TORONTONov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Blueline Bioscience, a Toronto-based biotech incubator launched by Versant Ventures in September of this year, today announced a collaboration with Celgene. Blueline Bioscience is headquartered in the MaRS Discovery District of Toronto and works closely with leading academic and medical research centers in Canada to develop, fund, and grow early-stage biotechnology companies.

Upon launch of new enterprises by Blueline Bioscience in areas of joint strategic interest such as oncology and inflammation, an affiliate of Celgene Corporation will have certain option rights through the collaboration.

Stefan Larson, President of Blueline Bioscience and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Versant Ventures, stated: "We're excited to be tapping into a wealth of medical discoveries that we can work to translate from the laboratory into biotechnology products and companies. With the collaboration and option agreement now signed with Celgene, Blueline Bioscience is uniquely positioned in the life sciences community in Ontario."

Blueline Bioscience is one of several efforts launched this year in Canada by Versant Ventures, including the establishment of a Versant office, the launch of an Inception Sciences drug discovery unit in Vancouver, and the execution of a significant deal with Bayer through Inception Sciences.  Stefan Larson, a life sciences entrepreneur inToronto, recently joined Versant as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and President of Blueline Bioscience. Several Versant team members -- including Brad Bolzon, Ph.D., Jerel Davis, Ph.D., and Gianni Gromo, M.D., Ph.D. -- will be engaged in launching new enterprises with Blueline Bioscience.

"Blueline Bioscience represents one of Versant's approaches to launching early-stage biotechnology companies inCanada," said Brad Bolzon, Managing Director at Versant Ventures. "We are very encouraged by the progress of the Blueline Bioscience team in identifying promising academic programs and launching such a strong collaboration.  We look forward to growing and developing additional start-ups in Toronto."

About Blueline Bioscience
Blueline Bioscience is a biotech incubator established by Versant Ventures in Toronto, Canada.  Headquartered in the MaRS Discovery District of Toronto, Blueline Bioscience works with academic and medical researchers to translate discoveries into early-stage biotechnology companies.

About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading venture capital firm that invests in innovative, groundbreaking bio-pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other life science opportunities. Founded in 1999, the firm consists of an experienced team committed to helping entrepreneurs build successful companies that impact healthcare and improve quality of life.