November 12, 2015

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) recently awarded Fanshawe College a three-year, $225,000 Applied Research and Development (ARD) Grant for a project in which the College will collaborate with Integra Medical Inc. of London, Ontario. The research project, with a total value of over $500,000, will see Fanshawe researchers conducting rigorous scientific analyses of Integra's flagship probiotic oral care products Lorodent™ and Kariodent™. The project will employ a total of 15 co-op students over three years from the Bachelor of Applied Technology - Biotechnology and Chemical Laboratory Technology – Science Laboratory programs at Fanshawe.

Validating the efficacy of Lorodent™ and Kariodent™ – innovative probiotic-based products for oral health – using world-class microbiological and immunological tools and techniques will be a critical milestone in both the commercialization process and for credibility building in the medical and dental communities. These probiotics are used to restore the natural microflora balance in order to improve overall oral care. This important research will further substantiate the products' mechanisms of action and provide critical insights into the oral cavity microbiome and the potential of novel probiotic-based therapies for applications beyond gastrointestinal health.

“This project is an excellent example of the collaborative potential between industry partners and the expertise of Fanshawe faculty and students,” says Dan Douglas, dean, Centre for Research and Innovation. “It also demonstrates the global impact of research occurring in the London area.”

The project, led by Fanshawe Principal Investigator Dr. Peter Cadieux, runs from October 1, 2015 to August 31, 2018 with research being conducted at Integra's facilities. The project will expand on the existing collaboration between Integra Medical, Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotic Research (CCHMPR) at the Lawson Health Research Institute (LHRI), and Fanshawe College. Students will receive expert training from both academic and industrial researchers and scientists including CCHMPR Scientist and Miriam Burnett Research Chair Dr. Jeremy Burton, Fanshawe Professor Kristofer James, Fanshawe/Western Post-doctoral Fellow Dr. Ryan Chanyi, and University of Windsor Associate Professor Dr. Rupp Carriveau. Dr. Cadieux is a Professor in the School of Health Sciences at Fanshawe, Adjunct Professor the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Western University and Scientist with the CCHMPR.  

“We expect the collaboration with Fanshawe College to be mutually beneficial,” says Natalya Yudina, president and CEO of Integra Medical Inc. “Gaining access to high-quality co-op students and Dr. Cadieux's unique knowledge and expertise in the areas of microbiology, immunology and probiotics will create a strong basis for Integra's sustainable competitive advantages, which are especially critical during early commercialization stages. In turn, Integra will provide Fanshawe students with real-world training and a skill set imperative for their employability and successful careers in biotechnology.”

Integra Medical focuses on the development and commercialization of breakthrough probiotic-based natural health products for novel therapeutic indications such as oral/dental health, geriatrics, urology and women's health.

NSERC is the primary funding agency supporting Canada's science and engineering research community. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by working with over 3,000 Canadian companies that are participating and investing in post-secondary research projects.