Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Award of Excellence
The Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Award of Excellence recognizes individuals who contribute significantly to the achievement of the Company’s corporate objectives. Individual nominations for this award are brought forward to the Company’s Executive Management Team for consideration.
Third Award of Excellence Recipient: Dr. Brett Finlay
Presented at the Official Opening of the Animal Health & Food Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre – April, 2011
Dr. Dragan Rogan, Chief Veterinary Scientific Officer at Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (right) presented Dr. Brett Finlay with the third Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Award of Excellence at the Official Opening of the Animal Health and Food Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre on April 29, 2011.
Dr. Brett Finlay is a Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It was Dr. Finlay who made the original scientific discoveries that led to the development of the vaccine. He was doing basic research in the laboratory in 1995 when he made a fundamental discovery: The E. coli O157:H7 bacteria secrete proteins that, once in contact with intestinal cell walls, serve as receptors that enable the bacteria to adhere and colonize the intestines.
Dr. Finlay realized that it might be possible to immunize against the attachment proteins of the bacteria. It initially occurred to him that this could be useful in childhood vaccines. He subsequently determined that a cattle vaccine might be the better opportunity to pursue. He approached the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan to assist in making secreted proteins to immunize cows.
Bioniche Life Sciences, through the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network (CBDN), became the commercial partner on the recommendation of Dr. Dragan Rogan, then Vice-President of Animal Health research at Bioniche, who recognized the potential of the vaccine and the need for it. The partnership of UBC, VIDO, the Alberta Research Council and Bioniche, led by Dr. Rogan and his team, developed the vaccine.
Dr. Finlay’s continuing research into foodborne pathogens and technologies to prevent human illness has kept Canada at the forefront in terms of food safety research. Bioniche is proud to be a research partner with Dr. Finlay and his skilled team as they research new technologies in this field.
Second Award of Excellence Recipient: Dr. Alvaro Morales
Presented at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders – November 9, 2010
Graeme McRae, Chairman, President & CEO of Bioniche (right) presented Dr. Alvaro Morales with the second Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Award of Excellence at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders in November, 2010.
Dr. Alvaro Morales has worked with Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. since its Vetrepharm Animal Health days. He introduced himself to the Company in the 1980s, having come across the Company’s mycobacterial cell wall product for the treatment of canine cancer (Regressin) and inquiring about its potential for the treatment of human bladder cancer.
During the 1970s, Dr. Morales hypothesized that infecting the bladder with live BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guérin, a live vaccine developed in the 1920s to prevent Tuberculosis in humans) would provoke an immune system response that would be sufficiently robust to eliminate some bladder tumours. His pioneering work formed the basis for registration of BCG as a bladder cancer therapy. Since its registration, Dr. Morales has been anticipating a new generation of therapy that would have fewer side effects, better tolerability, and be safer for clinicians to handle.
Dr. Morales has been the Principal Investigator for the Company’s Phase I and II clinical trials with the Company’s technology , as well as for the first Phase III clinical trial, in which patients with bladder cancer that was refractory (unresponsive) to BCG were treated with the Company’s product. Dr. Morales was the lead author of an article published in the March, 2009 Journal of Urology, a leading, peer reviewed medical journal, in which he summarized the results of the earlier clinical trials with the Company’s technology. He has commented that the tumour response was very encouraging, and that the safety profile was so much better than that seen with the live bacterial product (BCG).
Dr. Morales completed his undergraduate training at the Universidad Javeriana in Columbia, his surgical training in Washington, D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts and his urological training at Queen's University. He has been with the Department of Urology since 1972 and was promoted to full Professor in 1982.
Dr. Morales stepped down as the Head of Urology in 1997 after 15 dedicated and challenging years in that position. He has, over the years, cultivated much external funding support for the department and carries on numerous clinical drug trials and research projects, on an ongoing basis; primarily in the areas of sexual dysfunction and oncology.
He is constantly sought out to be a visiting lecturer all over the world, and also participates in local and international CME events. Dr. Morales has over 260 papers published. His 1976 paper on the use of BCG for the prophylaxis and treatment of superficial bladder cancer has been recognized as one of the most important papers published in the last 100 years on bladder cancer by the Journal of Urology. He sits on several editorial boards, including The International Journal of Impotence Research and as an External Reviewer for the Journal of Urology.
He officially retired in 2004, but continues as founding Director of the Centre of Applied Urological Research, for the Department of Urology, a facility that he spearheaded and saw through from concept to reality when it opened in Kingston in 2005.
First Award of Excellence Recipient: Dr. Reuben Mapletoft
Presented at the International Embryo Transfer Society Annual Meeting – January, 2010
Dr. Dragan Rogan, Chief Veterinary Scientific Officer at Bioniche (left) presented Dr. Reuben Mapletoft with the first Bioniche Life Sciences Award of Excellence at the Annual Meeting of the International Embryo Transfer Society in January, 2010.
Dr. Reuben Mapletoft is a long-time friend of Bioniche Life Sciences, having worked closely with us for the last decade and having made significant contributions to the development and success of our reproductive products for livestock. He has been honoured by his university peers at the University of Saskatchewan and industry representatives. The government of Saskatchewan awarded him the Order of Merit in 2007 in recognition of his research in reproductive biology and its application in assisted reproductive technologies in cattle, spanning more than 30 years.
In 1998, Dr.Mapletoft received an honorary life membership in the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association, and in 2000, he received an honorary life membership and the Distinguished Service Award from the International and Canadian Embryo Transfer Society. In 2003, the University of Saskatchewan honoured him with its Distinguished Researcher Award, and in 2005, an earned a Doctorate.
At the Annual Meeting of the International Embryo Transfer Society in Cordoba, Argentina in January, 2010, Dr.Mapletoft was awarded with a newly created corporate award that recognizes individuals who contribute significantly to the achievement of our corporate objectives. The first Bioniche Life Sciences Award of Excellence was presented by Graeme McRae, Chairman President & CEO of Bioniche and Dr. Dragan Rogan, Chief Veterinary Scientific Officer of Bioniche to Dr.Mapletoft, a supporter, contributor, advisor, colleague and friend of our company.