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Ottawa Hospital researchers awarded $1.85M from Stem Cell Network

Funding to advance research into septic shock, bone and joint health, newborn health and patient engagement

le 12 mai 2022

“Researchers around the world have spent decades trying to find new therapies for septic shock, but so far nothing has improved survival, nor the quality of life for survivors of this devastating illness” said Dr. Larualyn McIntyre. “We urgently need new treatment approaches, and we need to test these potential treatments in the context of randomized controlled trials like ours.” our research teams at The Ottawa Hospital have been awarded a total of $1.85 million to harness stem cells and regenerative medicine to develop new therapies for septic shock, bone and joint conditions, and newborn lung damage, while also advancing patient engagement in research. The new peer-reviewed grants are funded by the Stem Cell Network, as part its investment of $19.5 million in research projects across the country. Researchers from the University of Ottawa, CHEO, and many other institutions are partners on the projects.

Clinical trial to evaluate promising therapy for septic shock 

Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre was awarded $1 million to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in patients with septic shock. This deadly condition occurs when an infection spreads through the body and over-activates the immune system, causing the heart and other organs to fail. MSCs have been shown to dampen the damaging part of the immune response while bolstering the more beneficial parts. Sepsis is recognized as a global health priority, with an estimated 48.9 million cases of sepsis and 11 million sepsis-related deaths worldwide annually.

Dr. McIntyre and her team, including Drs. Duncan Stewart, Dean Fergusson and Shirley Mei, previously conducted the first clinical trial in the world of MSC therapy for septic shock. This new funding will allow them to conduct a larger randomized controlled clinical trial in approximately 10 centres across Canada.

“Researchers around the world have spent decades trying to find new therapies for septic shock, but so far nothing has improved survival, nor the quality of life for survivors of this devastating illness” said Dr. McIntyre, senior scientist and critical care physician at The Ottawa Hospital and associate professor at the University of Ottawa. “We urgently need new treatment approaches, and we need to test these potential treatments in the context of randomized controlled trials like ours.”

Co-Investigators and collaborators include Alexis Turgeon, Alison Fox-Robichaud, Bernard Thébaud, Brent Winston, Christine Caron, Claudia Dos Santos, Dean Fergusson, Duncan Stewart, Geeta Mehta, Gregory Korbutt, John Granton, John Marshall, Kednapa Thavorn, Keith Walley, Margaret Herridge, Mario Ruediger, Michael Chasse, Michael Matthay, Shane English, Shirley Mei, Tim Ramsay, the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, Sepsis Canada, the Centre for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, patient partners and project manager Josee Champagne.

Developing new therapies and engaging patients 

Drs. Daniel Coutu, Manoj Lalu, Dean Fergusson and Bernard ThébaudFrom left to right: Drs. Daniel Coutu, Manoj Lalu, Dean Fergusson and Bernard Thébaud were awarded funding for research projects to develop new regenerative therapies and enhance the engagement of patients.The other three grants, worth $250,000 to $300,000 each, involve developing new regenerative therapies and engaging patients in research. The projects include:

Pharmacological rejuvenation of skeletal stem cells for use in regenerative orthopedic surgery             
Principal Investigator: Daniel Coutu
Co-Investigators and collaborators: F. Jeffrey Dilworth, George Grammatopoulos, Mark Campbell, Sasha Carsen

Ironman – Improved Respiratory Outcome of Newborns with Modified Angiogenic Nanovesicles
Principal Investigator: Bernard Thébaud
Co-Investigators and collaborators: Daphne Merkus, Dylan Burger, John Bell, Mervin Yoder

Engaging patients in laboratory-based cell therapy research: Co-production and field testing of a framework
Co-Principal Investigators: Manoj Lalu and Dean Fergusson
Co-Investigators: Dawn Richards, Angela Crawley, Asher Mendelson, Bernard Thebaud, Cheryle Seguin, Justin Presseau, Kathryn Hendrick, Kimberly Macala, Kirsten Fiest, Pat Messner, Patrick Sullivan, Stuart Nicholls
Collaborators: Ambreen Sayani, Amy Wong, Anastassia Voronova, Eve Tsai, Gavin Oudit, Ian Rogers, Jessica Esseltine, Juan Carlos Zuniga-Pflucker, Kelly McNagny, Liam Brunham, M. Cristina Nostro, Mark Ungrin, Massimiliano Paganelli, Megan Levings, Michael Laflamme, Mickie Bhatia, Mireille Khacho, Natasha Chang, Stephanie Protze, Stephanie Willerth, William Stanford, Yun Li.

 The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa and supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. The research projects profiled above are enabled by core resources and facilities at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, including the Ottawa Methods Centre, the Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre and StemCore.

Media Contact 
Jenn Ganton
613-614-5253
jganton@ohri.ca