About Us

Bringing your potential therapies into the clinic.

The Alberta Pre-Phase I Cancer Program (PP1P) was set up in 2013 by medical oncologist Dr. John Mackey and colleagues to link potential solutions with unmet needs. Both patients and clinicians are in urgent need of therapies that are safer and more effective.  Alberta has a thriving discovery and medical research community, from which those therapies will spring.  Linking problem with solution requires the translation of basic discovery research to clinical evaluation. 


PP1P is located at the University of Alberta's Cross Cancer Institute (CCI) in Edmonton, Alberta.  The Program is guided by a Steering Committee (below) with expertise in drug discovery, drug development and clinical oncology, and includes representation from the Alberta innovation community. 


This Program is made possible through the generosity of the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Dr. John Mackey, Steering Committee Chair

Dr. Mackey is a medical oncologist with over 25 years of clinical experience treating breast cancer patients.  He has served as Director of the Cross Cancer Institute Clinical Trials Unit, and is Chair of the Alberta Pre-Phase I Cancer Program Steering Committee.  Dr. Mackey's translational research focus is the development of predictive biomarkers, and novel targets and pathways for improved systemic cancer therapy.

Dr. Michael Sawyer

Dr. Sawyer is a medical oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute with a focus on gastrointestinal malignancies and cancer of unknown primary.  He leads the Clinical Trial Unit’s Phase I Unit.  Dr. Sawyer’s translational interests lie in understanding interpatient variability in toxicity and efficacy, nephrotoxicity (especially of antifolates and nucleoside analogues), polymorphisms effects on drug elimination, and the role of nutrition in understanding toxicity and efficacy.

Dr. Raimar Loebenberg

Dr. Loebenberg is a Professor in the University of Alberta Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the founder and director of the university’s Drug Development and Innovation Centre.  He is a member of the United States Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplement Expert Committee and a member of the Health Canada Scientific Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology.  Dr. Loebenberg’s interests are in biopharmaceutics to predict the oral performance of drugs and botanicals and inhalable nanoparticles to treat lung cancer and infectious diseases.

Dr. Jamie Lucien M.Sc., Ph.D., LL.B., Registered Patent Agent Canada and USA

Dr. Jamie Lucien is a lawyer and patent agent with over 15 years of experience as legal counsel and patent counsel for innovative Pharma and Biotech public companies. As patent counsel, he prosecuted the patent portfolio for Aurinia Pharmaceutical’s flagship registered product Lupkynis (voclosporin).  The focus of his practise has been strategic intellectual property portfolio development, product development, and preparing companies for financing and licensing transactions.  He is currently a partner in Vesmyr Life Sciences which is focused on helping start ups develop their companies and products to attract financing and helping SME’s expand into new markets. In addition to his legal credentials, Jamie holds a M.Sc. in Experimental Pathology, and a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences (Immunology).

David Jenish, Program Project Manager

David serves as PP1P’s Project Manager.  He has more than 20 years experience in the recombinant protein-based therapeutics industry in Canada.  David’s roles included the development, scale up and commissioning of processes for the cGMP manufacture of clinical trial material.  This experience includes the development of associated analytical programs, the drafting of related quality and regulatory documentation, as well as a considerable amount of experience within the contract manufacturing environment.

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