TechTalk Blog
B.C. – India Partnership Seeks R&D Projects

British Columbia’s collaborative program with India, promoting research and development in environmental technologies and life sciences, is seeking expressions of interest from British Columbian and Indian biotechnology research organizations and companies, announced Ida Chong, Minister of Technology, Trade and Economic Development.

“In June, B.C. announced this joint initiative with India and I’m very pleased to see this program is moving forward so quickly,” said Chong, who is also the Minister responsible for the Asia-Pacific Initiative. “British Columbia is very proud of the cultural and economic ties we have already developed with India, our Asia-Pacific partner. I hope many B.C.-based companies will take advantage of our program and develop their own relationships in India.”

 British Columbia and India both committed $1 million to create the program. The objective of the program is to fund collaborative research and development projects with commercial potential between British Columbian and Indian companies.

 The joint funding also supports internships for students and researchers who will work in the other jurisdiction on research and development projects.

 International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), a federally mandated, not-for-profit organization is overseeing the expressions of interest process and will also contribute to successful projects involving B.C. and India.

 Parties have until Oct. 24, 2008 to submit expressions of interest in the fields of convergent medical technologies, clean biotechnology, health and biopharma. All expressions must involve a Canadian and Indian company, details on how the project will benefit Canada and India and proof the party can complete the project and handle future commercialization.

 More detailed information is available on ISTPCanada’s website, www.istpcanada.ca.

 The B.C.-India partnership mirrors a bi-lateral science and technology initiative between Canada and India. While all Canadian companies and institutions are eligible to receive funding through the federal program, only B.C.-based organizations will be able to access grants from the British Columbia-specific program.

Since June 2001, British Columbia has committed over $1.7 billion to research in B.C., and has leveraged more than $1 billion in added research funding from other sources.

Provincially supported research, innovation and technology provide a long-term foundation for a strong and vibrant economy, a sustainable environment and safe, healthy communities, both within British Columbia and worldwide.

Access to Venture Tax Credits Accelerated

VICTORIA – By helping companies registered with the provincial government’s venture capital programs to provide tax credit certificates quickly and efficiently, the Province is taking another step to encourage innovation and reward investors in B.C.’s dynamic small business sector, Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong announced today.

“Venture capital keeps British Columbia’s vibrant technology companies competitive and strong,” said Chong. “The Province has already streamlined its processes to reduce the amount of time that clients registered in these programs spend filling out and completing forms. Now the ministry has introduced a web-based system that will simplify and speed up the process of applying for and distributing the tax credit certificates, making it easier for eligible investors to claim their 30 per cent tax credit.”

The electronic Tax Credit Application (eTCA) is a system that allows eligible companies to submit investment data to the provincial government on-line and retrieve tax credit certificates quickly for their investors.

 “The introduction of this new on-line system will not only reduce the administrative burden for technology companies, but also accelerate the process and shorten the time to access money, which is often critical,” said Pascal Spothelfer, president of the BC Technology Industry Association.

 Before eTCA, companies sent their investor information to the British Columbia Ministry of Technology, Trade and Economic Development’s Investment Capital Branch in Victoria. Ministry staff entered the information into a computer system, then printed and mailed the tax credit certificates to individual investors. Now companies can submit data on their capital investment intake to government and get back tax credit verification electronically right away for their investors, saving time and processing costs.

 The Province provides a 30 per cent tax credit to British Columbia residents when they purchase shares directly in a venture capital corporation or eligible business corporation registered with the provincial government.

 Eligible British Columbia businesses have enjoyed steady success in raising venture capital: $18 million in 2004, $22 million in 2005, $43 million in 2006, $80 million in 2007 and an anticipated $83 million for 2008. These investments help employ British Columbians and enable B.C. companies to thrive and grow, providing critically important seed capital for emerging small businesses across the province.

Venture capital companies and eligible business corporations must be registered with the provincial government in order to utilize eTCA to serve their investors.

More information on the investment capital programs is available on the Ministry of Technology, Trade and Economic Development’s website at www.gov.bc.ca/ecdev

 

British Columbia Innovation Council Announces New CEO

Hector MacKay-Dunn, Q.C., Chair, British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC), is pleased to announce the appointment of R. Dean Rockwell as Chief Executive Officer.

"I am delighted to welcome Mr. Rockwell back to B.C. as tangible evidence of our continuing efforts to add to the global technology expertise in the Province," said Mr. MacKay-Dunn. "With over twenty years of worldwide technology leadership and corporate experience, the Board is confident in Mr. Rockwell's leadership skills and in his ability to drive innovation to commercial success and to further enhance our culture of innovation in British Columbia."

Mr. Rockwell brings to his new role an ideal combination of vision and international experience. Prior to joining BCIC, Mr. Rockwell was the Vice President and General Manager of the worldwide Digital Media Networks business unit within Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group based in Atlanta, Georgia. Before that he was based in Brussels, Belgium where he held full P&L responsibility for all European operations in addition to the Transmission Networks business unit in the region. In both assignments he distinguished himself by achieving major business expansions with outstanding profitability.

"I am excited by this opportunity and look forward to working with industry, academia, government and the talented staff at BCIC as together we capitalize on all that British Columbia has to offer," said Rockwell. "It is a pleasure to be back in British Columbia and to work with some of the best and brightest minds – in B.C. and globally."

"In choosing Mr. Rockwell, what impressed us was not only his experience but his interest in building on our organization's strengths and maximizing our province's innovation capabilities," said Mr. MacKay-Dunn. "A graduate of BCIT and Simon Fraser University, Mr. Rockwell will give BCIC the management and entrepreneurial skills needed to directly impact the long-term success of B.C.'s knowledge economy."

Mr. Rockwell's biography

Dean Rockwell comes to the British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC) with a proven track record as a dynamic and innovative leader of technology intensive organizations. He possesses a unique blend of technical and strategic business acumen gained from over 20 years of international leadership experience in the areas of product development, marketing, sales and operations. He also has extensive experience with mergers and acquisitions from his years at Scientific Atlanta and Cisco.

Dean possesses an invaluable understanding of different business environments and has conducted business internationally in both developed and emerging markets worldwide.

Before joining BCIC in September 2008, Dean was the Vice President and General Manager of the worldwide Digital Media Networks business unit within Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to that, he was based in Brussels, Belgium where he held full P&L responsibility for all European operations in addition to the Transmission Networks business unit in the region. In both assignments he distinguished himself by achieving major business expansions with outstanding profitability.

Dean is committed to continual growth and learning, both for the organization and personally. He graduated from the Electrical Engineering Technology program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1987. In 1990 he completed the Management Skills for Advanced Technology program at Simon Fraser University. In addition, he has completed a number of other graduate studies programs including the General Electric, Management Skills Development Course and more recently at the Harvard Business School, the Cable Television Association of Marketing University program.

Dean lives in West Vancouver with his wife and son. His interests include spending time with his family, actively participating in community organizations, running marathons, skiing, sailing and staying abreast of current affairs.

BCIC Appoints New CEO

Hector MacKay-Dunn, Q.C., Chair, British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC), is pleased to announce the appointment of R. Dean Rockwell as Chief Executive Officer.

"I am delighted to welcome Mr. Rockwell back to B.C. as tangible evidence of our continuing efforts to add to the global technology expertise in the Province," said Mr. MacKay-Dunn. "With over twenty years of worldwide technology leadership and corporate experience, the Board is confident in Mr. Rockwell's leadership skills and in his ability to drive innovation to commercial success and to further enhance our culture of innovation in British Columbia."

Mr. Rockwell brings to his new role an ideal combination of vision and international experience. Prior to joining BCIC, Mr. Rockwell was the Vice President and General Manager of the worldwide Digital Media Networks business unit within Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group based in Atlanta, Georgia. Before that he was based in Brussels, Belgium where he held full P&L responsibility for all European operations in addition to the Transmission Networks business unit in the region. In both assignments he distinguished himself by achieving major business expansions with outstanding profitability.

"I am excited by this opportunity and look forward to working with industry, academia, government and the talented staff at BCIC as together we capitalize on all that British Columbia has to offer," said Rockwell. "It is a pleasure to be back in British Columbia and to work with some of the best and brightest minds – in B.C. and globally."

"In choosing Mr. Rockwell, what impressed us was not only his experience but his interest in building on our organization's strengths and maximizing our province's innovation capabilities," said Mr. MacKay-Dunn. "A graduate of BCIT and Simon Fraser University, Mr. Rockwell will give BCIC the management and entrepreneurial skills needed to directly impact the long-term success of B.C.'s knowledge economy."

Protox Announces Positive 12 Month Data from BPH Study

Protox Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: PRX), a leader in the development of receptor targeted fusion proteins, today announced positive 12 month data from its Phase 1 study of PRX302 in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common and bothersome urological condition among the aging male population. The trial results indicate that PRX302 continues to show very promising signs of therapeutic activity at 12 months following a single treatment of PRX302.

 "The impact of PRX302 on the quality of life of most patients has continued to be dramatic," commented Dr. Peter Pommerville, co-principal investigator at Can-Med Clinical Research Centre in Victoria, B.C. "Unlike other minimally invasive techniques, the most impressive feature of PRX302 treatment is the sustainability of symptom improvement and a low side effect profile."

 "We are very pleased with the twelve month data and the positive response from our clinical investigators," said Dr. Fahar Merchant, President and Chief Executive Officer of Protox. "The extended duration of improvement in symptom scores following a single treatment are compelling especially when a reduction in IPSS by greater than four points is deemed to be highly clinically significant."

 

Study Design:

 This study was an open-label, multi-centre, dose escalation study where the primary endpoint was safety and tolerability following a single intra-prostatic administration of PRX302. The secondary endpoint was to determine therapeutic activity as measured by the change in International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) following treatment, when compared to screening. In addition, changes in Quality of Life (QoL) scores and prostate volume were also monitored. A total of 15 patients with moderate to severe BPH were treated in this trial. Most patients treated in this study were either refractory or intolerant to oral therapy.

 

Study Results:

 Therapeutic activity of PRX302 was evaluated at 12 months post-treatment using standardized symptom indices, namely, IPSS and QoL. IPSS assesses the severity of seven key symptoms of BPH, (incomplete emptying, frequency, intermittency, urgency, weak stream, straining and nocturia). The QoL score is measured on a scale from 0-6 with 0 defined as "delighted" and 6 defined as "terrible" with respect to patient quality of life due to BPH.

 As reported earlier this year, treatment related symptomatic relief was rapid and substantial benefits were noticed by day-30 post-treatment without any safety issues. Both symptom scores (IPSS and QoL) continued to show further improvements in all cohorts at the end of the active study period (day-90 post-treatment) indicating a potential for sustained benefit following a single treatment with PRX302.

 Following the active study period, 14 of 15 patients continued to be followed at 12 months post treatment and the IPSS scores continue to show a statistically significant improvement from screening (p (less than) 0.01). The mean IPSS values improved by an average of 6.5 points from 19.2 +/- 4.5 at screening to 12.7 +/- 4.6 at 12 months post treatment. The improvements were observed across all seven symptom sub-scores.

 Improvement in QoL scores were observed in all five cohorts. Independent of the treatment group, QoL scores continue to show a statistically significant improvement from an average of 4.6 +/- 1.0 at screening to 2.6 +/- 1.6 at 12 months (p (less than) 0.01), a 44% improvement. Furthermore, prostate volume decreased in all cohorts. Irrespective of cohort assignment, the mean prostate volume decreased by over 13% from 43.6 cc at screening to 38.1 cc at 12 month post-treatment.

 As announced previously, enrollment of Protox's Phase 2a study evaluating PRX302 for the treatment of BPH has been completed. Top-line data from this study will be released in the fourth quarter of 2008.

 

About BPH

 BPH is a common urological condition characterized by painful and bothersome symptoms that include difficulty in initiating a urine stream, a sense of urgency, leaking, dribbling and presence of blood in the urine. The condition affects over 50 million men throughout North America, Europe and Japan. More than half of all men will have symptoms of BPH by age 60 and as many as 90% may suffer from BPH after the age of 70. Left untreated, it can result in serious and possibly irreversible bladder damage. Current drug therapies only provide symptomatic relief and may trigger a range of side effects including impote
nce and hypotension. Surgical options such as TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate), which constitute the second-largest item in the US Medicare budget, can cause impotence, incontinence as well as other more serious procedure related effects. According to Wood Mackenzie (2007), the market opportunity for therapies used to treat BPH was US $5.5 billion in drug therapies and US $4 billion in surgical procedures.

 

About PRX302

 PRX302 is the lead drug in the company's PORxin(TM) technology platform. PORxin drugs are pore-forming pro-drugs that are activated by specific proteases produced at elevated levels on the surface of target cells. PRX302 has been generated by engineering the naturally occurring toxin proaerolysin so that it is activated by prostate-specific antigen (PSA), an enzyme that is overproduced in patients suffering from prostate cancer and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate). Once activated, the drug punches holes in the cells causing the contents to leak out and ultimately cell death.

 

About Protox

 Protox Therapeutics is a leader in advancing novel, receptor targeted fusion proteins. Two novel drug candidates derived from the company's INxin(TM) and PORxin(TM) platforms are being developed in three clinical programs. A Phase 2a clinical trial evaluating PRX321 (INxin) for the treatment of primary brain cancer has been completed and the drug has received Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Status from the US FDA and EMEA. Phase 2a clinical trials evaluating PRX302 (PORxin) for the treatment of localized prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) are ongoing. Protox is also collaborating with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) on a research program focused on the discovery of next generation fully human targeted therapeutics.

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered forward-looking. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on Protox' current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to Protox and relate to, among other things, anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory developments, market acceptance and future commitments. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by Protox in its public securities filings; actual events may differ materially from current expectations. Protox disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. 

New Premier's Technology Council Co-President Appointed

Eric Jordan is the new co-president of the Premier’s Technology Council (PTC). The PTC advises the B.C. government on issues related to the advancement and application of technology in the province.

A member of the PTC for the past four years, Mr. Jordan is prominent in the B.C. business and technology community and has a demonstrable track record of success. He was co-founder of PureEdge Solutions, a software company which developed a unique architecture for digital transactions.

As its president and CEO from 1993 to 2002, Jordan guided the company from its infancy to become a profitable organization with over 70 employees and over five million end users. Their client list included the US Air Force, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission, and JP Morgan Chase Bank. After IBM purchased PureEdge and turned it into its Victoria Software Development Lab, Jordan moved on to become the Executive-in-Residence in the Business Faculty at the University of Victoria.

“Eric has been a valuable member of the council and we are fortunate that he has agreed to assume this expanded role,” said Greg Peet, PTC co-chair. “Not only does he have valuable hands-on experience as a technology executive, he is also a long-time B.C. resident and is passionate about making the province a success.”

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to give back to a province where I have had so much success,” said Jordan. “Technology is becoming an ever more critical component of our economy and working with the council and the Premier I look forward to building on that trend.”

Eric Jordan is not only known for his business success, but has been recognized for his commitment to helping the technology industry grow in B.C. He was selected by Business in Vancouver for their “Top 40 Business People Under 40” award, by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce for their Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, by the University of Victoria for their Distinguished Alumni award and recognized by John Manley on behalf of the Canadian government as an Internet pioneer.

Additionally, Jordan was the recipient of VIATeC’s Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion. This award recognizes an individual whose long-standing support has been instrumental in Vancouver Island’s continued success on the world technology stage.

Cheryl Slusarchuk, president of the PTC for the past two years, will remain as co-president and continue her valuable work in the clean technology sector.

The Premier’s Technology Council was appointed in August 2001 to inform the Premier on all technology-related issues and advise government on how to make B.C. a global magnet for high-tech investment, growth and job creation. More information about the council and copies of its reports and recommendations are available on the Premier’s website at: www.gov.bc.ca/prem/popt/technology_council/

AURP Releases National Strategy for Building America's Communities of Innovation

Historically, American research innovation has led the way to progress in countless scientific disciplines. From establishing the first research park in the world, to building world-class research universities and federal laboratories while pioneering technology transfer and patent reform for public-private research partnerships, the U.S. has led the world in attracting research talent, funding scientific advances, and commercializing new discoveries. Innovations spawned in the basements, garages, dorm rooms, classrooms and laboratories of countless Americans will create jobs, foster the reversal of the U.S. trade imbalance, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources and attract and retain the brightest human capital. It will ultimately return the United States to the premier position it has historically enjoyed.

The United States is losing ground competitively. The ambitious entrepreneurs and scientists who are willing to invest time and money into an idea are being lost at a staggering pace to other countries. These foreign governments provide incentives for this U.S. human capital to uproot and move. These individuals find that the challenge of surviving in a foreign country is outweighed by the tremendous economic benefit these foreign communities provide.

At the present time, the U.S. is losing ground because we do not provide the Place for the Creative Class to prosper. We have left the responsibility of creating Place to local communities, many of which cannot bear the speculative burden of creating Place without governmental financial support. Policy support to attract foreign direct investment from across the globe into the U.S. is also urgently needed.

To that end, the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) offers a series of urgent recommendations for the U.S. Government, so that it can more precisely support American innovation and American innovators with both economic and policy-based changes. Our proposal targets the following:

· Creating American Innovation Zones to drive the creation of modern research and development collaboration;

· Formalizing a series of incentives that will support growth in these communities, including:

· Reforming the tax code for tax exempt financing of research park development;

· Creating a permanent and enhanced research and development tax credit;

· Expanding Enhanced Use Leasing (EUL) authority;

· Making government-managed federal labs more effective partners in technology-led economic development;

· Fully funding the America COMPETES Act of 2007;

· Expanding the availability of visas for skilled researchers; and

· Encouraging in-migration of foreign start-ups through “soft landing” programs.

Each of these initiatives are elements of a single strategy to increase innovation and competitiveness. We call on Congress and the new Administration to enact comprehensive legislation incorporating the initiatives listed above to increase U.S. competitiveness and ensure that we remain the world’s leader in science and technology innovation.

Please visit www.aurpcanada.ca for the full study and press release.

 

AURP Releases National Strategy

Historically, American research innovation has led the way to progress in countless scientific disciplines. From establishing the first research park in the world, to building world-class research universities and federal laboratories while pioneering technology transfer and patent reform for public-private research partnerships, the U.S. has led the world in attracting research talent, funding scientific advances, and commercializing new discoveries. Innovations spawned in the basements, garages, dorm rooms, classrooms and laboratories of countless Americans will create jobs, foster the reversal of the U.S. trade imbalance, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources and attract and retain the brightest human capital. It will ultimately return the United States to the premier position it has historically enjoyed.

The United States is losing ground competitively. The ambitious entrepreneurs and scientists who are willing to invest time and money into an idea are being lost at a staggering pace to other countries. These foreign governments provide incentives for this U.S. human capital to uproot and move. These individuals find that the challenge of surviving in a foreign country is outweighed by the tremendous economic benefit these foreign communities provide.

At the present time, the U.S. is losing ground because we do not provide the Place for the Creative Class to prosper. We have left the responsibility of creating Place to local communities, many of which cannot bear the speculative burden of creating Place without governmental financial support. Policy support to attract foreign direct investment from across the globe into the U.S. is also urgently needed.

To that end, the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) offers a series of urgent recommendations for the U.S. Government, so that it can more precisely support American innovation and American innovators with both economic and policy-based changes. Our proposal targets the following:

· Creating American Innovation Zones to drive the creation of modern research and development collaboration;

· Formalizing a series of incentives that will support growth in these communities, including:

· Reforming the tax code for tax exempt financing of research park development;

· Creating a permanent and enhanced research and development tax credit;

· Expanding Enhanced Use Leasing (EUL) authority;

· Making government-managed federal labs more effective partners in technology-led economic development;

· Fully funding the America COMPETES Act of 2007;

· Expanding the availability of visas for skilled researchers; and

· Encouraging in-migration of foreign start-ups through “soft landing” programs.

Each of these initiatives are elements of a single strategy to increase innovation and competitiveness. We call on Congress and the new Administration to enact comprehensive legislation incorporating the initiatives listed above to increase U.S. competitiveness and ensure that we remain the world’s leader in science and technology innovation.

Carmanah Receives Order for Wireless Solar-Powered Airfield Lights From United Arab Emirates

Carmanah Technologies Corporation has received a follow up order through Dubai-based GESOLAR – the company's authorized aviation distributor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – to supply additional solar powered portable airfield lights for civilian applications.  This latest order, valued at more than $1.2 million, provides the tools to enhance visibility and safety at remote airfields using stand-alone LED (light emitting diode) lights.

The order includes Carmanah A704-5 runway edge lights, approach lights and threshold lights, as well as A601 taxiway lights, mounting hardware and wireless handheld radio remote-control equipment.  A programmable interface enables the user to set on/off times, brightness levels, flash patterns, infrared or visible outputs and more.

As one of the worlds largest suppliers of self-contained solar-powered airfields lights, Carmanah offers lighting products for a range of airfield applications, including permanent primary lighting, temporary lighting during airfield construction or upgrades, emergency backup lighting, as well as expedited portable lighting during emergency or humanitarian aid operations.  With thousands of systems in operation, the company's solar-powered airfield lights have been field-proven to operate reliably in even the most challenging environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, poor solar conditions, sandstorms and flooding.

For more information about Carmanah solar LED aviation lights visit www.solarairportlights.com

 

About Carmanah Technologies Corporation
As one of most trusted names in solar technology, Carmanah has earned a reputation for delivering strong and effective products for industrial applications worldwide. Industry proven to perform reliably in some of the world's harshest environments, Carmanah's LED lights and power systems provide a durable, dependable and cost effective energy alternative. Carmanah is a publicly traded company, with common shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "CMH" and on the Berlin and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges under the symbol "QCX". For more information, visit carmanah.com.

 

For further information:

 

Media Contact:

David Davies

Tel:  +1.250.382.4332

ddavies@carmanah.com

 

 

Access to Capital in B.C.

Access to capital is a recurring challenge for all tech companies. There are so many options; so many choices. Learn how the benefits of venture capital and strategic investment can help your company's growth strategy.

This is your opportunity to hear from representatives of the Renaissance Fund – Walden Capital, Ventures West, Vantage Point and Celtic Ventures and a representative of active strategic investor Microsoft, who will share their insights on this important issue.

Event Agenda

October 8, 2008

Snapshot of Available Capital in B.C. – Todd Tessier, Vice President, BC Renaissance Capital Fund

VC/Clean Tech Keynote – Marc van den Berg, Managing Director at VantagePoint Venture Partners, VP Clean Tech Team

Strategic Investor/ICT Keynote – Jon Gelsey, Director, Corporate Development, Microsoft 

Guest panelists:

David Berkowitz, General Partner, Ventures West
Matt Miller, Managing Director, Walden Capital
Marc van den Berg, Managing Director, VantagePoint Venture Partners
Tom Valis, Partner, Celtic Ventures
Jon Gelsey, Director, Corporate Development Microsoft

To read the speakers' biographies please click here.

Cash bar and appetizers provided.