Conavi Medical Inc.
Conavi Medical Inc. is a medical device company that develops, manufactures, sells and supports technologies to help guide minimally invasive procedures. It is commercializing technologies initially invented at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) by Dr. Brian Courtney, a scientist and interventional cardiologist at SRI. Conavi’s lead product in its commercialization pipeline is the Foresight ICE System. It is the first catheter-based ultrasound system capable of providing both 2-D and 3-D ultrasound images of cardiac anatomy around the circumference of the catheter’s tip.
FujiFilm VisualSonics Inc. is another spinoff company that emerged from innovation at SRI. Dr. Stuart Foster and his lab created the first ultrasound tool that incorporated high-frequency transducers that made tiny physiological details, such as the blood flow feeding a mouse tumour, visible. The demand for this technology was so great that Dr. Foster formed VisualSonics to manufacture microimaging scanners for institutions like Harvard and Stanford universities, the National Institutes of Health and most major drug companies.
In 2010 FujiFilm SonoSite Inc. acquired VisualSonics for $67.9 million.
Profound Medical Inc.
Profound Medical Inc., formed in 2008, is manufacturing technology for a new therapy to treat men with prostate cancer. Developed at SRI, the procedure—MRI-guided, transurethral ultrasound ablation, or TULSA—enables rapid, precise heating and cell death in cancerous regions of the prostate, sparing healthy glandular tissue to limit or prevent sexual impairment, incontinence, bowel dysfunction and other negative side effects. The treatment is fast (less than 40 minutes), requires only spinal anesthetic and, unlike radiation therapy, is repeatable.
Sentinelle Medical Inc.
In 1992, an SRI lab began developing MRI technology for improved detection and biopsy of breast cancer. Twelve years later they had a system that was prompting other researchers and clinicians to ask how they could get one.
The research led to the creation of Sentinelle Medical Inc., a Toronto-based company, which brought the innovative Vanguard breast MR auxiliary table and other MRI technologies into the clinic.