August 2, 2018

Ontario centre attracts national attention for probe research, development and commercialization

Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization

The Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) awarded $10.5 million to expand molecular imaging probe work in Ontario

Translating new scientific discoveries into products and moving those products to the market is a challenging process. This is especially the case for highly-regulated medical products such as radiopharmaceuticals – a special class of drugs that are used to accurately diagnose and treat diseases. Over the past decade, the CPDC in Hamilton has been bridging the gap between the innovation and commercialization of radiopharmaceuticals in Ontario and, in turn, reaping benefits for patients and the province’s economy.

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June 27, 2018

Healthcare Software Start-Up Ziliomics Financed by FACIT

World-leading genomics cloud computing group builds clinical tool for cancer care in Ontario

TORONTO, ON (June 27, 2018) – Ziliomics Inc., a start-up created by FACIT, received seed financing from the Prospects Oncology Fund. Derived from a leading oncology bio-computing group and leveraging insights from the world’s largest cancer genomics projects, Ziliomics develops web-based, modular software platforms that help physicians make actionable treatment decisions for patients living with cancer. Together with FACIT’s interim executive management model, the capital advances the development of Heliotrope, Ziliomics’ lead software product, and positions the company for corporate partnerships and additional financing. Financing terms were not disclosed.

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April 12, 2018

Restorative Breast Cancer Solution Start-Up Wins the 2018 FACIT Pitch Competition

Biotechnology competition modeled after popular TV program Dragons’ Den

TORONTO, ON (April 12, 2018) – A panel of investor-judges has selected Ontario-based oncology researcher Soror Sharifpoor of Polumiros Inc. as the winner of the 2018 FACIT Falcons’ Fortunes competition. The $50,000 award is intended to support further development of their innovative cancer research. FACIT runs the annual competition as part of its broader mandate to support translating research into Ontario companies to impact the lives of patients with cancer.

Now in its fifth year, the FACIT Falcons’ Fortunes competition is open to any Ontario-based oncology researcher (academics, research institutions, research hospitals and start-ups). Entrepreneurial scientists are invited to pitch innovative research ideas to a panel of four investors in a competition that is modeled after the popular CBC television program Dragons’ Den. The winners receive the $50,000 “Ernsting Entrepreneurship Award.” After follow-up technical evaluation of the underlying innovation, the money funds product development for one year.

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October 4, 2017

FACIT Portfolio Company Fusion Pharmaceuticals Closes US$46M Oversubscribed Series A

Addition of new investors builds on Ontario’s next-gen radiotherapies and cancer innovations

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August 9, 2017

CIMTEC appoints Justin Leushner as new CEO

The Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC) has appointed Mr. Justin Leushner as Chief Executive Officer. CIMTEC was established to accelerate the development of medical imaging technology and commercialize new technologies. Leushner brings extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. Most recently he was the Vice President at the TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, where he and his team worked with more that 300 companies in the region.

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August 1, 2017

FACIT launches cross-border campaign to recruit clinical scientists and biotechnology industry executives

FACIT Logo

Initiative targets expats for growing oncology company portfolio in Ontario

TORONTO, ON (July 18, 2017) — FACIT, which commercializes innovative cancer treatments, has launched a recruitment campaign targeting individuals who possess strong clinical development, commercial and fundraising experience in the technology and life sciences sectors.  FACIT is expanding and updating its database of US-based industry advisors for roles ranging from investment diligence to full time management roles in Ontario-based biotech start-ups.  While Canadian biotechnology expatriates are the focus of this initiative, FACIT continues to attract worldwide leaders in oncology research to the province, a shared mandate well established by its strategic partner, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR).

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March 22, 2017

FACIT Launches The Prospects Oncology Fund

New evergreen fund to help Ontario discoveries reach seed-stage funding faster

Prospects Fund LogoTORONTO, March 21, 2017 /CNW/ – Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (“FACIT”) is pleased to announce the launch of The Prospects Oncology Fund (“Prospects Fund”), designed to advance early-stage Ontario cancer discoveries by supporting the proof-of-concept studies needed to attract seed-stage investment. Managed by FACIT, this is an evergreen fund to which capital is allocated annually.

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July 4, 2016

FACIT Falcons’ Fortunes pitch competition helps Ontario ideas take flight

FACIT Falcons Winner

(from left to right) John Matheson, Medical Innovation Fellow, Western University, Mohammad Tavallaei, Medical Innovation Fellow, Western University, Jeff Courtney, CCO, FACIT, Nicholas Power Surgeon, London Health Sciences Centre, Asha Parekh Medical Innovation Fellow, Western University

Millions worldwide watch Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank where ambitious entrepreneurs try to convince deep-pocketed investors to provide funding for their innovative ideas. On June 1, 2016, a lucky group of cancer researchers from across Ontario had the opportunity to take part in a similar and perhaps ‘kinder’ pitch competition – the FACIT Falcons’ Fortunes event. The Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT) holds the competition every year to learn about some of the most exciting ideas in oncology research, provide funding for the best pitch, and to enhance, support and celebrate a culture of commercialization within Ontario.

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March 16, 2016

FACIT invests in new CPDC spin-out company to aid development of potent radiotherapeutic

Fusion pharmaceuticalsIn December, the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust invested in Fusion Pharmaceuticals to assist in the development of FPX-01, a potent new alpha-emitting radiotherapeutic being developed in Hamilton, Ontario. Early testing has shown a great deal of promise: the drug has the cancer-cell killing power of existing, similar treatments, but balances this strength with far more precision, meaning fewer side effects for patients. Early results from a Phase I clinical trial have shown effectiveness in patients with solid tumours. FACIT’s investment will support the efforts to advance FPX-01 into Phase I/II clinical trials.

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January 7, 2015

Fluorinov Pharma and FACIT Announce Investment in Breakthrough Bromodomain Inhibitors for the Treatment of Cancers

TORONTO, ON (January 07, 2015) – FACIT and Fluorinov Pharma announced today an investment in the development of highly potent inhibitors of key bromodomain targets. Targeting drugs to epigenetic modifications to DNA is an exciting new strategy in the fight against cancer. Bromodomain inhibitors have shown profound preclinical efficacy in models of leukemia, multiple myeloma, solid tumours and other non-oncology indications. However, first-generation inhibitors such as JQ-1 have poor drug-like properties that may limit their utility in patients.

Jeff Courtney, FACIT’s Chief Commercial Officer noted “Fluorinov’s one-of-a-kind technology platform is expanding the boundaries of medicinal chemistry, and FACIT is pleased to advance these important therapeutics towards clinical development. We believe this investment is key to unlocking the value of Fluorinov’s technologies for industry and patients alike, and is another example of FACIT’s work to strengthen innovative networks for worldclass cancer drug development in Ontario and Canada.”

Fluorinov’s oncology drugs have been developed through a broad collaborative network including the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the laboratories of Drs. Sam Weiss and Artee Luchman at the University of Calgary. FACIT, together with Fluorinov, is exploring partnerships with investors and pharmaceutical companies and also pathways for clinical development for these and other innovative Ontario based cancer therapies.

“Fluorinov is very pleased to have FACIT’s support in further developing this important program. While we anticipated our proprietary technology would give rise to exceptional bioavailability, we were delighted to identify preclinical candidates with potencies and activity superior to competitor drugs” remarked Malik Slassi, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Fluorinov. “Clinical candidates from this class have a promising future with our hematology-oncology development partners at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.”