Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

July 07, 2014 13:00 ET

Minister Goodyear Celebrates Innovative Health-Care Solutions Developed by Local Companies

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 7, 2014) - Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

FedDev Ontario Minister of State Gary Goodyear today visited Trillium Therapeutics Inc. and Axela Inc. to celebrate their business growth and achievements in health-care solutions, which received funding through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative.

Trillium Therapeutics Inc. develops innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer. With a repayable contribution of $575,139, the company conducted clinical testing of a treatment for a chronic and painful bladder disease known as interstitial cystitis, which affects millions of women in North America. This represents the company's first clinical trial, enabling it to expand beyond the research phase into clinical testing in humans. This is an important milestone since it alleviates the need to find a development partner for the initial clinical trials, retaining control and preserving value for the company. FedDev Ontario's investment leveraged an additional $2 million venture capital investment from Covington Capital, GrowthWorks, and BDC Venture Capital. Trillium Therapeutics Inc. was awarded BIOTECanada's 2014 Gold Leaf Award as Early Stage Health Company of the Year.

Axela Inc. develops novel molecular diagnostic tools and partners with international companies and laboratories to commercialize clinical tests and instrument solutions. With a repayable contribution of $708,333, the company focused on extending the multiplex capabilities of its clinical analyzers. The ability to measure multiple biomarkers is crucial to fully understanding complex diseases and enabling personalized treatment of the patient. Axela's products can be used to predict risk, diagnose and monitor progression of cancers, infections and other diseases by measuring more than 100 genes or proteins simultaneously. FedDev Ontario's investment leveraged a $2,125,000-venture capital investment from Covington Capital.

Quick Facts

  • Through the first phase of Investing in Business Innovation launched in October 2010, FedDev Ontario invested nearly $57 million in repayable contributions to 86 companies, leveraging almost three times more in private sector investments. FedDev Ontario also invested more than $3 million in 13 angel networks and associations.

  • FedDev Ontario is now accepting applications for its new suite of programming. Investing in Business Innovation funding is available for early-stage businesses with less than 50 employees; southern Ontario-based angel investor networks; and not-for-profit organizations that provide skills development and seed financing to new entrepreneurs.


"I am proud of the work of Trillium Therapeutics Inc. and Axela Inc. in developing tools and therapies that will have a positive impact on healthcare both here and around the world. Our Government is committed to helping Canadian companies bring scientific discoveries to local, national and international markets."

- Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario

"The financial support from FedDev Ontario was critical for the completion of our first clinical trial, allowing us to transition from a preclinical to a clinical company. As a result, we were subsequently able to conduct a series of transactions, including the listing of our shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and a $36 million capital raise in 2013. The company has recently increased its workforce by 25 per cent and we anticipate further growth in the future."

- Niclas Stiernholm, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trillium Therapeutics

"The support of FedDev Ontario was instrumental in expanding Axela's technology portfolio and improving our commercial position. These advances have allowed us to attract major international partners and provide an excellent foundation for continued growth.

- Paul Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer of Axela

Associated Links

Investing in Business Innovation initiative information and application form

Trillium Therapeutics Inc.

Axela Inc.

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