TORONTO, ON (April 23, 2014) — MaRS Innovation congratulates the Federal Government’s deepened commitment to support Canadian research and innovation, particularly in the healthcare sector. In particular, the $42 million over five years dedicated to support the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation at Baycrest Health Sciences, which includes $32 million in support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev).
Baycrest is a founding member institution of MaRS Innovation.
“As a Baycrest partner and long-time champions of the commercialization potential of its world-class science in brain and geriatric health care, MaRS Innovation welcomes this news,” says Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein, president and CEO. “We look forward to advancing existing neuroscience projects in partnership with Baycrest, such as The Virtual Brain, and to collaborating on new start-up companies and licenses related to dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.”
Other promising budget allocations for the innovation sector include:
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.
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.
Recently signed research and licensing agreements will enable both organizations to continue developing a series of ADCs targeting breast, lung, and head-and-neck cancers. Unlike chemotherapy, ADCs specifically seek and destroy cancer cells, with minimal impact on healthy cells.
“The work performed by NRC is crucial to assembling the data package needed for clinical trials,” said Ilia A. Tikhomirov, president and CEO of Avid Biologics, which focuses exclusively on ADCs. “We are privileged to be able to continue the rapid development of our lead candidate while advancing the other candidates in the pipeline in collaboration with the NRC. We thank the NRC and all of our partners for their support as AvidBiologics transitions from a discovery-stage to a development-stage company.”
TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2014 — AvidBiologics Inc., an oncology drug development company, today announced the closing of a financing round. The company is founded on antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technologies co-developed with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
Today’s financing builds on prior support from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Business Accelerator Program (MRI-BAP) and other Canadian life science development organizations.
“This financing round enables us to rapidly advance our lead ADC into clinical trials,” said Ilia Tikhomirov, President and CEO. “We would like to thank the NRC and all of our partners for their support as AvidBiologics transitions from a discovery-stage to a development-stage company.”
“The high quality pre-clinical package and exceptional leadership team, including pioneers in the development of ADCs, position the company for a successful transition towards clinical development,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MI. “The cooperation among funding organizations, such as those involved in this financing, represents the strengthening foundation on which commercialization within Toronto’s start-up community can be successfully realized. We are glad to be part of this financing syndicate that supports one of Canada’s leading life sciences companies.”
OtoSim Night revolutionizes how students learn to identify ear pathologies
On Feb. 13, 2013, almost 100 second-year University of Toronto (U of T) medical students participated in an optional, intensive, one-hour otoscopy workshop using the OtoSim™ — a training and simulation system that is radically changing the way students in Canada and around the world learn this poorly-acquired medical skill.
And, if you want to use simulation technology to change the way medical professionals are taught, ear disease is a good place to start.
“Historically, otoscopy simulation involved looking at an image of an eardrum on a piece of film at the end of a rubber ear,” said Dr. Andrew Sinclair, CEO of OtoSim Inc. “OtoSim™ has a digital image bank that is orders of magnitude more extensive. The instructor can electronically point to areas within the image and confirm that the student sees the pathology of interest. Diagnostic accuracy goes up enormously.”