SYNG Pharmaceuticals Targets Cancer and Endometriosis

SYNG Pharmaceuticals Targets Cancer and Endometriosis

A scientist at heart, Vinay Singh always believed that the real service to science was commercializing its applications to make them accessible to those in need. The Queen’s University Biochemistry professor with M.Sc., Ph.D., and MBA founded SYNG Pharmaceuticals, a next generation biotechnology company, to develop innovative therapy for cancer and endometriosis patients. Singh’s mission is to deliver lasting benefits to women’s health, while providing strong returns to prospective shareholders.

Singh may know his way around Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, but starting and running his own company required some guidance. The founder turned to VentureStart, a program funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). VentureStart received $7.5 million in funding through FedDev Ontario’s Scientists and Engineers in Business (SEB) initiative. The program provides emerging entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields with training, mentoring and seed financing to develop their ideas, commercialize their products and grow their companies.

“Scientists and Engineers in Business is designed to help improve the success rate of start-up businesses in southern Ontario,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario). “Through this Government of Canada initiative, we are doing our part to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs in southern Ontario by building a workforce of highly-skilled, well-trained leaders who will drive business innovation in the future.”

VentureStart, co-ordinated by the RIC (Research, Innovation, Commercialization) Centre in Mississauga, is delivered through 13 provincially funded Regional Innovation Centres in Southern Ontario. This includes Kingston’s Launch Lab, where the SYNG Pharmaceuticals founder received mentoring.  Through FedDev Ontario’s support, VentureStart is helping program participants increase their business and management skills and their capacity to create successful companies and career opportunities.

Roger Bowes and John Moore of Launch Lab and Justin Leushner of London’s TechAlliance were Singh’s assigned Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs). EIRs have extensive business experience and expertise, enabling them to assist entrepreneurs in bringing new, innovative products to market.

“Mentorship is really important because it keeps you focused and grounded,” said Singh. “They give you a sandbox to play in and favourable ears for bouncing ideas. You never feel lonely in this business.”

The VentureStart program helped Singh bridge the gap in his data file to bring him one step closer to securing investment. He was able to collect the necessary data on his therapeutic peptide to demonstrate its effectiveness.

VentureStart also provided the start-up with seed funding which was used to collect pre-clinical research data to support findings and move the therapy closer to commercialization. Funding enabled the new entrepreneur to connect with business leaders and present his work to gain more exposure. “Without the funding, it would have taken an additional 12-14 months to reach the same milestones,” said Singh.

SYNG Pharmaceuticals’ innovative technology is being developed to commercialize the first non-hormonal treatment for endometriosis. In the United States alone, the estimated costs of diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis totaled $22 billion and a recent study predicts an economic impact of $1.2 billion in Canada.

The technology will also have applications in drug resistance cancers of all types, especially breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. SYNG Pharmaceutical’s business model is predicated on bringing patented technology through pre-clinical testing, Investigational New Drug (IND) filing, and first phase clinical trials.

“In the last three years, there has been a new movement towards peptide drugs,” said Singh. “We are now moving ahead, performing pre-clinical evaluations of the lead drug candidates. Through innovation I know we will succeed.”

Written by: Sandra Desrochers

Vinay Singh

Photos by: Garrett Elliott Photography