For Immediate Release
EDMONTON, July 12, 2022 – GlycoNet, one of the world’s leaders in glycomics—the study of carbohydrates in all living organisms—is pleased to announce that ABOzymes Biomedical Inc., a GlycoNet startup company, received substantial seed financing to further develop its ground-breaking proprietary technology platform that enables blood transfusions and life-saving organ transplants, regardless of patients’ blood type1.
Built upon the discoveries by GlycoNet investigators, Drs. Stephen Withers, Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu, and Peter Rahfeld, at the University of British Columbia, ABOzymes’ platform converts blood group antigens to group O, the universal donor type. This platform has the potential to increase donor organ matching opportunities and the supply of universal donor blood, addressing critical shortages of universal organs and blood in Canada and around the world.
“The support we have received from GlycoNet has allowed for continued research resulting in ABOzymes becoming a world leader in blood type antigen conversion. The advances that we’ve been able to make through glycomics research are going to produce products that could revolutionize the medical industry and save lives,” says John Coleman, CEO, ABOzymes. “We’ve had the proteomics revolution, the genomics revolution and now we are just scratching the surface of what the glycomics revolution can provide. The fact that sugars are an integral part of every organism will play a critical part in further understanding biology, both in the natural world and human biology.”
“ABOzymes is another excellent example of how glycomics funding and collaboration can translate critical research into successful startup companies and commercial outcomes. We have been strong supporters of Drs. Withers and Rahfeld for years and are incredibly proud to have been a part of their success,” says Elizabeth Nanak, CEO, GlycoNet.
Glycomics offers unique and progressive ways to monitor and modulate biological processes in all living organisms. This largely untapped scientific potential is at the centre of a new surge of development, with breakthrough discoveries helping to treat some of the world’s most common and rare diseases.
ABOzymes, a BC-based preclinical stage company, is developing an innovative platform that enables a world where a person’s blood type is no longer the first constraint when they need life-saving organ transplants or blood transfusions. ABOzymes’ enzymes-based technology converts the cell surface antigens that determines blood group to group O, the universal donor type. ABOzymes’ platform will enable healthcare providers to better prioritize patients by medical urgency, to spend less on management and logistics, and to ultimately save more lives. For more information, please visit: www.abozymes.com
GlycoNet is advancing research, innovation and training in glycomics to improve the quality of life of Canadians. GlycoNet is a one-stop global destination focused on developing new carbohydrate-based drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, in collaboration with academic and industry organizations to address areas of unmet need through applied glycomics research. Funded by the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program and a range of partners, the network includes over 180 researchers across Canada who focus on cancer, chronic diseases, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. This national platform supports translational research, protection of intellectual property, novel drug development, company formation and training. Learn more about us at glyconet.ca.
More information on the potential of Canadian glycomics can be found at: https://canadianglycomics.ca/op-ed-glycomics-are-the-new-frontier-in-bioinnovation/
Account Director, PR Associates
Canadian Glycomics Network
E5-33 Gunning/Lemieux Chemistry Centre
University of Alberta, T6G 2G2
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