September 13, 2018

FACIT invests in three top Ontario entrepreneur-teams from near record pool of applicants

Prospects Oncology Fund seeds developing pipeline of Ontario-based biotech innovations

TORONTO, ON (September 13, 2018) – With an expanding portfolio of breakthrough innovations, FACIT is committed to supporting Ontario entrepreneurs through the latest round of its Prospects Oncology Fund. FACIT has selected three novel cancer therapeutic discoveries to receive early-stage capital – biotechnology start-up Talon Pharmaceuticals (“Talon”), the Drug Discovery team at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (“OICR”) and CCRM. The Prospects Fund provides entrepreneurial scientists with the capital resources necessary to achieve critical proof-of-principle studies for their cutting-edge breakthroughs aiming to benefit future patients.

Talon is developing a novel series of small molecules with an undisclosed mechanism of action applying decades of experience with CNS drug discovery. OICR’s Drug Discovery team and their collaborators at the NRC will receive funds towards the development of a potentially superior class of antibody-drug conjugates. CCRM will receive funds towards the development of a universally compatible source for the next generation of CAR-T therapies.

FACIT’s $35M in investments over multiple years addresses a critical healthcare seed-stage gap often experienced by Ontario product developers. De-risking innovation sets up successful projects for either company creation or a larger round of financing by FACIT and its investment partners, with over $340M in follow-on financings to date. FACIT’s maturing portfolio of technology investments anchors companies and jobs in Ontario and reduces the need for entrepreneurs to look south of the border.

“Our team is pleased to invest in and work alongside these entrepreneurial scientists, providing capital, industry networks and commercialization expertise, as they advance their therapies closer to clinical development,” said David O’Neill, President of FACIT. “Capitalizing on the province’s investment in healthcare and scientific collaboration through our strategic partners at OICR is not only good for creating high-skilled jobs but also ensures research undergoes translation to impact the lives of patients with cancer.”