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Prostate Centre's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development - PC-TRiADD

$26.3 million for 2008-18
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Prostate Centre's Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$13.7 million

Vancouver, British Columbia

Martin Gleave Martin Gleave

Board chair
Conrad Pinette Conrad Pinette
President, Condor Holdings

Bringing new prostate drugs to patients sooner

The opportunity

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, striking more than 22,000 Canadians each year and killing approximately 4,300. While new anti-cancer drugs have succeeded in prolonging life, the cancer can often become resistant to these same drugs and spread to other parts of the body. The shift in cancer research from chemical to biological-based treatments offers hope, and Canada’s universities are among the world’s best in this field. A new hybrid model for commercializing university research – one that can act as a bridge between academia and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry to bring novel therapies to patients sooner – was needed.

How PC-TRiADD is seizing the opportunity

The Prostate Centre’s Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery and Development (PC-TRiADD) leverages the scientific excellence, platform technologies and specialized facilities of the Vancouver Prostate Centre. It provides seamless management of the complex processes involved in discovery, preclinical development and clinical research into the molecular mechanisms of late stage cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. In addition to supporting its own research and product development, PC-TRiADD produces patent-protected targets and drug candidates that battle treatment resistance and attract considerable revenue from industry and academic partners. This approach is growing Canada’s biotech sector while reducing the risks and costs of drug development.

Among the results

  • OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals has advanced two new cancer-fighting drugs to Phase II and Phase III studies with more than 3,000 patients. Custersin and OGX-427 were shown to have anti-cancer activity in prostate and other cancers. These drugs were discovered and outlicensed from PC-TRiADD to OncoGenex, and PC-TRiADD provided critical pre-clinical development and access to a national clinical trial network.
  • PC-TRiADD spinoff Aquinox Pharmaceuticals raised $98 million in its initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange, for continued development of novel drug candidates to treat inflammation and cancer. Other PC-TRiADD spinoffs include Andronex Pharmaceuticals, Sitka Biopharma and OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals.
  • A PC-TRiADD researcher was the first in the world to successfully grow early stage human prostate cancer tissue in hosts, giving scientists unprecedented levels of accuracy in seeing how patient-specific prostate tumours respond to drug therapies or develop drug resistance.
  • Thanks to commercialization support from PC-TRiADD, a new drug technology that could one day be used to treat advanced prostate cancers that have become resistant to existing treatments, received a licensing deal worth up to US$140 million from Roche. Research will continue in collaboration with PC-TRiADD and the Vancouver Prostate Centre.

Connect with PC-TRiADD


Marrying science with business rigour to outsmart cancer
April 7, 2016
A Canadian technology that could outsmart cancer scored a major investment in December from Roche, a pharmaceutical giant with more than 600 employees in Canada and over 90,000 globally. The licensing deal, worth up to US$140 million, is the largest ever made by the University of British Columbia (UBC), and much of the credit goes to PC-TRiADD – the commercialization arm of the Vancouver Prostate Centre. Read more
Watch Video
Researchers develop prostate cancer treatment
December 15, 2015