VANCOUVER and TORONTO, Canada (September 9, 2016) — Zucara Therapeutics Inc., a pre-clinical life sciences company advancing a novel long-term therapeutic approach to prevent hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes, has appointed Michael Midmer as its Chief Executive Officer.
Midmer has over 15 years of experience in life sciences, fund management and corporate finance. He was formerly the Director of the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) at Genome Canada, working with companies such as Xagenic, Vasomune, Assurex and Roche to facilitate and fund partnerships with academia. Before joining Genome Canada, Midmer was a Director at Rosetta Capital, an international venture capital firm, where he managed a portfolio of over 30 companies in North America and Europe and company exits such as Enobia, Cytochroma, Ambit and Resonant.
Zucara Therapeutics, a spin-off company created by MaRS Innovation and The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), is built upon decades of diabetes research by Dr. Mladen Vranic (University of Toronto), Dr. David Coy (Tulane University) and Dr. Michael Riddell (York University). The company is advancing a novel drug therapy that aims to help prevent hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes by creating the first treatment to restore the body’s ability to counter-regulate hypoglycemia and prevent low blood sugar levels. Immediate patient benefits would include reduced hypoglycemia occurrences and their associated symptoms.
“Patients living with diabetes worldwide currently have no preventative therapy for hypoglycemia,” said Midmer. “It’s an exciting opportunity to be able to lead Zucara’s team, and move this drug closer to the clinic and patients — and to one day eliminate the ongoing fear of hypoglycemia.”
“Michael has an impressive track record in partnering and commercializing promising technologies,” said Gordon C. McCauley, CDRD’s Interim President and CEO. “We’re pleased to welcome him as Zucara’s CEO, and are highly confident he can advance this novel technology to commercial success.”
“MaRS Innovation supported Zucara Therapeutics’ early-stage drug development because we believe it represents the next successful diabetes drug,” said Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein, President and CEO of MaRS Innovation. “If we’re to build on Banting and Best’s research in Toronto, the birthplace of insulin, we need a strong leadership team. With his background in venture capital and the life sciences, Michael is ideally suited to move Zucara forward and create another clinical development success story in Canada.”
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About Zucara Therapeutics Inc.
Zucara Therapeutics, a spin-off of The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and MaRS Innovation (MI), is a new company with a novel drug therapy to help prevent hypoglycemia in people with diabetes. It is advancing novel technology that is showing promise as a long-term therapeutic approach to prevent hypoglycemia in people with diabetes who are insulin-dependent. www.zucara.ca
About MaRS Innovation
MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for 15 leading academic institutions in Ontario. It provides investors and licensees with a single point through which to access technology assets emerging from its members, who receive $1.47 billion in annual research and development funding. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its 15 member institutions, MI is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities. MI advances portfolio assets into global markets through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation. www.marsinnovation.com
About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
CDRD is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre working in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations. CDRD provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector — and ultimately into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). www.cdrd.ca
For additional information, please contact:
Manager, Communications, CDRD