected CROs to lead to the successful commercialization of CARI projects. CPDC brings more than a decade of experience in clinical development of new probes, regulatory affairs, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), achieving clinical trial approvals, providing a daily global supply of radiodiagnostics and radiotherapeutics, and commercialization of innovative solutions. These are resources that we’re looking to offer to advance projects under CARI.”

Dr. Stuart Cain: “adMare BioInnovations has remarkable expertise in translating leading academic research into new companies of scale and helping existing Canadian companies scale-up, such Abdera Therapeutics, our latest spin-off focused on the development of radiopharmaceuticals. adMare’s scientific expertise in target validation and lead compound development complements CPDC’s radiochemical expertise in the radiopharmaceutical industry.”

How does the work get done?

Dr. Ghadeer Shubassi: “To realize CARI’s vision of advancing the Canadian radiopharmaceutical industry to the next global stage, CPDC and adMare demonstrate their dynamic scientific and business roles in CARI by offering world-class expertise through the provision of various resources and services. These service offerings bridge the gap between the pre-clinical development of radiopharmaceutical discoveries and their successful launch and commercialization (as depicted in the figure below). The delivery and administration of radiopharmaceuticals involves time-sensitive logistics exhibited by industry leaders such as CPDC. CPDC’s expertise in GMP-manufacturing and logistics of providing clinical and commercial supply of radiopharmaceutical is key to ensure the successful transition of assets from pre-clinical development to clinical trials and eventually reaching the market.”

Dr. Stuart Cain: “CARI supports start-ups and academic researchers looking to pave the road to successful commercialization of their innovation. CARI’s scientific program offerings range from target validation through in-vivo and in-vitro evaluation, to developing chemistry manufacturing and control processes, and radiochemistry consultation on radiolabeling with diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Business and regulatory offerings range from market analysis, research and commercialization consultation to preparation and management of regulatory submissions.”

Figure 1 – CARI’s scientific/technology development program offerings are designed to help entrepreneurial scientists with the commercialization of early-stage discoveries with life-changing potential. This development continuum demonstrates the stages a principal investigator or early start-up goes through to advance their discovery to market and CARI’s role in this process.

How does the application process for CARI work?

Dr. Shubassi and Dr. Cain highlight that CARI anticipates up to two projects to get initiated in the next few months.

Dr. Ghadeer Shubassi: “After completing a quick two-page application, applicants are then contacted by the CARI team to set up an initial meeting and discuss project potential and next steps. Once a Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement is executed, they are required to provide early proof-of-principle data to support the discovery’s rationale. Therapeutic assets will be prioritized, however CARI will also consider programs centered on diagnostic agents and indications other than oncology.”

Dr. Stuart Cain: “We encourage applicants to check out our first webinar detailing the program, and follow CPDC and adMare’s social media for updates on CARI. Our team is also available anytime to provide any additional information or answer questions they may have.”

The CARI application can be accessed through both CPDC and adMare’s websites. Click here to learn more about CARI.

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