THUNDER BAY, ON (May 28,2014) – XLV Diagnostics Inc., a MaRS Innovation (MI) start-up company based in Thunder Bay and specializing in low-cost, next-generation digital mammography machines, has closed a $3 million Series A investment round with Boston-based Bernard M. Gordon Charitable Remainder Unitrust. The funding will support continued product development and regulatory approval.
XLV’s product will provide mammography image quality equivalent to top-of-the-line mammography machines currently in use, and will do so at a fraction of the cost of current generation systems.
CBC’s Thunder Bay bureau covered this announcement on radio and TV (links unavailable). It was also covered by NetNewsLedger and BetaKit, and by private equity news sites, including Canadian Private Equity, FinSMEs and peHUB.
In traditional markets, many radiology departments are replacing film and screen systems with x-ray digital technology. XLV’s machines are of great interest particularly in emerging markets where over 600 million women have inadequate access to screening for early breast cancer detection.
“XLV’s technology is attractive in emerging markets, such as China, India and Brazil, where breast cancer cases are outpacing access to image based diagnostic technology,” said Sorin Marcovici, president and CEO of XLV Diagnostics. “This financing supports multiple key milestones along the path to installing the first XLV clinical mammography machine at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and obtaining Canadian, U.S. and European regulatory approvals in preparation for taking our product global.”
Marcovici, named CEO in 2014, brings many years of worldwide, corporate business development experience and innovative technical leadership in multi-modality medical imaging, Selenium based flat-panel detectors, digital radiology and electronics. Until 2011, he was Analogic Corporation’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
“As investors experienced in medical devices, we were very impressed with the robust and affordable digital mammography system that XLV is developing,” said Bernard Gordon. “We look forward to combining our many years of experience in launching medical device companies with the innovative academic research that emanated from XLV’s founding institutions, and to working with the company’s seasoned management team.”
XLV’s technology is based on Dr. John Rowlands’ research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI) where he was the founding scientific director.
“XLV Diagnostics is built on a great partnership between engineers, scientists and commercialization experts in Thunder Bay and Toronto,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, MI’s president and CEO. “Dr. Rowlands was XLV’s scientific visionary, but MI’s Joel Liederman became the business partner who launched and built XLV into the successful start-up it is today. Joel was XLV’s CEO for three years. He secured early-stage funding, oversaw design and development of XLV’s mammography system, worked with our patent experts to protect its technology and hired the technical and managerial expertise to help the company grow.”
Incorporated in 2011 and with seed funding from MI, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, TBRRI and Sunnybrook, XLV Diagnostics received $600,000 in non-dilutive funding from FedNor, the Government of Canada’s regional development organization for Northern Ontario and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. This investment directly led to XLV growing its team and developing its equipment in Northern Ontario, where the company plans to remain headquartered.
“XLV Diagnostics is a good example of the spinoff companies that emerge from Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute,” said Roxanne Deslauriers, acting CEO of TBRRI, “They not only address patient needs, but also create positive economic and healthcare impacts for Northwestern Ontario and beyond. Partnerships such as this will continue to fuel our health sciences cluster.”
By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, director of marketing and communications.