Cancer-focused Imagia Canexia Health files for bankruptcy 18 months after merger

Oncology tech firm closed a $20-million round and led an $18-million Supercluster project in 2022.

Montréal-based Imagia Canexia Health has filed for bankruptcy.

The company, which aimed to make precision oncology more accessible, was born last year from the merger of two oncology-focused Canadian healthtech firms: Montréal-based Imagia Cybernetics and Vancouver’s Canexia Health.

Imagia Canexia Health sought to make high-quality cancer genomic information more accessible.

The Aug. 21 bankruptcy filing comes 18 months after Imagia and Canexia Health reached an agreement to join forces in February 2022 and become Imagia Canexia Health, securing $20 million CAD from BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund, Desjardins Capital, and PacBridge Capital as part of the deal.

Months later, Imagia Canexia Health announced a $17.8-million investment from the Government of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster (DTS) and others to support the CanDETECT project. In partnership with BC Cancer Research, DNAstack, Microsoft, Queen’s University, and the University Health Network, the CanDETECT focused on developing a precision oncology software to increase the effectiveness of cancer recurrence monitoring. However, per the DTS, the groups involved decided not to continue with this specific project.

Imagia Canexia Health has not yet filed supporting documents, including a Statement of Affairs, articulating what led the company to bankruptcy.

BetaKit has reached out to Imagia Canexia Health, its former leaders, and its investors for comment.

RELATED: Oncology innovators Canexia Health, Imagia merge, raise $20 million

Imagia Canexia Health billed itself as a “genomics-based cancer treatment testing company that accelerates access to precision care by combining artificial intelligence (AI) expertise with advanced molecular biopsy solutions.” With its software, clinically validated assays, and services, the firm sought to make high-quality cancer genomic information more accessible and affordable.

Headquartered in Montréal with offices in Vancouver and San Diego, Imagia Canexia Health has worked with over 20 hospitals and reference labs globally.

As part of the 2022 merger, Imagia CEO Geralyn Ochab took over as CEO of Imagia Canexia Health and Canexia Health CEO Michael Ball transitioned to an advisory role. Digital Technology Supercluster CEO Sue Paish, Canexia Health’s board chair, was set to chair the amalgamated firm.

Per their respective LinkedIn profiles, Ball departed the company in June 2022 and Ochab left in January. For her part, Paish’s LinkedIn profile does not mention any roles with Imagia Canexia Health.

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In November 2022, James Lumsdaine, partner at Imagia Canexia Health investor PacBridge Capital, became CEO of Imagia Canexia Health before leaving the firm sometime this month, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Imagia Canexia Health’s bankruptcy filing comes as interest rate hikes have cooled investor interest in tech and made it tougher for startups to secure venture capital funding or debt. Amid these conditions, many Canadian tech firms have cut staff, pivoted, weighed costly down rounds or loans, restructured, sold for a fraction of their prior value, or shut down.

According to its LinkedIn page, at publication time, Imagia Canexia Health has 48 employees. Per LinkedIn Insights, the firm’s headcount has dropped 28 percent in the past six months.

Feature image courtesy Pexels. Photo by Cottonbro Studio.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache. He was also the winner of SABEW Canada’s 2023 Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist award.

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