Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Opportunity in Nanomedicine

Commercialization at UHN

Commercialization at UHN

Sales & Business Development · Full-time
Toronto, ON, Canada
Posted on Friday, September 30, 2022

Do you have a passion for seeing research discoveries become life-saving reality? Do you have what it takes to drive winning partnerships to help create a healthier world? Could you lead a global-level new venture opportunity through to completion? Do you bring a track-record of success commercializing state-of-the-art biomedical technologies?

Read on to learn more about this joint opportunity from University Health Network/TIAP.

About Our Ecosystem

The Toronto region is home to the largest Human Health Sciences network comprised of academic, health and biotech partners representing world class science and scientists, all holding thriving partnerships and global connections. As_ _Canada’s largest academic research hospital, UHN is the #1 institution in Canada for research commercialization. Ranked #1 in Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals, UHN has held this position since 2011, and its four hospitals are amongst the top-ranking globally. Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP)is a recognized creator, funder, and accelerator of early-stage healthcare companies.

About the Opportunity

Biomedical Tech Entrepreneur needed to lead new company formation in nanomedicine

Together, UHN and TIAP are partnering in the formation of an exciting new nanomedicine focused company poised to benefit cancer patients world-wide. They are seeking a versatile Biomedical Tech Entrepreneur to lead company formation efforts.

Based on ground-breaking research by Dr. Gang Zheng, a world-renowned expert in nanomedicine and Associate Research Director of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and a team of multi-disciplinary innovators at his lab, this soon-to-be formed company will focus on developing a robust pipeline of new classes of porphyrin-containing biomaterials (i.e. porphysomes) used for cancer imaging, phototherapy, and drug delivery.

Dr. Zheng was named contributor to the “top 10 cancer breakthroughs of 2011” by the Canadian Cancer Society for his work on harnessing porphysome nanotechnology in the fight against cancer. This same nanotechnology platform is the foundation for this new venture. Dubbed the “Swiss army knife” of nanomedicine, porphysomes are multi-functional and suitable for a variety of applications. Non-toxic, easily assembled, touting photo-acoustic and photo-thermal properties, these tiny particles can significantly improve the way cancers are detected and treated, from targeted drug delivery to ablation of tumours from within using light.

Phase I trials are underway with the immediate goal of realizing the potential of improving current cancer therapy regimens and diagnostic options, though multiple application opportunities exist.

More information about Dr. Gang Zheng and his research can be found here.

Position Summary

We are now seeking a dynamic entrepreneur who aligns with the team’s vision of developing and delivering cancer nanomedicine products to improve patient care.  They will have a proven track-record of success commercializing state-of-the-art biomedical technologies.

With active hands-on collaboration between UHN and TIAP, we are seeking to engage a Biomedical Tech Entrepreneur to help us to translate this meaningful asset out of UHN and into a soon-to-be

formed venture.  The Entrepreneur will play a major role in launching the new company, with a focus on developing the company’s foundational commercialization strategy, as well as a plan to equip the new business (upon formation) with the resources, funding, and executive talent needed for rapid execution and success.

The Entrepreneur will further take primary responsibility for building the company’s business model and go-to-~~ ~~market strategy and fundraising plan.  They will also be responsible for managing license negotiations, building strategic partnerships, and for stewarding the process of company formation between UHN and TIAP.  The ideal candidate will have substantial leadership experience in the early-stage biomedical technology sector, including both biologics and medical devices~~.~~

Key Responsibilities

  1. Strategy and Execution: Develop a 3-year development and corporate strategic plan for the platform.
  2. Fundraising: Assess the company’s financial needs, propose initial fundraising goals and use of funds, and collaborate with TIAP and UHN in generating investor interest and securing investment.
  3. Contractual Negotiations: Negotiation of agreements including the option to license UHN IP assets into the company.
  4. Business Development: Cultivate relationships with potential strategic partners that can contribute resources and provide market access.

Qualifications, Experience and Competencies

  • Independent and self-motivated strategic leader with strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team environment.
  • Prior success with raising capital from dilutive sources (angels, VCs, strategic investors, etc.).
  • Extensive connections within the healthcare community, government and private healthcare funders, and pharma, biologics, and medical device companies.
  • Experience in navigating GMP manufacturing and clinical trials.
  • Knowledge of and experience in regulatory and reimbursement issues in Canada and the USA.
  • Experience interacting and leading contract negotiations with academic institutions and business investors.
  • Commercial background with marketing, sales, and business development experience.   Preferred: knowledge and experience in drug-device combination, familiarity with the surgical oncology market, and familiarity with nano- and photo-medical applications.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.


The position is located in Toronto. Outstanding remote candidates periodically capable of in-person interactions on-site will be considered.

About University Health Network

UHN is Canada’s largest research hospital, consisting of seven research institutes located within the hospital system comprised of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto General, Toronto Rehabilitation and Toronto Western hospitals, all affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is the largest driver of medical research and innovation in the greater Toronto region. In 2019, Toronto General Hospital was named among the world’s Top 10 Hospitals by Newsweek magazine and UHN was ranked first on Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals list by Research Infosource, and has consistently ranked at the top since 2011.

About Commercialization at UHN

Enabling and leading commercialization and industry partnership for a healthier world, we are the research commercialization hub located at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), the leading research commercialization institution in Canada, and within the top 10 research commercialization hospitals in North America (Source: AUTM Licensing Survey).

Technologies discovered and developed at UHN have already formed the basis for many global products and services including pharmaceuticals, biologics, devices, and diagnostics and represent a foundation for companies incubated at UHN.

We compete with the biggest names in the US and at home; companies initially incubated at UHN include BlueRock Therapeutics , Trillium Therapeutics, Adela Bio Inc., Treadwell Therapeutics and AvroBio, amongst others, boasting more than CAD**$5 billion** injected into the economy since 2018 via six equity exits and more than CAD**$1.3 billion** in financing raised since 2014 from globally recognized investors.

UHN Companies: Key Financial Highlights

  • UHN Companies have attracted some of the largest financings in Canadian history, including:
  • BlueRock Therapeutics, US$225 Series A in 2016, led by Bayer AG and Versant Ventures whose investment represented one of the largest biotechnology investments of its kind in Canada at the time.
  • US$60M Series A for Adela Bio, Inc. in 2021.  According to Brian Bloom of Toronto-based health care investment firm Bloom Burton & Co., this is the first institutionally-backed company in this field in Canada.
  • US$91M Series B for Treadwell Therapeutics in 2021.
  • UHN companies achieved 6 equity exists in under 4 years to the tune of CAD**$5.24B CAD. This includes:**
  • Acquisition of Trillium Therapeutics by Pfizer for US$2.22B
  • Acquisition of BlueRock Therapeutics by Bayer for US$1B
  • Initial IPO of US$100M for AVROBIO on NASDAQ in July 2018

About Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners

TIAP is a member-driven, not-for-profit organization created in 2008 (initially as “MaRS Innovation”) by Toronto’s top universities, health institutions and research institutes, and the MaRS Discovery District. TIAP’s mandate is to bring the members’ most promising research breakthroughs to market. In addition to member support, early funding has come from various Federal Government sources, including the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. TIAP specializes in venture building of early-stage health science technologies from its members. TIAP works with inventors to explore options to advance their innovations with highest commercial potential. This is accomplished through a suite of programs and funding mechanisms. Since 2009, TIAP has created and/or invested in over 70 ventures; their portfolio companies have raised over $1B from global investors and created more than 1000 direct jobs.

Closing Date: Until filled

For further information or to apply, please email aaab@uhnresearch.ca with subject line “Porphysomes”.

We thank all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.