FACIT has announced the first three investments under its new Prospects Oncology Fund for proof-of-concept development of breakthrough cancer technologies. Ontario start-ups Radialis Medical of Thunder Bay, KA Imaging of Kitchener, and DNAstack of Toronto are the first to receive capital from this new fund, illustrating the strength and breadth of the cancer research network in the province. FACIT’s strategy is to bridge the gap in capital and expertise often experienced by early stage companies, and better position innovations to reach patients.
Radialis Medical, a spin-off from Lakehead University, is building a Positron Emission Mammography system that is faster, more sensitive and more comfortable than systems currently in the clinic. KA Imaging, from the University of Waterloo, is developing a multi-spectral digital X-ray panel that can be retrofit to existing machines. The new panel promises a lower-cost and lower-radiation alternative to CT scans for lung cancer screening. DNAstack is a start-up integral to the Beacon and Matchmaker Exchange Projects of the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health, an international coalition dedicated to sharing genomic and clinical data to advance human health. DNAstack’s proprietary software allows researchers to securely locate, analyze and share genomic data from fragmented and siloed sources found worldwide. Together these technologies are representative of the next wave of innovation in cancer care.
The non-dilutive funding provided by FACIT to these companies will help to develop their nascent technologies in Ontario. Support of these start-ups also aligns with FACIT’s Prospects Fund as a key gateway to oncology innovation opportunities in the province. The Fund plays a critical role in helping to de-risk early stage innovations and increase favourable exposure to FACIT’s larger network of commercial partners and investors. “We’re thrilled to partner with these Ontario entrepreneurs and their oncology medical innovations through the Prospects Oncology Fund,” said David O’Neill, Vice-President Business Development of FACIT. “Through access to risk capital, these exciting technologies can now accelerate their path toward commercial validation. Congratulations to all the strong applicants and in particular these awardees in their fight against cancer.”