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TIAP Announces First Project to Receive Support Under Newly Launched Critical Technologies Program

ScarDx Brings Cutting-Edge Innovation to Fibrosis Detection

April 29, 2024 – Toronto, Ontario Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP) announced today that it will provide ScarDx, an emerging company developing revolutionary fibrosis imaging software, with significant funding to support technology development and executive advisory services under its Critical Technologies Program.

As part of Ontario’s provincial Critical Technologies initiative, TIAP is pleased to be partnering with OBIO® to offer this new support to accelerate the health science industry’s use of 5G and advanced networks, blockchain, cybersecurity, ethical artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and/or robotics; and is delivering the ‘De-Risking of Emerging Technologies and Venture Creation’ funding stream of OBIO’s ‘Life Sciences Critical Technologies & Commercialization (LSCTC) Centre of Excellence’ which is supported by the Government of Ontario.

The first recipient under this stream, ScarDx, was founded by Dr. Eno Hysi, a Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science at St. Michael’s Hospital, a site of Unity Health Toronto, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto (U of T), and a leader in the development of biomedical ultrasound image analysis software; alongside Dr. Darren Yuen, a kidney physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Associate Professor at U of T, an international leader in kidney fibrosis and co-founder of Fibrocor Therapeutics.

Ultrasound imaging is the most accessible imaging modality in the world, but in its traditional form, cannot detect fibrosis. ScarDx’s proprietary software is grounded on the analysis of the raw data within ultrasound images, and its H-scan software utilizes revolutionary techniques to accurately measure fibrotic burden. The company’s goal is to integrate artificial intelligence / machine learning into their existing H-scan ultrasound software and develop H-scan-enabled ultrasound as a first-in-class companion diagnostic for anti-fibrotic drug testing in pre-clinical animal models and in clinical trials. In the long term, ScarDx envisions H-scan-enabled ultrasound being broadly adopted outside of the research context as the ‘go-to’ diagnostic for fibrosis staging and monitoring of therapy response.

Parimal Nathwani, President and CEO of TIAP commented, “TIAP is committed to transforming the work of our world-class research institutions such as Unity Health and the University of Toronto into new commercial health innovations and successful new Ontario-based life sciences companies. We’re proud to have been able to support ScarDx since its inception, first through the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) Program and are excited to now be able to build on that to advance this innovative technology and company towards their next value-creation milestones.”

Dr. Yuen noted that “TIAP’s support will be transformative for ScarDx, allowing us to integrate artificial intelligence into our fibrosis imaging software. With this CTI funding, we will be able to dramatically improve processing times to enable real time fibrosis imaging at the bedside.”

If you are an innovator or entrepreneur with emerging life sciences technologies and/or an early-stage venture utilizing critical technologies and need support with IP management, company creation, and/or technology de-risking, CLICK HERE for more information on how TIAP may be able to help.


About TIAP

Since 2008, TIAP has been building relationships with innovators and entrepreneurs at Toronto’s top universities, hospitals and research institutes to identify the most exciting sparks of ground-breaking therapeutic, medical device and digital health/AI innovation; and then providing the tools, resources, and know-how to transform this work into successful commercial ventures. With a 15-year track record that includes the launch of more than 70 new companies, the raising of over $1B in private investment, and the creation of more than 1,000 jobs, TIAP has generated significant commercial and social return on our Member Institutions’ research — making a measurable impact on the growth of the Ontario life sciences sector and a significant contribution to Canada’s economic prosperity. TIAP is partially supported through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.


Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP)
Barry Gee – Director, Public Affairs

Unity Health Toronto

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