Rna Diagnostics is a cancer diagnostics company building a platform of predictive biomarkers to improve the lives of cancer patients. Founded in 2010, Rna Diagnostics’ platform technology is the RNA Disruption Assay™.
Innovation in personalized medicine for cancer therapy management
The RNA Disruption Assay™ (RDA™) will provide physicians with an evaluation of how individual patients are responding to cancer therapy. If the cancer drugs are likely to provide the patient with a benefit, the physician and patient can continue treatment with confidence. If the cancer drugs are not likely to benefit the patient, physicians may consider alternate treatments. For patients, this means avoiding harmful side effects and increasing the possibility of improved survival outcomes.
Rna Diagnostics is conducting a pivotal clinical trial in primary breast cancer called BREVITY. Rna Diagnostics also has collaborations in progress with researchers in Europe and North America in rectal, head and neck and metastatic breast cancer. The RNA Disruption Assay is available for clinical trial use from a state-of-the-art laboratory in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
RDA has the potential to substantially improve cancer treatment for patients while reducing costs for healthcare systems.
RDA represents a major advance in the management of breast cancer therapy. It offers the promise of real time monitoring of patient response to cancer treatment. RDA will allow us to make better informed treatment decisions that will improve the lives of our patients.
Working with physicians across the globe, Rna Diagnostics aims to improve cancer treatment, improve the quality of life for patients while reducing healthcare costs.
Meet the Rna Diagnostics Team
An experienced management team and world renowned clinical advisory board providing a Real Time cancer therapy guidance tool.
John is a business development executive with over 25 years working in the medical technology sector. He was formerly a partner at MDS Capital Corp., Canada’s largest health sciences venture capital company, where he led investments in early stage health science discovery and healthcare information technology companies. Mr. Connolly led investment in and the turn-around of one of Canada’s most successful health technology companies, Systems Xcellence, a pharmacy benefit management company that grew from an initial market capitalization of $10M to over $12B when it was acquired by United Health in 2015. John has a MBA from The Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University
John Jordan - MBA, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial Officer
A financial executive and entrepreneur, John Jordan has over 20 years working with entrepreneurs to create and build companies in the financial and medical technology sectors.
Amadeo Parissenti - Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Laurentian University and Cancer Research Chair, Regional Cancer Program, Sudbury Hospital, Dr. Amadeo Parissenti is an authority on drug resistance in breast cancer and conducts translational research studies in association with the National Cancer Institute of Canada and other major clinical trial Groups.
Laura Pritzker - Ph.D.
Vice President, Operations and R&D
With over 15 years of research experience in academic and industrial environments, as well as laboratory research experience in protein chemistry and cell and molecular biology, Dr. Laura Pritzker brings specific industrial experience in RNA diagnostic assay. She is responsible for development and optimization of RNA Disruption Assay, as well as project management and development. Dr. Pritzker earned her PhD in Pathobiology and Laboratory Medicine from the University of Toronto.
“I’m excited about taking this fundamental biological drug effect on RNA structure and using it to improve the care of women who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer.”
Sanaa Noubir - Ph.D., MBA
Vice President of Clinical Development
With a PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the University of Paris Sud XI, Orsay, France, Dr. Sanaa Noubir brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in cell biology to Rna Diagnostics. Dr. Noubir’s focus is on the development and management of collaborations with clinical partners. Dr. Noubir also has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University.
Maureen E. Trudeau
MA, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Maureen Trudeau is one of Canada’s leading breast cancer research clinical scientists and practicing breast cancer specialists. Dr. Trudeau is a medical oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Odette Cancer Centre, and a professor in the, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. As co-chair of breast cancer site group, Cancer Care Ontario. Dr. Trudeau has authored many guidelines on the treatment of breast cancer, which have influenced drug-funding decisions provincially and nationally. She was the principal investigator on the pivotal MA.22 clinical trial that led to the discovery of RDA and is committed to working with the company to turn RDA into a widely used clinical tool.
Having graduated with her MD from the University of Toronto and FRCPC from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Canada, Dr. Trudeau has had her research findings – covering many aspects of breast cancer from prevention to treatment – published in journals that include The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Trudeau also participates in clinical trials through the National Cancer Institute of Canada-Clinical Trials Group, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, as well as in studies supported by grants from industry.
Michael Untch is Head of Clinic for Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology and Obstetrics, as well as Head of Breast Interdisciplinary Cancer Center in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the HELIOS Klinkium in Berlin-Buch. After graduating from the Medical School at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Professor Untch did his M.D. Thesis (Magna cum Laude) on “immunocytochemical detection of tumor cells in bone marrow of breast cancer patients at primary therapy.” He went on to become a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at University of Miami, a Fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ludwig Maximilians University, and a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist.
Professor Untch is the author or co-author of more than 400 scientific publications. His current research projects include hormone and growth factor receptors in gynecologic oncology; new therapies in breast cancer; minimal-invasive diagnosis and therapeutic techniques in gynecologic oncology; mutation spectrum in familial breast and ovarian cancer; and prognostic and predictive factors in breast cancer.
Professor Untch sits on six editorial boards, including Der Onkolonge, Springer and Breast Care, Karger, and has more than a dozen professional memberships. The latter includes the German Cancer Society, American Society of Clinical Research, German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Breast International Group.
Harry D. Bear
Dr. Bear is the Walter Lawrence, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Oncology, Chairman of the Division of Surgical Oncology, Professor of Surgery and Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Bear graduated from Yale University cum laude, earned both his M.D. and Ph.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University, completed his surgical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and returned to VCU as a fellow in surgical oncology.
Dr. Bear’s clinical interests include breast cancer and other breast diseases, melanoma, sarcoma, and gastrointestinal cancers. His research interests include basic tumor immunology and T cell biology, pre-clinical and clinical studies of immunotherapy, translational clinical research trials, and breast cancer treatment trials. Dr. Bear has authored more than 150 articles and book chapters. His work has been published in several prestigious journals, including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Surgical Oncology, and Annals of Surgical Oncology. He has been on the Board of Directors of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) for more than twenty years and has been Study Chair for two of this group’s international breast cancer trials. He is first author of two recent publications reporting on one of these trials, NSABP B-40, the first published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 and the second was just published in Lancet Oncology in August, 2015.
Dr. Bear also serves the Massey Cancer Center in a variety of roles: leader of the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Team; Medical Director of the Clinical Research Office; and Chair of the Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee. He is the local principal investigator for most of Massey’s current breast cancer clinical trials, including a recently completed investigator-initiated trial that was supported by Genomic Health. Dr. Bear has also received many special honors, including the Sharon H. Kohlenberg Health Care Service Award from the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation in 1995, the Distinguished Investigator Lifetime Achievement Award from the NSABP Foundation, Inc. In 2015, he was named to the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Foundation’s new board of directors.
Matthew P. Goetz
Dr. Goetz is a consultant in the Division of Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and a Professor of Oncology and Pharmacology at Mayo Clinic.
He is chair of the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Research Group, co-leader of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Cancer Program, and Co-leader of the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer SPORE.
Dr. Goetz has been the lead investigator in translational studies regarding integration of pharmacogenomics into clinical oncology. His seminal work regarding the pharmacogenomics of tamoxifen identified the tamoxifen metabolite, endoxifen, as a key metabolite associated with the efficacy of tamoxifen. From these discoveries, Dr. Goetz has led a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute and Mayo Clinic to develop a novel formulation of endoxifen for the hormonal treatment of breast cancer, resulting in multiple National Cancer Institute-sponsored studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of endoxifen.
Dr. Goetz also co-leads prospective clinical studies focused on simultaneously integrating germline and tumor sequencing along with the development of new breast cancer models (patient derived xenografts) in patients with locally advanced and metastatic breast cancer.
Dr. Goetz completed his post-doctoral fellowship Hematology/Oncology at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He completed his Residency and Internship in Internal Medicine at Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan after earning his MD from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine.
Dr. Bartlett is the Director of Diagnostic Development at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Provincial Principal Investigator for the Ontario Tumour Bank.
Dr. Bartlett has developed an integrated platform of research focused on the development of novel cancer diagnostics. By gaining an understanding of the molecular complexity of cancer, accurate diagnostic approaches can be developed to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate treatment. Novel diagnostic tools are required to accurately identify molecular subtypes of cancer and to predict the effectiveness of treatment.
Dr. Bartlett has contributed to the development of translational research within multi‐centre clinical trials, several of which have led to new insights into selecting appropriate therapeutics for breast cancer patients. He aims to foster research in other laboratories across the province to accelerate the discovery of novel diagnostics for cancer.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Former CEO, GSK Canada
Mr. Lucas served as President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Canada from 1994 until he retired in 2012. Previous to joining Glaxo Canada in 1986, he held progressive management positions at Eli Lilly Canada and McNeil Pharmaceutical.
Mr. Lucas also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for TM Bioscience, a member of the Boards of Biochem Pharma, the Toronto Regional Research Alliance, Montreal inVivo, and AllerGen. In addition he was a member of the Principal’s Advisory Council of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Queen’s University. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) for three terms.
Currently Mr. Lucas is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Genomics Institute and ABcann Medicinals Inc., Chair of the Board of Induran Ventures Inc., advisor to Lumira Capital and RnA Diagnostics, an Associate of SHI Consulting, and Chair of the Board of Life Sciences Ontario.
He received his BSc (Honours) in Biology and Chemistry from Queen’s University, and obtained his Chartered Directors designation (CDir) from the Directors College, a joint venture of McMaster University and the Conference Board of Canada, in 2009.
Founder & Managing Partner iGAN Partners
Sam has over 20 years of entrepreneurial, technology and venture capital experience. He founded iGan Partners in 2013 and iGan is now the largest healthcare VC investor in Canada. As Managing Director, Sam is involved in the evaluation, structuring, execution, and support of iGan’s investments. Sam is a leader in the commercialization of innovative healthcare technologies in both the medical device and healthcare IT sectors. Currently, Sam is Chairman of eSight and MolecuLight and sits on the board of seven other medtech companies and has helped oversee six exits. Prior to founding iGan Partners, Sam co-founded and exited several companies including Visualsonics, Tri-Link Technologies and Brighter Minds. Sam started his career as a strategy consultant with Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) where he advised Fortune 500 companies on corporate strategy.
Sam holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from McGill University and an MBA from The John Molson School of Business.
Dr. Jeremy Bridge-Cook worked at Luminex Corporation and Tm Bioscience (TMB, acquired by Luminex in 2007) for 16 years in positions of increasing responsibility. Dr. Bridge-Cook was VP of Business Development, VP Sales & Marketing and Senior VP Corporate Development at TMB, and most recently served as Senior VP of Research & Development at Luminex Corp. Prior to working at Luminex/TMB, Dr. Bridge-Cook worked as an Investment Manager at MDS Capital Corp., a venture capital company focused on Life Science investments. Dr. Bridge-Cook received his B.Sc. from McMaster University and Ph.D. of Immunology from the University of Toronto.
Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder
John is a business development executive with over 25 years working in the medical technology sector. He was formerly a partner at MDS Capital Corp., Canada’s largest health sciences venture capital company, where he led investments in early stage health science discovery and healthcare information technology companies. Mr. Connolly led investment in and the turn-around of one of Canada’s most successful health technology companies, Systems Xcellence, a pharmacy benefit management company that grew from an initial market capitalization of $10M to over $12B when it was acquired by United Health in 2015. John has a MBA from The Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University.
Rna Diagnostics’ RDA™ test will dramatically improve patient care and reduce health care costs. The underlying proprietary technology has the potential to create innovative products for healthcare systems worldwide. The experienced leadership team at Rna Diagnostics has the ability and drive to make this company a world success.
The RDA score could help us to predict which patients’ tumours will or will not respond to chemotherapy early in the course of treatment. This will allow a rapid change in treatment for those with unresponsive tumours.
Rna Diagnostics’ Supporters
Rna Diagnostics receives support from organizations and individuals that believe RDA will provide critical information to physicians, improve the lives of cancer patients while reducing healthcare costs.
Georgian Angel Network
Golden Triangle Angelnet
Health Technology Exchange
Health Technology Exchange