BlueRock Therapeutics is setting out to develop regenerative medicines that will transform health care, and the company will be spearheading part of their groundbreaking work in the MaRS Discovery District.
The Toronto-based company opened their new 10,000 square foot facility for research, development, and manufacturing today, expanding their existing presence in the city. BlueRock’s Toronto team is expected to move into the space later this year.
The company’s goal is to build self-therapies to reverse degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, a chronic disorder that affects more than six million people worldwide. They plan to harness stem cells to restore natural biological functions lost to degenerative diseases, congenital defects, and even aging.
BlueRock was co-founded by Gordon Keller, director of McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine. As such, BlueRock will be collaborating closely with the centre based at the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto. BlueRock’s founding investigator Michael Laflamme is also a senior scientist at UHN.
“This UHN collaboration will allow us to work closely with leaders in the field to develop breakthrough cell therapies for patients suffering from heart failure,” said BlueRock CEO Emile Nuwaysir in a statement.
BlueRock is also partnering with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) who already has a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in MaRS.
“We have strengthened our strategic partnership with CCRM, which leverages not only their expertise, but also their new cGMP manufacturing facility to accelerate the build out of BlueRock’s manufacturing capabilities,” said Nuwaysir.
The company announced today the appointment of Michael Scott as BlueRock’s senior vice president of product development and Toronto operations.
The biotech company is setting up shop in one of the world’s leading hubs for expertise in stem cells—after all, two Canadian scientists pioneered the field of stem cell research from Toronto.
BlueRock anticipates that its first clinical trial for Parkinson’s disease will begin as soon as next year. In December, BlueRock secured $225 million in financing from Versant Ventures and Bayer Life Sciences. It was the second largest series A in biotech history.