Canadian Healthcare Technology article about CIMTEC and customers KalGene Pharmaceuticals and Perfint Healthcare

Canadian Healthcare Technology, March 2014

The Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC) was founded in 2011 to facilitate and accelerate the commercialization of medical imaging and digital pathology technologies. It works with researchers, start-ups and small and medium-sized companies across Canada providing a one-stop-shop of technology and business development services to help customers along the entire commercialization continuum.

Among others things, CIMTEC helps customers write business plans, connect to funding, develop prototypes and discover the intellectual property and regulatory landscapes in the markets they wish to enter. CIMTEC’s active engagement as subject matter experts, writing proposals, coaching customers and participating in pitch meetings with funders has had a significant impact on its customers’ ability to raise funds.

“We find that many of our customers come to us with limited knowledge of the commercialization process and how to begin,” says Michael Waterston, Business Development Director at CIMTEC, “or they simply don’t have the in-house skills, knowledge or capacity to follow through with every step and nuance required to successfully bring a product to market.” Adds Waterston, “CIMTEC can become a valuable part of each customer’s team by filling their knowledge and capacity gaps.”

To work with CIMTEC, a medical imaging innovation must be past proof-of-concept with evidence that it works. From a regulatory standpoint, there is a significant difference between a proof-of-concept and what’s required to sell a product for clinical use. CIMTEC’s team of engineers and specialists draws upon its many years of industry experience to help customers develop their hardware and software to commercial quality standards. 

The key is to start the conversation with CIMTEC so they can understand the needs of your project and help tailor a commercialization plan for a specific product or company.

KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CIMTEC customer, Dr. Nathan Yoganathan, President & CSO, KalGene PharmaceuticalsKalGene Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s oncology programs are aimed at improving clinical outcomes through the use of personalized medicine, with a particular focus on breast and other epithelial cancers. KalGene has established several international research and development collaborations and recently signed a multi-year collaborative agreement with CIMTEC for commercialization of its companion diagnostics and therapeutics program.

Dr. T. Nathan Yoganathan, President and CSO of KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. says, “We are pleased to work with CIMTEC to further our mission of developing products that save lives and improve healthcare outcomes. Our collaboration with CIMTEC will enable us to better advance our goal of developing cancer diagnostic and treatments through the power of personalized medicines”.

Says, Bart Sullivan, CEO of CIMTEC, “Our work with KalGene is a prime example of the value CIMTEC brings to the medical imaging community. CIMTEC’s expertise in digital pathology and KalGene’s strong background in biotechnology has created a potent partnership to support KalGene’s development of an advanced cancer diagnostic system.”

Because incidence of liver cancer is particularly high in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, Perfint Healthcare in India was looking for an ultrasound- based solution to liver cancer treatment. Perfint came to CIMTEC by way of a prototype 3D ultrasound-guided focal liver tumour ablation system being developed by CIMTEC in partnership with Western University’s Robarts Research Institute with funds from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). The prototype system showed very positive results during testing in the clinic of interventional radiologist, Dr. Nirmal Kakani at London Health Sciences Centre.

The current phase of the project is partly funded through the International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTP) program and the Department of Biotechnology India. CIMTEC, Western University and Claron Technology Inc. are developing hardware and novel software modules and integrating them into an image-guided oncology therapy system for wide distribution abroad by Perfint Healthcare.

“This collaborative project has the potential to profoundly impact liver cancer treatment in developing countries such as India, North Asia and part of Europe where access to CT and MR scanners is extremely limited,” says Dr. Aaron Fenster, CIMTEC Centre Director and founding Director of the Imaging Research Laboratories at Robarts Research Institute at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. “The big advantage is that highly accurate ablations can be performed in a procedure suite, as opposed to a CT scanner, making them more accessible, faster and much cheaper.”