Invention to Innovation: Demystifying commercialization

IP&C is pleased to present our “Invention to Innovation” education series, packed with sessions featuring industry experts who will help demystify commercialization and provide a comprehensive overview of how to bring breakthrough discoveries to market.

Session 6: Tips & Tricks for Inventors and Founding Scientists

We will feature several scientists from Toronto who have successfully founded their own biotech start-ups, as well as expert professionals who have advised and facilitated the creation of biotech ventures in our ecosystem. This panel will discuss many important topics that are top of mind for aspiring inventors and founders, including: hiring the right team versus securing capital, what the best timing is for company creation based on the technology and other external factors, and the unique opportunities and challenges for academic-based inventors. Register today!

Meet our panelists:

Daniel Durocher

Senior Investigator, Mount Sinai Hospital

Co-founder, Repare Therapeutics

Jean-Phillippe Julien

Senior Scientist, SickKids Hospital

Co-Founder, stealth startup

Paul Santerre

Co-Director of the Health Innovation Hub and Baxter Chair for Health Technology & Commercialization, UHN

Karen Atkinson

Tax Partner, Ernst & Young

Cheryl Reicin

Partner and Life Sciences Practice Leader, Torys LLP

  • This was a virtual seminar, if you were unable to attend but would like to learn more please contact for a recording of the event.

Session 5: Raising Venture Capital to Fund your Company

We will be joined by representatives of CCRM Enterprises Inc., 5am Ventures, TIAP, Spotlight Therapeutics, and EY – all companies that have worked with or invested in early-stage academic projects to bring them to the market. Learn more about how to craft an effective pitch, how investors evaluate opportunities, and the importance of finding the right partner(s) to advance a technology.

Meet our panelists:

Cynthia Lavoie

President & Chief Investment Officer, CCRM Enterprises

Michelle Ho

Associate, 5AM Ventures

Parimal Nathwani

President & CEO, TIAP

Mary Haak-Frendscho

President & CEO Spotlight Therapeutics

Mario Piccinin | Moderator

Audit Partner, EY

  • This was a virtual seminar, if you were unable to attend but would like to learn more please contact for a recording of the event.

Session 4: Working with industry partners to advance your technology

Join us for our fourth session featuring a panel of representatives from companies including Pfizer, Illumina, and Starfish Medical. Our panelists will provide key insights into the nature of working with industry to advance academic technologies. Learn about these companies, their stories of previous academic-industry partnerships, as well as how they identify potential innovations in academic settings to help ready them for market entry

Meet our speakers:

Arpita Maiti, PhD. | Executive Director & Global Head, Emerging Science & Innovation Lead – Inflammation & Immunology, Pfizer

At Pfizer, Arpita leads scouting of external opportunities (Idea to Candidate) and academic collaborations for the Inflammation & Immunology research unit and the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. ES&I is an externally-focused scientific team of PhDs/MDs, that identifies late-breaking, first-in-class science forming the basis of innovative therapies that deliver value to Pfizer, its partners, and patients. She has trained as an immunologist and has a PhD and MSc in Immunology from UBC and a BSc from UofT. She co-organized the 12th World Congress on Inflammation, served on the board of the Inflammation Research Association in numerous positions, and is currently on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Inflammation Societies.

Grace Murray | Executive Territory Manager, Illumina

Grace completed her Masters of Science – Microbiology at University of Manitoba before moving to Toronto where she managed technical support for a Canadian distributor who represented 11 different companies including a company called Stratagene. Grace moved into a sales role with Stratagene when they decided to sell directly into Canada. She has spent her last 13 years with Illumina where her role is Executive Territory Account Manager covering downtown Toronto.

John Walmsley | Executive Vice President, Strategic Relationships, Starfish Medical

An expert in product development, innovation and team building, John has over 25 years’ experience with device technology companies in the UK, US and Canada. He has overseen the design of over 150 products. As Executive VP, he is responsible for making and growing the company’s strategic relationships. Currently, he is leading the ultra-fast design, development, manufacture and delivery of 7500 new ICU-level ventilators for the Government of Canada. A fellow of the Institute of Physics, he is a frequent industry speaker and university lecturer across North America. He is Chair of the BioMedical Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Victoria, and he sits on review panels for UK Chartered Physicists and Canadian Professional Physicists.

  • This was a virtual seminar, if you were unable to attend but would like to learn more please contact for a recording of the event.

Session 3: Protecting your discoveries and creating value with intellectual property

Join us for our third session where we will be joined by top intellectual property (IP) lawyers from the US and Canada. They will provide an overview of how different types of IP are used to strategically create value for your technologies, the fundamentals and process of creating a competitive IP portfolio, and non-patent routes for advancing discoveries. Content will be reinforced by in-depth case studies of technologies such as small molecules, biologics, devices, and algorithms.

Meet our speakers:

Lee Johnson, PhD. LLB. | Partner, Patents and Innovation, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Lee is a Partner with WSGR, based in San Diego. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of British Columbia, as well as law degrees from McGill University, with a license to practice in California and Quebec. Lee’s practice primarily focuses on assisting innovative growth stage companies largely in the life sciences and healthcare fields, including biologics, small molecules, and medical devices, where his ideal clients originate from an institutional spin-out and takes an initial innovation through development and into clinical trials. In addition to providing patent and IP strategy counsel, his role is also to provide general business guidance, with a large importance placed on improving company valuation through building a robust and defensible IP position.

Paula Bremner, LLB. LLM. | Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, Fluidigm

Paula is the Senior IP Counsel at Fluidigm Canada, a global biotech instrument manufacturer. Her previous experience includes practicing patent and trade-mark litigation in Toronto, primarily in the pharmaceutical space. She obtained her BSc in biochemistry at Queens, and holds her LLB and LLM from Dalhousie and Osgoode respectively. Paula is also a registered patent and trade-mark agent. At Fluidigm, she oversees evaluation of all aspects of R&D to maximize IP value, coordination with the business side of the company, as well as facilitation of ongoing IP education and compliance.

  • This was a virtual seminar, if you were unable to attend but would like to learn more please contact for a recording of the event.

Session 2: Developing pharmaceuticals from basic research discoveries

Join us for our second session during which experts from Charles River Labs will provide an overview of the drug development process and how to advance your technology from the bench to the market. They will be discussing the importance of strategically de-risking and adding value to your technology to generate commercial/investor interest, and how best to prepare for clinic entry. We will also be highlighting resources available to SickKids for drug development.

Meet our speakers:

Samuel S. Chuang, PhD | Director of Scientific Advisory Services

Sam collaborates with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, advising on drug development programs and monitoring nonclinical regulatory packages. He provides scientific and regulatory expertise covering a variety of drug classes (small to large molecule), therapeutic areas, routes of administration, and animal species. Sam has over 25 years of academic, biotechnology and nonclinical CRO research experience.

Daniel L. Small, PhD, Senior Director, Business Development

Dan is responsible for Discovery Services from Charles River covering everything from HTS and medicinal chemistry through efficacy models across several therapeutic areas. He has authored over 70 publications including more than a dozen review articles and book chapters and has more than 25 years of experience in academia, government, biotech and preclinical CROs.

Zach Bousies, BS, MBA, Midwest and Eastern Canada Sr. Business Development Director

Based in Chicago, IL, with over 20 years of experience in contract research, and 13 years within Charles River. Territory spans over provinces and states between Arizona and the Canadian Maritimes. Helps sponsors liaise with the many scientists and global sites within Safety Assessment at Charles River. Experienced in conducting and selling in vivo and in vitro services, discovery services as well as research models. Expertise in strategic planning, brand and product management, problem solving and in directing and coordinating projects.

  • This was a virtual seminar, if you were unable to attend but would like to learn more please contact for a recording of the event.

Session 1: Bringing SickKids’ innovations to market

Join us for our first session where experts from IP&C will introduce the process of commercialization biomedical discoveries and provide a foundation for our future sessions. We will walk you through the commercialization pipeline, why you should think about commercializing (earlier than you think!), and how close collaboration between IP&C and the inventor is critical for success.

Meet our speaker:

Konrad Powell-Jones | Commercialization Consultant.

Konrad is responsible for negotiating license agreements, research contracts and other related agreements. He applies his extensive pharma experience as a commercialization advisor to the team in various industry endeavors with internal and external partners. With over 25 years of combined experience as a Biotechnology Commercialization Manager for institutions such as the University of Toronto, The Canadian Arthritis Network, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Sinai Health System, and over 15 years as a Contracts Specialist for CAMH and other hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto, he brings a broad spectrum of knowledge to commercializing early-stage discoveries from academic institutions.

  • This was a virtual seminar, if you were unable to attend but would like to learn more please contact for a recording of the event.