As a gateway to the cancer research pipeline in Ontario, and a bridge between public and private sectors with an expanding portfolio of breakthrough innovations, Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT) is committed to supporting Ontario entrepreneurs through the latest round of its Prospects Oncology Fund to continuously identify and advance breakthroughs in science and technology.
FACIT has carefully chosen three novel cancer therapeutic discoveries to receive early-stage capital – biotechnology start-up Talon Pharmaceuticals, the Drug Discovery team at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (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 Pharmaceuticals, through its Multiphore drug design platform, is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of medicines designed to save lives and improve patient quality of life. They are developing a novel series of small molecules with an undisclosed mechanism of action applying decades of experience with central nervous system (CNS) drug discovery.
OICR is a collaborative, not-for-profit research institute accelerating the development of new cancer research discoveries for patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario. OICR’s Drug Discovery team and their collaborators at the National Research Council (NRC) will receive funds towards the development of a potentially superior class of antibody-drug conjugates.
CCRM’s mission is to generate sustainable health and economic benefits through global collaboration in cell and gene therapy, and regenerative medicine. CCRM will receive funds towards the development of a universally compatible source for the next generation of CAR-T therapies.
FACIT’s $35-million in investments over multiple years addresses a critical health care 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 $340-million 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,” says 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.”