"UPEI researchers are making a difference"

 The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) signed an agreement to license medical research technologies to CNS CRO, a subsidiary of biotechnology company Neurodyn Inc.

The agreement includes innovative technologies to be used in drug development and drug-testing for stroke, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.


“This is the product of research we’ve been conducting over the past ten years,” says Dr. Andrew Tasker, Professor of Neuropharmacology, and Director of the Atlantic Centre for Comparative Biomedical Research at UPEI’s Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC). “The lead researchers involved in developing these technologies come from three separate departments in three separate faculties across UPEI. I think it speaks to the strength and potential of neuroscience at UPEI, the value of interdisciplinary approaches to science, and the spirit of collaboration in the research community here.”


The UPEI research team includes Dr. Tasker (Biomedical Sciences), Dr. Tracy Doucette (Biology), Dr. Catherine Ryan (Psychology), and Ms. Melissa Perry (Biomedical Sciences) as well as many post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students and research technicians.


“Just two weeks ago, we announced UPEI’s first-ever licensing agreement with an outside body,” says Dr. Katherine Schultz, UPEI’s Vice-President of Research & Development. “Today, we celebrate our second. UPEI researchers are making a difference. This announcement rests on years of skilled investigation and consideration of real-world problems. We commend these innovators for the advances they have made and are very pleased to be working with our partners at CNS CRO and Neurodyn.”


The agreement licenses four pieces of medical technology developed at UPEI to CNS CRO, which will use it in pre-clinical testing of compounds that have shown promise as drugs for stroke, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.


Neurodyn CEO Ken Cawkell says, “CNS-CRO is extremely pleased with the successful conclusion of these licensing negotiations, through which the company has gained access to UPEI's world class animal models of CNS disease. Together with our existing models, the CNS-CRO suite of leading edge drug

discovery tools clearly differentiates the CNS CRO offering from that of existing CRO service providers.”


Today’s agreement was facilitated and negotiated by Three Oaks Innovations, Inc. – UPEI’s independent spin-off company with the mandate of helping university-created technologies and innovations make their way into real-world business applications.


“We are excited to have been a part of initiating the process and coordinating the follow-through that led to this deal,” says Sophie Theriault, Director of Technology Transfer and Commercialization Coordination at Three Oaks Innovations. “These are technologies that will make a real difference for people whose lives are affected by stroke, schizophrenia, and epilepsy. It’s also gratifying to know CNS CRO will carry out this research on Prince Edward Island, and have a real impact on the province's economic development and sustainability.”





Media Contact:

Dave Atkinson, Research Communications Officer, UPEI
(902) 620-5117, (902) 388-0062, or 


Sophie Theriault, Director of Technology Transfer and Commercialization Coordination, Three Oaks Innovations, Inc.
(902) 566-6095, or 


Photo: Dr. Andrew Tasker (Biomedical Sciences, AVC), Dr. Tracy Doucette (Biology), Dr. Catherine Ryan (Psychology), Ms. Melissa Perry (Biomedical Sciences, AVC)