A handheld device has raised one of the largest angel investments ever in Canada's healthcare sector.
Developed by ChipCare, a handheld point-of-care analyzer has earned financing through a "uniquely collaborative funding model" among Canadian social angel investors, including Maple Leaf Angels, MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto, Grand Challenges Canada, and the Government of Canada.
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 company says.
"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," says James Dou, ChipCare's cofounder and its chief technology officer. "The impact on in-the-field HIV diagnostics alone could be revolutionary; this financing is critical to our commercialization roadmap."
"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," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development. "This project will make a difference by saving lives in developing countries and creating jobs here in Canada."
"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," notes Adrian Schauer of Maple Leaf Angels. "The diagnostic potential of this device can hardly be overstated."
"Grand Challenges has a mandate to support bold ideas with big impact in global health," added 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.'"