Kick-Start Innovation Investment Program Launched

Fostering New IP and Business Creation in Regenerative Medicine

The Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM) and the C3i Center Inc. (C3i; formerly known as Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy and Regenerative Medicine) are on a mission to make it easier for Ontario’s regenerative medicine (RM) sector to thrive. OIRM and C3i are partnering with the BioInnovation Fund, Bloom Burton & Co., Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) and Versant Ventures to ensure these made-in-Ontario technologies get the strategic support they need to succeed.

The two organizations have launched the Kick-Start Innovation Investment Program, designed to advance promising RM technologies, attract early-stage investment and build valuable intellectual property (IP) in support of company creation. OIRM will work alongside C3i to enable successful development of these technologies and the creation of vibrant RM start-ups in Ontario.

OIRM is a comprehensive RM ecosystem dedicated to transforming discoveries into clinical trials and cures. C3i accelerates the development of cancer immunotherapies and cellular-based therapies by providing one-stop-shop services in the chain of product development through to commercialization.

“OIRM is all about leveraging investments,” says OIRM Board Chair Dr. Tim Smith, CEO of Octane Medical Group in Kingston, Ontario. “In just five years, the Institute has created a seven-fold return on the Ontario government’s original $25 million funding – meaning $174.5 million has been invested into stem cell research and commercialization in Ontario. After 25 years in the business, I’ve seen the growth of the Ontario RM ecosystem that OIRM has cultivated, and it’s now time to harvest and transform these technologies into vibrant companies via the Kick-Start program.”

Kick-Start will support successful applicants with resources to create an incorporated business, along with market assessments and an IP/commercialization plan. Investment funding of up to $100,000 and expert guidance from partners will help researchers attract early-stage investment and build value for the new company. The program will also link applicants with investors and other private sector expertise needed to attract funding and to develop and market the proposed technology.

‘’C3i is very pleased to launch this initiative with our partner, OIRM.  We are excited to continue to support great innovation in Ontario and to ensure that we grow the potential of our ecosystem,’’ says Benoit Deschamps, CEO of C3i Center Inc. ‘’Since its creation in 2016, C3i has invested more than $25M in scaling up our unique GMP cell manufacturing facility with commercial operations in Canada, including building and supporting analytical and clinical capabilities while investing in the Canadian cell and gene therapy community.’’

Click here to download the Kick-Start Innovation Investment Program materials and for full information on eligibility, key dates and how to submit a Notice of Intent.