H|T: The Healthtech Times – Acorn Biolabs secures $11 million for regenerative medicine

Plus: Feds table bill with new healthtech data security rules.

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Acorn Biolabs announces $11-million CAD Series A to boost access to regenerative medicine via cell preservation

Toronto-based biotechnology startup Acorn Biolabs, which helps customers freeze their stem cells in preparation for potential future cell-based regenerative medicine treatments, has announced approximately $11 million CAD ($8 million USD) in Series A funding across multiple closings.

Founded in 2017, Acorn aims to provide clients with access to personalized regenerative medicine through what it claims is “the world’s first non-invasive, [hair] follicle-based cell cryopreservation service” and patented cell-based treatments from patients’ hair follicle cells. By preserving cells, the startup hopes to unlock the possibility of future hair regrowth, skin rejuvenation, injury recovery, and disease treatment through regenerative medicine.


Liberal government tables bill that seeks to streamline, secure health data

The federal Liberals moved to streamline and secure health data across jurisdictions Thursday with a new bill that imposes new rules on technology vendors.

The bill would require vendors to ensure that health information tech they license, sell, or supply as a service is interoperable.

That means patients and healthcare providers would be able to completely and securely access the data and exchange it with other systems — for example, those being used in another hospital or jurisdiction.

(The Canadian Press)

Valsoft nabs Progitek in sixth acquisition of 2024

Montréal-based Valsoft Corporation has acquired Québec City-based dental practice management software company Progitek for an undisclosed amount.

Valsoft said the Progitek acquisition is its fifth in the health and dental sector, and that Progitek will work with Aspire Software, Valsoft’s operating arm, to strengthen its market presence and enhance its products and services.


Sword Health raises $130M and its valuation soars to $3B

Sword Health, an AI-powered virtual physical therapy startup, has raised $30 million and let employees sell $100 million worth of equity to new and existing investors, including Khosla Ventures. The round brings the nine-year-old company’s valuation to $3 billion, a 50% increase from the $2-billion value it garnered in its Series D in November 2021.

The company initially set out to just do the $100 million secondary round that would allow employees and early investors to sell shares, Virgílio Bento, Sword’s CEO and founder, told TechCrunch. But when he saw that the secondary round was oversubscribed, the company also decided to raise a $30-million primary round and update its valuation.


Mesosil secures $2.2 million to develop infection-fighting biomaterials for medical devices BetaKit

Toronto-based nanotechnology startup Mesosil has closed $2.2 million CAD in seed funding to ramp up its production and fuel its commercialization plans.

Spun out of the University of Toronto, Mesosil is developing nanometre-scale, silica-based additives designed to prevent infection and disease at the tissue-biomaterial level and extend the lifespan of dental and medical devices like fillers and implants.


Exclusive: AcuityMD raises $45M for med tech sales analytics

Med tech sales and analytics software provider AcuityMD raised a $45 million Series B led by Iconiq Growth, CEO Michael Monovoukas tells Axios exclusively.

The raise makes the company one of the more advanced medical sales services startups in terms of funding stage.

The Boston-based company identifies gaps in sales for med tech representatives by marrying sales data with information on where providers and locations are providing specific services.


MaRS makes layoffs as part of business model “resetting”

MaRS Discovery District has made reductions to its staff as the Toronto innovation looks to get back to its “original vision,” BetaKit has learned.

Multiple sources indicated to BetaKit that the hub made a staff reduction this week. Alison Nankivell, CEO of MaRS, confirmed the layoffs with BetaKit, stating the hub is examining how its spaces, programs, and community can “propel Canadian innovation in a shifting global context.”

Sources who spoke with BetaKit under condition of anonymity indicated that at least 20 roles were cut, including MaRS’ chief delivery officer Krista Jones.


The transformative potential of computerised brain implants

Seven years ago Michel Roccati swerved to avoid an animal while riding his motorbike near Turin and smashed into a roadside bench. The crash “exploded the bones in my back”, Roccati says, severing his spinal cord and cutting all communication between his brain and legs.

Roccati is one of a growing group of people benefiting from radically new forms of neurotechnology, under development at university and company labs in Europe and North America, which use computerised implants to interact with the human brain and central nervous system.

“We are some way away from that but I don’t think it’s hard to imagine over time this technology being adopted by people who are otherwise healthy,” says Mager, who co-founded Precision in 2021 with Benjamin Rapoport, a founding member of Neuralink.

(Financial Times)

Feds resume SDTC funding under NRC following damning AG report

The federal government has resumed funding for Sustainable Development Technology Canada as it prepares to bring the embattled cleantech agency under the National Research Council of Canada in the coming months.

The restoration of funding is being announced amid the release of a damning report by Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan, which found “significant lapses” in SDTC’s governance and management of public money. The federal government has also appointed new positions to lead the agency through the upcoming transition.


Healthcare software firm Waystar raises $968 mln million in IPO

Waystar, a private equity-owned provider of software that helps hospitals and doctors’ practices manage their finances, has raised $968 million in its initial public offering, the company said on Thursday.

Waystar was formed in 2017 through the merger of Navicure and ZirMed. The company develops payment software helping clients such as large hospital systems with the collection of bills from patients.


Feature image courtesy Acorn Biolabs.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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