Celebrating a decade of backing Ontario entrepreneurs and advances in patient care
March 31, 2023 – FACIT is pleased to announce that the winning pitch for the 10th anniversary Falcons’ Fortunes pitch competition and the $100,000 Ernsting Entrepreneurship Award was delivered by Dr. Sumaiyah Rehman, co-founder and CEO of DTPx Therapeutics. DTPx is developing a novel immunotherapy targeting hibernating cells to prevent relapse in colorectal cancer patients, which intends to alleviate pain and ease the burden on the healthcare system.
Hosted by commercialization venture group FACIT, the annual competition showcases emerging entrepreneurs and highlights Ontario as a world-leading jurisdiction for cancer research translation. A panel of industry investors selected the best pitch presentation from six Ontario-based entrepreneurs for their cancer innovation. The $100,000 award is sponsored by FACIT’s Prospects Oncology Fund, which is strategically aimed at bridging the seed funding gap for early-stage innovations with high potential for patient impact and economic value. Frequently, past Falcons’ Fortunes participants have successfully received support from FACIT’s seed investment funds. These entrepreneurs receive both risk capital and healthcare commercialization expertise from FACIT and exposure to its investment network.
FACIT’s investment programs are supported both by private sector investment returns and the Government of Ontario, through its strategic partner the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Part of FACIT and OICR’s shared mandate is retaining Ontario-generated technologies and intellectual property (IP) in the province to maximize their economic value including jobs, skills development and the creation and scaling of start-ups. This closes the gap between ground-breaking cancer discoveries and life-changing patient outcomes.
“Congratulations to all six finalists who pitched their cancer technologies today,” said Dr. David O’Neill, President of FACIT. “Over the last decade of backing entrepreneurs, the unique FACIT-OICR model has realized returns to support the next generation of Ontario stars. Financing a local path for emerging innovations also brings us one step closer to helping patients and realizing the full value of taxpayer-supported cancer research.”
“Collaborating with innovation and commercialization groups such as FACIT on best practices for intellectual property development and value creation benefits Ontario’s economic recovery, growth and competitiveness,” remarked Elliot Fung, Board Director of Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON) and keynote speaker at the event. “We envision a cohesive provincial strategy that empowers entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and make a difference in the lives of every citizen.”
“As a cancer survivor and former serial entrepreneur, I am thrilled to see FACIT’s commercialization programs unlocking the full potential of oncology breakthroughs with a goal to help patients sooner,” said Terry Hawrysh, a member of OICR’s Patient and Family Advisory Council. “Fun and spirited events like Falcons’ Fortunes are building a culture that will surely make a difference for Ontarians living with cancer.”
FACIT is an award-winning commercialization venture firm that builds companies with entrepreneurs to accelerate oncology innovation, with a portfolio that has attracted more than $1.5 billion in investment to Ontario. Blending industry experience, capital and the unsurpassed clinician-scientist network of its strategic partner the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), FACIT capitalizes on the province’s investment in research and healthcare to the benefit of the local economy and patients worldwide. Cancer Breakthroughs. Realized. facit.ca.
FACIT actively manages our diverse portfolio of Ontario oncology assets (including therapeutics, imaging, diagnostics, and technology platforms) that span all stages of commercialization, from proof-of-concept to clinical development.
With critical seed funding, FACIT makes it possible for Ontario’s best cancer research discoveries to compete globally and reach patients.