University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office Unveils Ag-Bio, Vet Medicine and Health Initiatives at 2013 BIO International Convention
(April 16, 2013)
Chicago – Canada Café, Booth #3831 - The University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office announced today it will showcase its global Ag-Bio, Veterinary Medicine and Health initiatives at the 2013 BIO International Convention, Monday, April 22 – Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Chicago, Illinois. This will highlight recent developments in reproductive health, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and kinome technology.
“The University of Saskatchewan is unique to Canadian universities with the co-location on campus of a number of world-class research facilities.” stated Dr. Glen Schuler, Managing Director of the U of S Industry Liaison Office. These include the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Nutrition, Nursing, Kinesiology and Physiotherapy, as well as the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO), Canadian Light Source Inc., National Research Council (NRC) Plant Biotechnology Institute, Saskatoon Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR), and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Collaboration between these researchers has enabled the development of advanced therapeutics and diagnostic tests and methods pertinent to both human and animal health. Recent developments cover a number of areas including:
Reproductive Health - new method and formulation of estrous synchronization
Researchers at the University Saskatchewan have developed a novel method for controlling ovarian function and synchronizing ovulation in mammals. A new pharmaceutical composition was developed and used on commercially available intravaginal devices. The method and formulation employs Aromatase Inhibitors, which demonstrate high efficacy, low sides effects and established safety. This technology can be adopted for human and veterinary applications and represent for women an alternative to existing estrogen treatments for infertility. In animal application the technology can be used to synchronize the reproductive cycle in food animals such as cows and sheep.
Anti-infectives- immense potential for reducing the amount of antibiotics used for feed animals
Antibiotic resistance is seen as a growing medical crisis. Infections, often associated with medical procedures, are increasingly becoming untreatable with standard antibiotics, part of the arms race between the pathogen and antibiotic developers. The worldwide antimicrobial market is valued at approximately $43B and a key market driver is the use of new product combinations to overcome bacterial resistance. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have discovered a novel therapeutic that increases potency and decreases resistance development to a wide spectrum of bactericidal antibiotics. The invention consists of the novel use of specific phthalocyanine compounds in combination with existing antibiotics to increase their potency. For veterinary applications, this technology has immense potential for reducing the amount of antibiotics currently used for feed animals and may provide a novel way to effectively treat infections in companion animals such as urinary tract, skin and ear infections. Immense potential also exists for reducing the costs associated with bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas in hospital settings. A complimentary transdermal sustained release delivery system providing a steady supply of the compound has also been developed.
Anti-inflammatory- neutrophilic inflammation responses reduced by 86%
UofS inventors have generated a peptide, G31P, a CXCL8-based high affinity antagonist of the ELR-CXC chemokines. G31P antagonizes both CXCR1 and the CXCR2 and ameliorates neutrophilic inflammation in numerous disease models. Neutrophils are the primary driver of the inflammatory cascade in aspiration pneumonia and G31P dramatically dampens bacterial pneumonia pathology (e.g., hemorrhagic consolidation, neutrophilic infiltration) without predisposing to local bacterial outgrowth. Evidence indicates that, unlike other CXCR1/CXCR2 under development, G31P blocks both these G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), but also those for heterologous inflammatory GPCR ligands (e.g., C5a), thereby dramatically expanding its efficacy as an anti-inflammatory agent. Bovine recombinant peptide G31P, analog of IL-8, suppresses migration of neutrophils to the infection site and, therefore, reduces the negative consequences of inflammation during bacterial pneumonia and mastitis. The peptide was tested in pigs exposed to lipopolysaccharides (Journal of Agromedicine, 14:235–241, 2009). After treatment with G31P neutrophilic inflammation responses were reduced by 86%.
Kinome Technology – potential integral part of a drug development strategy
A method of preparing a species-specific phosphorylation site database for a targeted organism and software for its analysis was developed by an interdisciplinary research group at the University of Saskatchewan. The technology allows evaluating protein phosphorylation status of an entire organism. Protein phosphorylation is the most widespread mechanism of cellular signaling, and its analysis will provide valuable information for a variety of applications from drug development for human health to development of pesticides for crops. Drug development companies can benefit by employing this analysis to determine potential disease signaling pathways and mechanisms for intervention. This can be applied at both early development stages when leads are selected and in clinical studies when efficacy is tested. This tool should be an integral part of a drug development strategy. One of the technology applications was demonstrated in selection of bees resistant to Varroa mites. Kinome analysis allowed selecting for traits with enable bees to survive Varroa infection. In collaboration with NIH researchers at Fort Detrick we were able to use kinome analysis to identify therapeutic targets for Ebola infections. These molecules, as treatments and as prophylactics, were able to significantly reduce lethality of Ebola infection.
Representatives from the University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office will be at the 2013 BIO International Convention, Monday, April 22 – Thursday, April 25, 2013, showcasing their innovative research and providing information for additional partnership and research opportunities. Visit them in the Saskatchewan Biosciences Booth in the Canada Café - Booth #3831.
For more information about the University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office, visit:
Industry Liaison Office
University of Sasaktchewan