Canadian innovation will give patients affordable, non-invasive, accurate test for cancer or infectious diseases; R&D team to remain in Toronto discovery district TORONTO and SAN FRANCISCO (May 3, 2016) —…
BlueDot, a Canadian company that helps decision-makers prepare for and response to infectious disease outbreaks, was profiled in the Toronto Star for their work in tracking the Zika virus. The…
With lead investment from Puffin Partners, the Ontario, Canada-based company is taking lifesaving blood-testing technology to low- and middle-income countries
TORONTO, March 3, 2015 — ChipCare Corporation, a University of Toronto start-up company commercializing a handheld, blood-testing platform for HIV and other infectious and non-communicable diseases has closed a $5.045 million Series A financing to bring its first-generation product to market while further developing the platform’s next generation products.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Venture Capital Dispatch blog, Yonge Street Media, BetaKit and PEHub covered this announcement, along with the University of Toronto’s news site and a follow-up BetaKit article on how smartphones and start-ups are increasing access to healthcare. Information about past ChipCare investment rounds and other company information is available in our ChipCare news archive.
Insufficient access in remote health settings to simple, accurate and affordable diagnostic tests makes it difficult to provide timely, evidence-based clinical care. Current technology within central laboratories cannot fulfill the existing need in remote health settings, including community level health facilities, remote communities, emergency departments, ICUs and doctors’ offices. The result is millions of preventable deaths from infectious and non-communicable diseases globally, reduced economic growth, and limited human development.
ChipCare’s technology will provide simple-to-use, mobile, lab-quality blood testing in remote health settings. The company’s first HIV-related test, targeted at linking people with HIV to appropriate treatments, is scheduled to hit the market in late 2016. The company is developing other products that leverage unique attributes of ChipCare’s technology.
Puffin Partners, LP, of Dallas, Texas led the financing round, which includes existing investors MaRS Innovation and Maple Leaf Angels, and new investors, including the Winfield Venture Group, Epic Capital, and additional Canadian and U.S. Angel investors.
Toronto-based commercial arm of BioDiaspora research program tracks global spread of infectious diseases in real-time; fourth MI company to reach Series A
TORONTO (Dec. 2, 2014) — BlueDot, a Toronto-based social benefit corporation founded by Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician and scientist, tracks and predicts the global spread of infectious diseases.
Spun off from St. Michael’s Hospital in partnership with MaRS Innovation (and formerly known as BioDiaspora Inc.), BlueDot, has secured a Series A venture capital funding from Horizons Ventures. Funded by Sir Li Ka-shing, Horizons invests in what they call “game-changing disruptive tech,” and has a proven track record in making early-stage investments (i.e., Facebook, Skype, Waze, Siri and Spotify).
TechVibes and MedCity News covered BlueDot’s Series A announcement, as did PE Hub and BetaKit. Read the BlueDot press release here.
The company is the fourth in MaRS Innovation’s portfolio to reach Series A. MaRS Innovation provided $400,000 in seed funding and worked with BlueDot and St. Michael’s to incorporate the company and develop its initial business strategy, intellectual property protection strategy and go-to-market plan. The Ontario Centres of Excellence also provided $140,000 in commercialization grants that helped BlueDot get off the ground.
BlueDot is the commercial arm of Dr. Khan’s academic research program called BioDiaspora, which was developed at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s. BioDiaspora models how infectious diseases can spread and impact populations globally by analyzing big data such as the annual movements of more than 3 billion travelers on commercial flights; human, animal and insect population data; climate data from satellites; and news reports of disease outbreaks. The program was inspired by the Toronto’s SARS crisis in 2003 and its capabilities scientifically validated in prestigious academic journals such as the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.
During its development, BlueDot’s platform technology was used by numerous international agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the Public Health Agency of Canada to evaluate emerging infectious disease threats, including those during global mass gatherings such as the Olympics and the hajj.
Dr. Kamran Khan, founder of BioDiaspora, appeared on CBC’s “The National” on September 23, 2014, as part of a health panel examining the current state of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.
CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge hosted the discussion.
Watch the clip on CBC’s website.
BioDiaspora, spun off from St. Michael’s Hospital in partnership with MaRS Innovation, developed an easy-to-access, web-based solution that generates and communicates customized, actionable intelligence about global infectious disease threats in real-time.
Dr. Shana Kelley, co-founder of Xagenic Inc. and a professor of biochemistry at the University of Toronto, has been named to the Globe and Mail’s Top 12 Canadian Innovators list.
The contest solicited nominations from across Canada that were assessed by a panel of judges. According to the Globe, the contest “recognizes talented Canadians who not only have great ideas, but also turn them into reality.”
Here’s an excerpt:
Another innovator who is taking on the traditional way of doing things is Ms. Kelley, a winner in the Health category. Ms. Kelley, a University of Toronto professor and founder of Xagenic, developed a lab-free molecular diagnostic platform that can test for cancer and infectious diseases in the field, with results that are available in 20 minutes.
It’s a product, says Mr. [Dan] Debow, [senior vice-president of emerging technologies at Salesforce] that is in line with a bigger trend that’s happening in health care: the decentralization and democratization of diagnostics.
Market research company lauds start-up for developing a breakthrough workflow while dramatically improving point-of-care diagnosis
(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif) May 20, 2014 — Based on its recent analysis of the point-of-care diagnostics market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Xagenic Inc. with the 2014 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation Leadership.
Xagenic’s revolutionary product, the Xagenic X1™ system, is a point-of-care platform with intuitive features to provide lab-free molecular diagnostic testing. It is unique as a low-cost, simple, rapid sample-to-answer desktop instrument, requiring no manual sample processing or cold storage. Currently, the platform is in the beta-testing phase and is expected to launch between 2015 and 2016.
Dr. Shana Kelley and Xagenic were featured in the Globe and Mail on May 20, 2014.
Read the detailed Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Research Report report on Xagenic’s website. Xagenic is MaRS Innovation’s lead start-up company, in partnership with the University of Toronto: Xagenic news archive.
For its portfolio of cartridge-based tests, Xagenic focuses on infectious diseases (HSV 1+2, Flu A+B, CT/NG, strep A, group B strep, trichomoniasis, HCV and upper respiratory infections) that will benefit the most from rapid on-site testing. The company also intends to apply the platform to counter a critical public health threat—antimicrobial resistance.
Researchers working in orphan indications, drug delivery devices, big data and other key areas invited to submit a brief Statement of Interest
The MaRS Innovation Industry Access Program (MI-IAP) is a simple, formalized process for marketing early-stage technologies to MI’s industry partners: Baxter, LifeLabs (formerly CML Healthcare), GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Merck.
The program’s goal is to secure funding for researchers within MI’s membership through these collaborative, strategic R&D partnership programs.
First run in November 2013, the MI-IAP allows researchers to easily determine whether an industry partner is interested in co-developing their technologies. The application process is deliberately brief at the outset.
“Last fall, we received 28 statements of interest, 12 of which we invited to submit a non-confidential summary package,” said Ben Rogers, director, Technology Transfer & Scouting. “Of these, six have been invited for a technology presentation with an industry partner. We’d like to see all of those numbers grow during this application round.”
The program will also make it easier for researchers to find prospective industry partners.
Device could significantly improve HIV diagnostics in developing world
OTTAWA, September 16, 2013 — An innovative, handheld point-of-care analyzer, developed by ChipCare Corporation, has secured one of the largest ever angel investments in Canada’s healthcare sector.
Phase II financing has closed, with an investment of $2.05M to support ChipCare’s continuing development and commercialization over the next three years.
The financing evolved through a uniquely collaborative funding model among Canadian social angel investors, including Maple Leaf Angels, MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto (Connaught Fund), with special financing leadership from Grand Challenges Canada and the Government of Canada.
BioDiaspora, a start-up company based on the research of company founder, Dr. Kamran Khan of St. Michael’s Hospital, has identified two mass gatherings in the Islamic world as key possible spread points for the life-threatening MERS coronavirus, which emerged in the Middle East in early 2012.
BioDiaspora’s disease-tracking platform, which correlates uses global air traffic patterns to predict the international spread of infectious disease (as described in the original media release from St. Michael’s Hospital):
The first is umrah, a pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of year but is considered particularly auspicious during the month of Ramadan, which this year began on July 9 and ends on Aug. 7. The second is the hajj, a five-day pilgrimage required of all physically and financially able Muslims at least once in their life. It takes place Oct. 13 to 18 this year and is expected to draw more than 3 million people.
It also identified the Mumbai-India corridor as particularly vulnerable to MERS based on the predicted exit traffic of travelers leaving the hajj and returning to their home countries following the mass religious event.
Khan’s research findings, published in PLOS Currents: Outbreaks, have attracted media coverage from the Times of India, CanIndia, Toronto Star‘s Foreign Desk blog (Jennifer Yang), Science Daily.com, DowntoEarth.org and Homeland Security News Wire.