CDL’s new global Advanced Therapies stream brings together industry leader CCRM, four top universities on two continents

The new Advanced Therapies stream brings together four top institutions, as well as a partnership between CDL and CCRM, a leader in developing and commercializing cell and gene therapies

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is launching a new Advanced Therapies stream for pre-seed and seed-stage ventures at the forefront of biotech. To bring this program to life, CDL has partnered with CCRM, a leader in accelerating the development and commercialization of regenerative medicine-based technologies.

Advanced Therapies will be launched at four world-class CDL locations – the University of British Columbia, the University of Oxford, the University of Toronto, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison – creating an international network that will foster the next generation of biotech companies.

Health tech is fundamentally changing treatment strategies – the targeting of general symptoms in broad populations is being replaced by highly targeted therapies, and potential cures, in more refined patient subgroups. This sea change is a result of advancements in both molecular techniques and the analysis of biological data. CDL alumni ventures are among those companies at the forefront.

Advanced Therapies is for founders leveraging cell and gene therapies, biologics, antibody-drug conjugates, and other biological products to innovate solutions to biological, medical, and health-care issues.

“CDL’s Advanced Therapeutics stream combines a proven model for success and a founder-friendly mindset with a core group of biotech mentors who know what it takes to bring these therapies to patients. Adding CCRM’s capabilities and expertise is like rocket fuel to accelerate the trajectory of these cutting-edge companies,” said Dawn Bell, a CDL Health mentor and Global Development Head, Strategic Partnerships at Novartis.

This new stream will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists with expertise building massively scalable companies. Selected participants will work with these mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, and build networks with experts working on the frontiers of research.

The growing number of startup founders working in advanced therapies, including CDL alumni such as Notch Therapeutics, have proven that Advanced Therapies is a necessary addition to CDL’s programming. CDL is partnering with CCRM for the launch of this new stream.

“Health tech is rapidly evolving to better serve people around the world.  CDL, in partnership with CCRM, is eager to support cutting-edge research and founders who are looking to advance therapeutics and innovate the healthcare landscape,” said Sonia Sennik, Executive Director at CDL.

CCRM, a global public-private partnership located in Toronto, Canada, has a deep network of researchers, investors, leading companies, and entrepreneurs that have been supporting the establishment of early-stage companies for a decade.

“I always envisioned that CDL and CCRM would join forces to enhance early-stage company creation and company scaling in the area of advanced therapies,” said Michael May, President and CEO, CCRM.

“CCRM has a unique global position in this space. And I believe CDL is developing a best-in-class process of its own … so it just seemed like a perfect marriage of skills, interests, and track record to partner in one of the hottest areas in biotech.”

In addition to harnessing the global networks of CDL and CCRM, Advanced Therapies will leverage the academic and scientific communities of four leading institutions in North America and Europe. Each brings its own deep expertise and standout network in the field:

  • University of British Columbia: Ranked as one of the top healthtech cities in the world, with a high density of researchers, investors and startups in the advanced therapies realm.
  • University of Toronto: A massive healthtech centre with hundreds of millions of dollars invested into the sector each year, and the site of major healthtech conferences, such as MaRS Impact Health.
  • University of Oxford: Precision medicine and eHealth are in the top-three burgeoning innovation fields in the local ecosystem, supported by world-class researchers at Oxford.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison: Stem cell and regenerative medicine research have a major centre in the state, with massive support by the business and venture capital community.

Join a CDL Health webinar to learn more. Companies and founders interested in applying to the Advanced Therapies stream can contact for more information. Applications will be accepted online until August 31, 2022.

About Creative Destruction Lab

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies. Its nine-month program allows founders to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their likelihood of success. Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, the program has expanded to 12 sites across six countries. Participating ventures have created $20 billion (CAD) in equity value.

About Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine

CCRM is a global, public-private partnership headquartered in Canada. It receives funding from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and leading academic and industry partners. CCRM supports the development of regenerative medicines and associated enabling technologies, with a specific focus on cell and gene therapy. A network of researchers, leading companies, strategic investors and entrepreneurs, CCRM accelerates the translation of scientific discovery into new companies and marketable products for patients, with specialized teams, funding and infrastructure. CCRM is hosted at its Toronto site by the University of Toronto and is the commercialization partner of Medicine by Design. Visit us at


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