FAQ

LAB150 Process

Who can apply?

Innovators affiliated with MaRS Innovation’s member institutions can contact the LAB150 team at info@lab150.com to start the LAB150 process.

 How do you submit?

Please express your interest to participate in LAB150 by emailing the LAB150 team at info@lab150.com to start the LAB150 process.

What does a LAB150 project involve?

Funding and expertise for the identification, design and development of proof of concept projects.

Project funding is up to 400k USD. You will have access to LAB150 drug discovery resources, top-class scientific experts and project management expertise to build out a project plan to accelerate your pre-clinical program. The funding will go towards the work done at both academic and Evotec labs.

What happens if the concept for the application has been generated in partnership with external collaborators?

This does not necessarily preclude an application to LAB150, but applicants should work with the LAB150 team to ensure that an application does not conflict with any third party rights and ensure that the project be initiated or led by a MaRS Innovation’s member institution.

Can I discuss confidential information with LAB150?

The LAB150 team are under confidentiality regarding information disclosed to them in the course of the partnership. However, information should not be disclosed to LAB150, which is subject to confidentiality to a third party; for example, where research results have been generated from a project with a commercial sponsor. In addition, chemical structures should not be disclosed in the initial meeting. If in doubt, researchers should talk to their institute’s technology transfer office.

How long does it take from project application to project launch?

Each project will have a unique timeline due to details of the project.

When is the application deadline?

You can submit at any time – the LAB150 program is a rolling submission process.

Is there a limit to the number of LAB150 projects each year?

There is no fixed limit to the number of projects each year.

Why should you apply?

If you have an interest in commercializing your scientific research, being a part of a partnership that helps develop your research towards commercialization, and getting access to pharma level scientists– this is the opportunity for you!

LAB150 Structure

Why is it called LAB150?

Our name commemorates Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, the year in which the LAB150 partnership was formed.

Why was LAB150 created and what is the goal?

There is currently a lack of funding to help translate basic research in disease-related biological pathways into focused drug discovery programmes. LAB150 seeks to address this unmet need, to stimulate the formation of new companies to develop ground-breaking therapies and ultimately to generate a patient benefit.

What has been approved already?

We currently have four projects that have been approved. You can read more about them at News.

Who makes decisions on what projects are funded/ How is LAB150 governed?

LAB150 is governed by the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), which comprises representatives from MaRS Innovation and Evotec. The JSC decides at its quarterly meetings which projects are funded.

Project Questions

Where will research by performed?

It is expected that, where possible, the projects will be undertaken using the resources available at Evotec, or otherwise where suitable resources can be assessed, such as the Innovator’s lab. This is an opportunity for Innovators to gain access to the platform and experience of 2500 drug discovery scientists at Evotec – one of the premier drug discovery companies.

How will active projects be managed and monitored?

The LAB150 Joint Steering Committee and LAB150 project lead will monitor progress and make go/no go decisions with the Innovator and his/her team, should funding be tranched.

What will my role (as an Innovator) be in the work funded by a LAB150 award?

This will vary depending on the nature of the funded project, but even where the experimental work is being undertaken outside of the MaRS Innovation’s member instutition, the Innovator will play an active role in guiding and managing the project. The Innovator is an active and very important team member who will be making decisions on the next steps of the project together with the LAB150 team.

What activities are out of scope for LAB150 support?

LAB150 is not designed to support:

  • Development of research reagents, assays, tools, cell lines
  • Platform development or validation studies
  • Biomarker development or validation – biomarkers only accepted as part of therapeutic projects

LAB150 is also not intended to provide funding for academics’ salaries. For more projects, please visit examples of projects we fund.

Intellectual Property (IP) and Commercialization Questions

Who will own IP arising from funded projects?

Arising IP will be treated according to the member institution’s IP policy.

How will the downstream results be commercialized?

LAB150 has been established to fuel the creation of new startup companies from MaRS Innovation’s member institutions, and startup formation will be the preferred route to commercialize the output from funded projects. Startups based on the results of LAB150 project funding will be established based on an equity and IP license framework agreed upon by the partners. Another option of commercialization would be licensing to pharmaceutical or biotech companies.

What happens if, at the end of a project, the LAB150 partners do not wish to form a new company to develop the results?

The project will go back to the original MaRS Innovation’s member institution and Innovator. Both the institution and the Innovator can do further research on the project or work with an alternative investor as per the regulations of the institution. 

Scope of Supported Modalities

What Activities Does LAB150 Support?

LAB150 can help academics access a wide range of early stage drug discovery and development capabilities, including those available through the LAB150 partner, Evotec as described below.

Target Validation

Example

You have identified a target candidate for a novel anti-inflammatory therapeutic small molecule, but conclusive evidence that the target is related to the proposed mechanism-of-action is missing.

We Offer

We will apply our expertise in differential expression studies followed by bioinformatics-driven data mining and hypothesis building as well as our in vitro and in vivo gene knock-out and over-expression studies -including CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technologies – to validate your target candidate.

Screening & Hit Identification

Example

You have established a novel assay to test small molecules for their potential to treat lung cancer.

We Offer

We are able to perform screening for biochemical, functional and cellular responses using our proprietary high-throughput screening technology or other commercial platforms. This can be through providing access to Evotec’s high-throughput screening library with close to 1 million proprietary compounds.

Evotec’s technology platform includes nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry, surface plasmon resonance spectrometry, high-content screening, high-throughput mass-spectrometry based screening and a comprehensive structure-based drug design platform applicable all major target classes.

Testing Novel Therapeutics – In Vitro Models

Example

You have developed a therapeutic small molecule against a first-in-class target to treat atopic dermatitis. Your small molecule has excellent on-target activity but its cellular effects in a physiological context are difficult to study.

We Offer

We offer to characterize the potency, selectivity and the functional effects of your small molecule in a complex cellular environment and to perform the necessary translational studies by testing the proposed mechanism of your small molecule using disease-relevant primary cells from rodents, primates or humans.

Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK)

Example

You have identified a novel lead candidate for the treatment of a bacterial infection but you are uncertain whether there will be a therapeutic window.

We Offer

Successful small molecule drug discovery requires a deep understanding of the biological context coupled with knowledge and experience of the property space required to deliver safe, efficacious drugs. DMPK continues to be a key player in this success since the major sources of attrition – clinical efficacy and safety – are clearly linked to exposure in key tissues either on- or off-target. Thus, we offer a comprehensive and flexible range of in vitro and in vivo DMPK studies designed to cover the relevant activities in the lead-to-candidate phase.

Medicinal Chemistry

Example

Using a publically available compound library, you have identified four small molecule hit series for a novel targeted tumor therapy. Prioritisation of the four series will depend inter alia on the determination of the structure-activity-relationship of the different series.

We Offer

We will be able to support your project by designing, synthesizing and scaling up the analogues required to test your compounds in the most relevant biological systems and to develop them further into safe and efficacious treatments.

Proteomics and Metabolomics

Example

You have designed a novel cell therapy to treat haematological malignancies but you are unsure which patient stratification strategy you should apply for your planned a first-in-man study.

We Offer

We offer unique proteomics and metabolomics capabilities to address key issues in drug and biomarker discovery. We continuously advance our capabilities in mass spectrometry-based proteomics and metabolomics to ensure unrivalled comprehensiveness and data quality when analysing cells, animal models and patient samples. Applying our capabilities to your project, we will help you to identify the patient subset which may respond best to your novel therapy.