Device could significantly improve HIV diagnostics in developing world
OTTAWA, Sept. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - An innovative, handheld point-of-care
analyzer, developed by ChipCare Corporation, has secured one of the largest ever angel investments in Canada's
healthcare sector. Phase II financing has closed, with an investment of
$2.05M to support ChipCare's continuing development and
commercialization over the next three years.
The financing evolved through a uniquely collaborative funding model
among Canadian social angel investors, including Maple Leaf Angels, MaRS Innovation, Ontario Centres of Excellence and the University of Toronto, with special financing leadership from Grand Challenges Canada and the Government of Canada.
"This technology has the potential to save and improve the lives of
millions around the world by bringing state-of-the-art blood testing to
patients, instead of asking the sick to travel to labs that are often
difficult to reach," said James Dou, ChipCare's co-founder and Chief
Technology Officer. "The impact on in-the-field HIV diagnostics alone
could be revolutionary; this financing is critical to our
ChipCare's Phase II project plan calls for a three-year development of
the device to further refine its functionality, develop a more robust
prototype and reduce costs, as part of the move to scale. The
innovative financing model supporting this development was made
possible, in part, with the leadership of the Government of Canada
through Grand Challenges Canada.
"This initiative underscores our government's commitment to support
innovation, leverage private sector know-how, and harness venture
capital expertise in pursuit of game-changing development and global
health solutions. This project will make a difference by saving lives
in developing countries and creating jobs here in Canada," said the
Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development.
ChipCare's handheld analyzer has the capacity to transform the way in
which point-of-care diagnostics are delivered in the field for both
developed and developing world populations. It stands apart from
contemporary tools for three reasons:
Its unique design makes the analyzer significantly less expensive than
other similar devices.
Proprietary technology enables test results that are faster and
demonstrably more accurate than existing standards.
The device enables the potential to run not only one but multiple
"To the best of our knowledge, this is at least the second largest
healthcare angel investment in Canada's history - and it might well be
the largest by the time the project reaches full maturity," said Adrian
Schauer of Maple Leaf Angels. "The diagnostic potential of this device
can hardly be overstated. We are investing heavily in its
commercialization because we see the potential to revolutionize bedside
testing for many conditions, from HIV and malaria in the developing
world, to sepsis, heart disease and cancers here at home."
With an anchor investment, Grand Challenges Canada is fulfilling its
unique mandate to identify and support innovative Canadian technologies
that can make a dramatic difference in global health. The investment
also played a critical role in attracting the balance of the required
financing from private sector investors.
"Grand Challenges has a mandate to support bold ideas with big impact in
global health," said Grand Challenges Canada's Chief Executive Officer,
Peter Singer. "With this investment in ChipCare, we're not only
supporting a worthy innovation, we're facilitating an innovative
approach to financing that leverages investment to bridge the 'valley
of death.' If you can save lives while creating companies and jobs -
well, it just doesn't get any better than that!"
For the full version of this News Release, visit http://www.grandchallenges.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/News-Release-ChipCare-2013Sep16-EN.pdf.
SOURCE: Grand Challenges Canada
For further information:
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Grand Challenges Canada
Chairperson, Board of Directors
Maple Leaf Angels