GlycoNet awards grants worth $90,000 to three Alberta startup companies

From left to right: Dr. Karla Williams, GlyCa BioSciences, Dr. Ratmir Derda, 48Hour Discovery, & Dr. Jason Acker and Dr. Rob Ben, PanTHERA CryoSolutions.

Glyco-based companies use funds to protect intellectual property, build business capacity

EDMONTON (October 9, 2018) – The Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet) awarded $90,000 in grants to three Alberta-based startup companies: 48Hour Discovery Inc., GlyCa BioSciences Inc. and PanTHERA CryoSolutions Inc.

The Startup Company Funding Program recognizes the needs of start-up companies and provides financial help to increase their chances of success. The financial support can be used for the recruitment of business development staff, for leveraging funding from other sources, and for patent protection and licensing activities. All three awarded companies were created based on technologies developed through GlycoNet-funded research.

“It’s important for GlycoNet to help the creation of glyco-based startup companies and increase their chances of success,” says Dr. Elizabeth Nanak, Executive Director, GlycoNet. “This funding program is an integral part of our commercialization strategy. Ideally, we want to see innovative technologies translated into tangible outcomes within the next 5-10 years.”

48Hour Discovery Inc.
Total grant: $20,000

48Hour Discovery Inc. (48HD) accelerates the drug discovery process by providing ligand screening services within just 48 hours. The company received $20,000 for patent filing payments.

“Commercialization grant opportunities, such as the ones available at GlycoNet, are essential for the sustainable growth of early entrepreneurial enterprises,” says Dr. Ratmir Derda, President, 48HD. “As a technology company, our intellectual property is at the core of what we do. The $20,000 we received from GlycoNet for patent filing costs helps us manage the necessary expenses when navigating the patenting process.”

GlyCa BioSciences Inc.
Total grant: $20,000

GlyCa BioSciences has a technology that uses a sugar as a cancer biomarker, which together with tissue-specific markers, can detect and/or predict high-risk prostate cancer with a simple blood test. GlyCa BioSciences received $20,000 for patent filing costs.

“GlyCa BioSciences recently received $20,000 for patent filing costs which will significantly help the company as it moves forward with the development of an extracellular vesicle-based ‘liquid biopsy’ for detection of aggressive prostate cancer,” says co-founder Dr. Karla Williams, University of British Columbia. “The successful filing of Glyca’s patent application, made possible through GlycoNet Startup Company Funding Program, will enable the development of a protected marketing strategy and enhance the company’s commercial success. Patent protection for Glyca Biosciences ‘liquid biopsy’ is intrinsically linked with the company’s goal of continued product development and further innovations to strengthen the product and drive its commercialization.”

PanTHERA CryoSolutions Inc.
Total grant: $50,000

PanTHERA CryoSolutions’ technology provides a much needed improvement in the cryopreservation of cells and tissues, resulting in better quality cells for cellular therapies and transplantations. The company was awarded $50,000 for the recruitment of a commercialization associate to help the company business development activities.

“The New Company Startup Funding Program with GlycoNet has been essential for the creation of PanTHERA CryoSolutions, a newly formed Canadian company that specializes in the design and synthesis of novel small molecule ice recrystallization inhibitors (IRIs) that mitigate cellular damage to cells and tissues during cryopreservation,” says co-founder Dr. Rob Ben, University of Ottawa. “These funds have facilitated the hiring of key personnel to fully commercialize the IRI technology and enter the global research and clinical markets.”

About GlycoNet

GlycoNet is a pan-Canadian, multidisciplinary research network aiming to deliver solutions to important health issues and improve the quality of life of Canadians through the study of glycomics. GlycoNet is funded by the Networks of Centres of Excellence, a Government of Canada program that supports large-scale, academic-led research networks to build research capacity and accelerate the creation of new knowledge in a specific research area. For more information, visit

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Bernie Poitras, APR
Canadian Glycomics Network
Tel: 780-492-4355

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