March 22, 2017

FACIT Announces Investment in Propellon Therapeutics

Seed financing of CAD$3.0M positions first-in-class WDR5 cancer therapy for clinical development

TORONTO, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ – FACIT announced a seed stage investment in Propellon Therapeutics (the “Company” or “Propellon”), a start-up created by FACIT focused on developing a portfolio of WDR5-targeted anti-cancer therapeutics. FACIT’s investment, combined with non-dilutive capital, achieves a targeted $3.0M financing for the lead program. The seed funding enables Propellon to accelerate the nomination of a candidate drug and position the Company for financing and/or entering a strategic partnership for clinical trials in patients with haematological cancers.

Continue reading – FACIT Announces Investment in Propellon Therapeutics

February 23, 2017

FACIT-Seeded Fusion Pharmaceuticals Closes US$25M Series A Led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation


OICR and FACIT logosFinancing leverages and strengthens Ontario’s next-generation radiotherapeutics expertise, products

TORONTO, ON (February 23, 2017) – The Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT) and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) are pleased to report that Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Fusion) has closed a US$25M Series A financing, with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) as the lead investor. Additional, new investors include venture groups HealthCap, TPG Biotechnology Partners, and Genesys Capital, as well as founding investor FACIT.

Continue reading – FACIT-Seeded Fusion Pharmaceuticals Closes US$25M Series A Led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation

November 2, 2016

FACIT start-up Turnstone Biologics closes USD $41M financing

OrbiMed, Versant-led round continues commercialization success for Turnstone’s cancer therapies

John Bell and contributorsTORONTO, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ – Turnstone Biologics Inc. (“Turnstone”), an Ontario-based developer of novel oncolytic viral immunotherapies, announced the closing of a USD $41.4 million Series B financing led by OrbiMed Advisors LLC (“OrbiMed”) and Versant Ventures (“Versant”), which led Turnstone’s Series A round in October 2015. New investor F-Prime Capital Partners (“F-Prime”) and existing founding investor FACIT also participated. Proceeds from the financing will support an ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial in patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumours as well as accelerate and expand Turnstone’s pipeline, funding the development of three additional programs into the clinic. In connection with the financing Orbimed’s Rishi Gupta, JD and F-Prime’s Ben Auspitz will join Turnstone’s board of directors alongside Versant’s Brad Bolzon, PhD and Jerel Davis, PhD as well as FACIT’s Jeff Courtney.

Continue reading – FACIT start-up Turnstone Biologics closes USD $41M financing

October 5, 2016

From our Annual Report: Investing in the cure and the economy

OICR Researcher in the Lab

Ontario has some of the finest cancer researchers in the world who are developing new cancer therapies, diagnostic tools and other anti-cancer technologies. When these novel products make their way into clinical use they improve outcomes for cancer patients and reduce the cancer burden on society.

Continue reading – From our Annual Report: Investing in the cure and the economy

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.

Continue reading – FACIT Falcons’ Fortunes pitch competition helps Ontario ideas take flight

June 23, 2016

Propellon Therapeutics to Accelerate WDR5 Inhibitor Development for Cancers


FACIT forms biotechnology company for OICR-discovered first-in-class epigenetic modifiers

TORONTO, ON (June 23, 2016) – FACIT has announced the creation of a new Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. (“Propellon” or “the Company”), to manage the development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of various cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential to contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the series of proprietary small molecule WDR5 inhibitors discovered and developed by the Drug Discovery team at Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (“OICR”). The formation of Propellon reflects a natural translation of early-stage breakthrough cancer innovations, and enables important development activities including attracting private sector investment and industry partnerships.

Continue reading – Propellon Therapeutics to Accelerate WDR5 Inhibitor Development for Cancers

May 26, 2016

Privacy Analytics Acquired by IMS Health

Integrating innovative data privacy expertise with a global healthcare information & technology service leader, strengthening and driving Ontario’s digital healthcare security footprint  

FACIT LogoTORONTO, May 26, 2016 /CNW/ – FACIT is pleased to announce that IMS Health (NYSE: IMS) has acquired privately-held Privacy Analytics Inc., a FACIT portfolio company. The transaction combines Privacy Analytics’ leading edge expertise in health data anonymization and de-identification with IMS Health’s broad range of healthcare information, technology and services solutions, particularly its Real-World Evidence (RWE) capabilities. IMS Health’s mission-critical anonymous information and technical strength in providing its life sciences clients with R&D and commercial solutions positions Privacy Analytics to continue to expand its suite of innovative data governance software and expertise on a global scale. Reflecting Ontario’s innovative strength and expertise in healthcare technologies, the acquisition also allows Privacy Analytics to maintain a strong presence within the province, with solutions continued to be offered to the market, Privacy Analytics and IMS Health clients as an independent suite of products. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

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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.”

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