In June 2015, Profound Medical, a Canadian medical device company that has developed a unique and minimally invasive treatment to ablate the prostate gland in prostate cancer patients, made a significant stride forward in the company’s evolution. After raising $28 million through investors including, BDC Capital Inc., Genesys Ventures II LP and Knight Therapeutics Inc., Profound went public and started trading on the TSXV under the ticker symbol “PRN”.
Profound’s novel technology combines real-time MRI imaging with transurethral therapeutic ultrasound and closed-loop thermal feedback control. It provides a highly precise treatment tailored to patient-specific anatomy and pathology. This method of prostate ablation offers short treatment times and low morbidity, allowing for fast patient recovery. The potential of this technology is currently being demonstrated in clinical trials.
Going public was a major milestone for Profound. The funding will allow the organization to commence its 110 patient multi-jurisdictional clinical trial and propel the company forward to commercialization of its device, TULSA-PRO, in Canada and Europe in 2017. More importantly, it gets the company closer to achieving its goal of providing patients who have localized prostate cancer with a precise and effective treatment option.
Profound’s success is important for the Toronto region because the novel procedure originated in this very city. It began in the early 2000’s at Sunnybrook Research Institute with two scientists, Dr. Michael Bronskill and Dr. Rajiv Chopra, who were devising a MR guided device that would treat soft tissue and they decided to focus on prostate cancer. Sunnybrook patented the technology and licensed it to Profound in 2010.
Profound has a talented group of people that call Toronto home. From the researchers at Sunnybrook Research Institute, who first envisioned this technology, to the Profound Medical employees who made it happen, Mr. Plymale feels that Profound’s success is in part due to the city in which the company is located.
Mr. Plymale’s company is growing in leaps and bounds and believes there are great reasons to remain in the Toronto area. Toronto has a broad base of skilled people, with a pool of close to 9,500 life science graduates a year to draw from. The region has nine globally recognized research hospitals and a rapidly growing, innovative cluster of health science related companies.
Given this convergence of advanced talent, innovation and infrastructure, Plymale hopes that investors, both private and public sector, will also see the opportunities here. His company is certainly reaping the benefits. Plymale’s projection for Profound’s future success? “In five years, I expect Profound to be an exporting powerhouse.”
For more information on Profound Medical and its technology, visit profoundmedical.com
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