Canadian Biotech Startups Selected to Present in Silicon Valley

Zucara Therapeutics and Sepset Biosciences have been chosen to present at “Dose of the Valley” in San Francisco on February 9 and 10.

The companies, based in Vancouver, are spun out of The Centre for Drug Research and Development.

Dose of the Valley is a two-day program organized by the C100, BDC Venture Capital and the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco. The annual event connects Canada’s life science companies from biopharma, medical device and health IT sectors through roundtable discussions, industry-led workshops, one-on-one mentorship, an investor pitch session, and a networking reception.

“As a leader in bridging commercialization gaps to translate early-stage discoveries into new medicines, we are very pleased to have been selected to join this program and present innovative Canadian-developed technology,” says Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO, CDRD. “British Columbia is becoming the ‘Silicon Valley North’ as a result of the numerous investments being made in technology and infrastructure – and by further connecting with our neighbours to the south we have an unprecedented level of investment and partnering opportunities at our doorstep.”

Zucara, created by CDRD and MaRS Innovation, is based on decades of diabetes research by University of Toronto Professor Dr. Mladen Vranic. The company is developing a novel drug therapy to help prevent hypoglycemia in people with diabetes.

Sepset, which CDRD is launching in collaboration with Dr. Robert Hancock, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of the Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research at the University of British Columbia, is developing a diagnostic assay for the early and rapid diagnosis of sepsis. This unique diagnostic is based on the detection of a unique signature of sepsis based on the immune response rather than the presences of a pathogen.

These novel technologies represent tremendous commercial potential in their respective therapeutic areas: there is no current treatment for hypoglycemia in the market today, and sepsis is one of the most expensive conditions for hospitals to treat. For every one-hour delay in diagnosis, the rate of mortality grows by eight percent. Therapies for these conditions are urgently needed to improve treatments for patients and reduce medical costs for our healthcare systems.