Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, November 03, 2016

What Nobler Venture?

"There's a bit of pride, yes, that we've been able to roll this rock up the hill. It's going to mean that our research will hopefully be a little less theoretical and a little more tangible: It has to be tested in people, and the investment in Turnstone [Biologics] means we can actually launch those clinical trials."
"This financing is incredible validation that we’re on the right track. We all want to be part of a scientific narrative that changes lives, and I believe that our immunotherapy approach is it."
Dr. David Stojdl, senior scientist, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Doctors David Stojdl, left, and John Bell are investigating the cancer-fighting potential of the Maraba virus DARREN BROWN / POSTMEDIA
"It's a big deal [windfall in venture capital to advance research] because it's going to allow us to explore in a lot more cancer patients how well this therapy works."
"Community support has been and will continue to be crucial for our research. However, developing new therapies is extremely costly, so we also need to engage the private sector to take our research to the next level."
Dr. John Bell, senior scientist, The Ottawa Hospital

"We're hoping to see continued results in the clinic that will get our product to patients as soon as possible."
"We saw an opportunity for the company to really expand and accelerate the development programs we were working on. We are seeing promising results in the first clinical trial, and we are starting to see the type of activity that we had hoped for."
"Much of it [the company's progress in developing and bringing products to market] depends on what kind of results we see in the clinic. These therapies take a very long time to develop. We’re moving along as fast as we can."
"What we and others in this field are driving towards are cures for cancer. There’s no question about it – that’s our goal."

Sammy Farah, Turnstone chief executive, biotech industry veteran

The three senior cancer scientists who together launched an Ottawa biotech company named their firm Turnstone Biologics. What they had in mind is a play on words and taking from nature the inspiration to turn over in their minds all the possible ways in which they might be able to find a way to help advance the search for a cancer cure. There is a shorebird called the Ruddy Turnstone, it habitually turns rocks over in its search for crabs. It appears as the zodiac symbol for Cancer. And so, it seemed propitious and inspirational to name their laboratory for this enterprising bird.

Ruddy Turnstone Photo
A stocky, brightly patterned shorebird, the Ruddy Turnstone can be seen actively pecking, probing, and flipping over stones along rocky shores.  © Dave Wendelken

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