TechTalk Blog
Aspreva Provides Update on Lupus Nephritis Development Program

Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ASPV; TSX: ASV) today announced that Aspreva and Roche have decided not to proceed with a regulatory submission at this time for CellCept as an induction therapy for lupus nephritis.

Preliminary results from the induction stage of Aspreva’s phase III clinical trial comparing CellCept (oral mycophenolate mofetil, MMF) to intravenous cyclophosphamide (IVC) for inducing treatment response in patients with lupus nephritis were released in June 2007. These initial results showed that, although response rates were similar in both arms of the study, the induction stage of the trial did not meet its primary objective of demonstrating that MMF was superior to IVC in inducing treatment response in this disease.

As previously announced, Aspreva intends to present the full results and analysis of the induction phase of the trial at an upcoming scientific forum.

“Although we believe that the data from this first part of the study does not adequately support a regulatory submission, we are proud of the increased spotlight that lupus nephritis has received thus far as a result of our work to evaluate a treatment option for this disease, for which there has not been a new drug approved in over forty years,” said Dr. J. William Freytag, Aspreva’s Chairman and CEO.

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Carmanah Technologies Lights Up the Big Apple

Carmanah-Big Apple

Victoria, British Columbia, September 13, 2007- Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX: CMH) is pleased to announce the Company has received an initial $285,000 order for LED internally illuminated street name signs for a high profile sign replacement project in midtown Manhattan, New York. Carmanah’s signs, which use 90% less energy than traditional lighting, are being deployed at intersections in two of the largest business improvement districts in New York City. The signs will be installed around famous Midtown Manhattan landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building and Madison Square Gardens.

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Angiotech Recieves Favourable Patent Decision From New Zealand’s Intellectual Property Office

VANCOUVER, BC, September 13, 2007 – Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANPI, TSX: ANP), announced today that it received a favourable decision from the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand regarding an attempt by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Conor Medsystems Inc. (“Conor”) to revoke Angiotech’s New Zealand Patent 523799, which pertains to compositions comprising a polymer and paclitaxel, as well as, generally, to paclitaxel-eluting stents. In a decision dated September 10, 2007, the Assistant Commissioner of Patents dismissed Conor’s application for revocation.

“Consistent with virtually all international rulings to date, this decision further corroborates the strength of our intellectual property and our ability to defend our global patent portfolio,” said Dr. William Hunter, President and CEO of Angiotech.

BCIC Award Winners: BC’s Innovation Forerunners Recognized For Outstanding Achievements

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Mr. Hector MacKay-Dunn, QC, Chair of BC Innovation Council, is pleased to announce five outstanding British Columbians as winners of the 2007 BC Innovation Council Awards.

“BC Innovation Council is pleased to honour these outstanding individuals for their significant contributions toward making British Columbia a world-leader in research and innovation. I congratulate these innovation forerunners as they serve to inspire and promote excellence to all British Columbians,” said Mr. MacKay-Dunn.”Congratulations to the winners of the 2007 BC Innovation Council Awards,” said Mr. Matthew Watson, CEO, BC Innovation Council. “The accomplishments of these exceptional innovation leaders demonstrate the amazing successes being realized within British Columbia’s knowledge based economy.”

The winners will be formally recognized at the 2007 BC Innovation Council Awards Dinner on Monday, October 22nd at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. THE 2007 AWARD WINNERS ARE… (more…)

Quebec’s Cities are best for business: Canadian Business Magazine

Five of the Top 10 spots go to Quebec cities, with Sherbrooke topping the charts in Canadian Business magazine’s sixth annual ranking.

 

TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ – Alberta may be trendy, but if you’re serious about business, Quebec’s the place to be, according to this year’s Canadian Business Best Cities for Business ranking. This year’s Top 10 features five cities from la belle province. Sherbrooke, Que., tops Canadian Business’s sixth annual ranking of the best places to set up a business. The city is the second-most export-intensive area in Quebec, and does a lot of business with the northeastern United States. For example, Charles Rivers Laboratories of Wilmington, Mass., recently announced it’s moving to Sherbrooke, bringing an initial 200 jobs in high-skilled clinical testing. And the city has managed to keep unemployment at 5.7%, far below the Quebec average. While Sherbrooke’s traditional industrial base floundered over the past several decades, the city has steadily created a knowledge-based economy to replace it. With eight post-secondary institutions, Sherbrooke has the highest concentrations of brains, students, and research and development on the continent, and contributes a billion dollars to the local economy. “The money came to Sherbrooke because the expertise was in Sherbrooke,” says Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

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Aspreva Updates on Lupus Nephritis

Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ASPV; TSX: ASV) today announced that Aspreva and Roche have decided not to proceed with a regulatory submission at this time for CellCept as an induction therapy for lupus nephritis.

Preliminary results from the induction stage of Aspreva's phase III clinical trial comparing CellCept (oral mycophenolate mofetil, MMF) to intravenous cyclophosphamide (IVC) for inducing treatment response in patients with lupus nephritis were released in June 2007. These initial results showed that, although response rates were similar in both arms of the study, the induction stage of the trial did not meet its primary objective of demonstrating that MMF was superior to IVC in inducing treatment response in this disease.

As previously announced, Aspreva intends to present the full results and analysis of the induction phase of the trial at an upcoming scientific forum.

"Although we believe that the data from this first part of the study does not adequately support a regulatory submission, we are proud of the increased spotlight that lupus nephritis has received thus far as a result of our work to evaluate a treatment option for this disease, for which there has not been a new drug approved in over forty years," said Dr. J. William Freytag, Aspreva's Chairman and CEO.

Dr. Freytag added, "By conducting this trial, Aspreva has and will continue to have an impact on informing clinical decisions in the treatment of lupus nephritis and, with the maintenance phase of our lupus nephritis trial still in progress, we are committed to further increasing the body of scientific evidence to support the better understanding of the treatment options available to patients with this disease."

Aspreva's lupus nephritis study is one of the largest phase III studies ever conducted in lupus nephritis. This two-phase induction to maintenance study was designed as a randomized open label comparison of MMF with IVC for the first six months (induction phase), followed by a double-blind comparison of MMF to azathioprine for up to three years (maintenance phase).

The patients who successfully completed the induction phase of the lupus nephritis study were re-randomized into the maintenance phase, a blinded study comparing MMF to azathioprine in maintaining remission and renal function in subjects with lupus nephritis. Patients will remain in this study until they have a relapse of disease, need a treatment that the protocol does not allow, or withdraw for any other reason. The study will continue until a predetermined number of patients have left the study or for a maximum of 36 months.

For further information please contact:
Sage Baker
Vice President, IR & Corporate Communications
Aspreva Pharmaceuticals
250-744-2488 ext. 84270
sbaker@aspreva.com

Protox To Present Interim Prostate Cancer Data At AUA Conference

Vancouver, British Columbia, September 7, 2007 – Protox Therapeutics Inc. (TSX-V:PRX) today announced that interim data from the recently completed Phase 1 clinical study testing PRX302 in patients with locally recurrent prostate cancer following radiation failure will be presented at the American Urological Association (“AUA”) South Central Section Annual Meeting. The conference will take place at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colarado Springs, Colarado.

Scott Coffield, M.D., Principal Investigator from the lead site at Scott and White Memorial Hospital, will present the data on Friday, September 7, 2007. The presentation, entitled “Interim Results of a Phase 1 Clinical Study for the Transperineal Intraprostatic Administration of PRX302 (PSA-PAH1) in Patients with Locally Recurrent Prostate Cancer” indicates that PRX302 is safe and well tolerated in patients and that it shows encouraging signs of therapeutic activity.

PRX302 is rationally designed to kill prostate cancer and hyperplastic cells that over-produce the enzyme prostate specific antigen (PSA). Patient enrollment has been completed for this Phase 1 study and top-line results were released in July indicating that PRX302 is safe and well tolerated and that a maximum tolerated dose was not reached in the study while encouraging signs of therapeutic activity were observed. Plans are currently underway to commence a Phase 2 study before the end of the year.

Canada’s Hottest Startups

by Red Herring Staff

There is no shortage of hot startups in Canada’s high tech sector. Here are 10 to watch:

6N Silicon Location: Toronto URL: www.6nsilicon.com President: Scott Nichol

With solar power ramping up, the industry is seeking more and more pure silicon in manufacturing cells that can change sunlight into electricity.

The solar industry’s traditional supplier—electronics manufacturers selling scrap silicon—no longer can supply sufficient quantities.

The answer? One-year-old 6N Silicon is developing a metallurgical process to purify lower-grade silicon, bringing it up to grade for solar cells.

In its first funding round in July, Ventures West, Yaletown Venture Partners, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada gave 6N $6 million.

The global market for solar-grade silicon feedstock, about $2.3 billion in 2006, is projected to grow to $10.4 billion by 2010.

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GenoLogics’ Geneus Achieves GeneChip-compatible™ Status with the Affymetrix GeneChip® Microarray Platform

GenoLogics, a leading developer of lab and data management software solutions for life sciences research, announced today the Company has joined the Affymetrix GeneChip–compatibleâ„¢ Applications Program, and its Geneus product has achieved GeneChip-compatibleâ„¢ status with the Affymetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFFX) GeneChip® microarray platform. GenoLogics has seamlessly integrated its Geneus solution, built for multiple genomics applications, with the Affymetrix GeneChip® platforms, GeneChip Operating Software (GCOS) and the new GeneChip® Command Consoleâ„¢ Software (AGCC). Since mid-last year the GenoLogics team has been working closely with Affymetrix’ development team, to ensure the development of a seamless integration that enables bi-lateral communication between Geneus and the Affymetrix GeneChip microarray platform. (more…)

North Country Gold

05 September 2007 by Red Herring Staff

Out of the Yukon gold fields of 1898, miners painstakingly picked and panned $10 million worth of the precious metal. But it wasn’t until two years later that the Yukon served up its greatest treasure, when miners dug out $20 million worth.

They were the lucky ones: many had already left following tales of riches to be had in Nome, Alaska. The lesson of history: Never underestimate opportunities in Canada.

One hundred years later, Canada’s venture capital community was enjoying a cash surfeit. In 2000, Canadian VCs disbursed a record $6.3 billion, according to MacDonald & Associates, a subsidiary of Thomson Financial. The bottoming out of U.S. venture capital in 2001 did not seem to menace Canada, which managed to post its second-best year in history.

Canada wouldn’t hit bottom till 2003, and venture investment is still rebounding today. Capital invested in the first half of 2007 topped C$1 billion, according to Thomson Financial, a 21 percent increase over the same period last year.

That investment pales in comparison to what American startups raised; nearly $4 billion, for example, was invested in California alone in the first quarter of 2007. But prospecting in Canada’s tech hubs—largely located in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia (B.C.)—is growing. One reason is that Canadian venture firms, along with Canada’s federal and provincial governments, are more actively marketing innovation opportunities to foreign VCs.

“Canada doesn’t have a technology problem,” says Antoine Paquin, Montreal-based general partner at New York City-based Rho Venture Investments. “It has a channel problem. The issue is getting innovation to market.”

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