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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.

In October 2015, Profound presented data from a 12-month Phase 1 trial of 30 patients that showed that TULSA was safe and well tolerated, with a potentially low risk of adverse effects; the rate of erectile dysfunction rate was 8%, compared with rates of up to 60% for other therapies, and only one patient had grade one urinary incontinence at 12 months follow up, which did not require any incontinence products to manage. On the back of these results, a larger-scale pivotal trial is scheduled for early 2016. The device will be commercialized in Canada and Europe in 2016, and in the U.S. the following year, pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Agencies that funded the first decade of development of this innovative technology include the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (formerly the National Cancer Institute of Canada), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Terry Fox Foundation. Infrastructure support came from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. Industry partners also played a role.

Recently, Life Sciences Ontario named Profound Medical the 2016 Life Science Company of the Year.

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