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Funded: SRI-Thunder Bay spinoff

February 20, 2013

TORONTO, ON (Feb. 19, 2013) - XLV Diagnostics Inc., a start-up company working to commercialize a faster, cheaper and better digital mammography technology, has received a $500,000 investment from FedNor.

Over 600 million women living in developing countries have inadequate access to breast screening for early cancer detection. In the developed world, many radiology departments are replacing traditional film and screen systems with digital technologies. In both cases, better digital mammography technology promises to solve logistical challenges and save money.

XLV's solution has the potential to provide image quality that equals or surpasses that which is currently in use, making images easy to analyze, manipulate and transfer much like digital photographs. It will also substantially decrease the cost of digital mammography machines.

"The technology that XLV is developing into a product promises to reduce the cost of an x-ray imaging system, making it more affordable for customers in the developing world and similar rapidly-growing markets," said Dr. Michael Wood, CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute. "I am so very proud of the scientists whose research led to this technology."

The start-up company's technology emerged from Dr. John Rowlands' research and is being developed through partnership between the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and MaRS Innovation.

FedNor, the Government of Canada's regional development organization for Northern Ontario, facilitates and catalyses activity intended to help communities to thrive, businesses to grow and innovation to prosper.

"XLV Diagnostics is a remarkable example of a great partnership among engineers and scientists in Thunder Bay and Toronto," said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation. "It also validates our members institutions' commitment to taking exciting technologies to market by collaboratively creating dynamic start-up companies. We are pleased to have the Canadian government partner with us in creating the seed funding framework that will allow XLV to complete prototype development and begin working toward clinical validation."

"Congratulations to the federal government for recognizing that research and its commercialization are part of the solution, not only for our health care system, but also for regional, provincial and national economic development," said Dr. Michael Julius, vice-president, Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute; and chair of the Board, XLV.

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister for FedNor, announced the XLV funding as part of a larger investment of more than $2.9 million to support small business development, growth and innovation in the Thunder Bay region.

"The Harper Government recognizes the importance of investing in infrastructure and innovation that will lay the groundwork for business expansion and industrial land development, as well as enhance business productivity and competitiveness," said Minister Clement. "Our government's support for these kinds of initiatives will help businesses prosper, create jobs, and diversify the regional economy."

By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications manager, MaRS Innovation

This story can also be viewed on the MaRS Innovation website.