H|T: The Healthtech Times – Healthtech startups among targets of Sixty Degree Capital’s new $338-million CAD fund

Plus: Medtronic's $738 million acquisition is cancelled.

The Healthtech Times is a weekly newsletter covering healthtech news from Canada and around the globe.

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Sixty Degree Capital closes $338 million CAD for third venture fund

Toronto-headquartered Sixty Degree Capital has completed a final close of its third venture fund. The fund earmarks $338 million CAD ($250 million USD) to invest in enterprise software and healthtech startups between the Series A and pre-IPO stages.

Founded in 2017, the firm invests in technologies for enterprises such as data and cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence, developer tools, and cybersecurity. In healthcare, the firm said it invests in therapeutics, health services, medical devices, and diagnostics.


Xenon stock surges as B.C. biotech’s epilepsy drug shows promise for treating depression

Xenon Pharmaceuticals hopes to show its anti-seizure drug can do something else: Make depressed people happier.

Given the vast market for mood-altering drugs, investors bid up the stock, analysts increased share price targets and Xenon sold US$345-million of securities. Its stock closed Monday at $37.76, up 30 per cent since the start of last week.

Analysts believe the company is a buyout target: “We’ve surveyed investors, and this comes up as one of the top potential mergers and acquisitions plays” in biotech, said Jefferies analyst Andrew Tsai, who has a $60 stock-price target.


Nicotine addiction treatment tech startup Ditch Labs acquires IP assets of French firm Enovap SAS

Montréal-based healthtech startup Ditch Labs has acquired a portfolio of patents from Paris, France-based electronic cigarette company Enovap SAS for an undisclosed amount.

The deal comes nine months after it secured $3.25 million CAD in seed funding, following which Ditch Labs CEO Laurent Laferrière told BetaKit the company’s biggest advantage over its competitors was its IP, referring to the patents it holds for its “dual-tank, dual-coil technology” in 15 countries.


Medtronic cancels $738 million acquisition of diabetes tech company EOFlow

Medtronic is no longer buying EOFlow, a Korean maker of wearable insulin pumps. The news comes three months after Insulet, EOFlow’s rival, filed a lawsuit accusing the company of stealing trade secrets.

Medtronic announced its cancellation of the $738 million deal in a vague filing which cites “multiple breaches under the agreements” that allow Medtronic to renege.


Bianca Bharti joins BetaKit as newsletter editor

BetaKit is thrilled to announce that Bianca Bharti has joined BetaKit’s editorial team as its first-ever newsletter editor.

As newsletter editor, Bianca will be in charge of accelerating BetaKit’s flagship newsletter, and will play a key role in defining and growing our editorial capabilities within the format.

BetaKit is on a mission to connect, interrogate, and inform Canadian tech. If you believe in this mission the way we do, join us: BetaKit is hiring a new senior editor and a permanent CEO, with more roles to be announced in the New Year.



Apply for up to $500k in acceleration and investment services

CABHI’s Mentorship, Capital, and Continuation (MC²) Program, in partnership with National Bank, is now accepting applications from early-stage Canadian companies looking to grow and scale their business. MC² is a first-of-its-kind investment program dedicated to supporting healthtech and fintech companies.

This round of funding offers up to $500,000 in investment and acceleration services from CABHI. Plus, eligible companies may access additional investment up to $250,000 from Invest Nova Scotia, $150,000 from Greyhill Capital Partners, commercialization and funding support from Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization, and business financing from Clearco.

Apply now! The application deadline is January 22, 2024, at 5 pm Eastern.

23andMe confirms hackers stole ancestry data on 6.9 million users

On Friday, genetic testing company 23andMe announced that hackers accessed the personal data of 0.1% of customers, or about 14,000 individuals. The company also said that by accessing those accounts, hackers were also able to access “a significant number of files containing profile information about other users’ ancestry.”

As it turns out, there were a lot of “other users” who were victims of this data breach: 6.9 million affected individuals in total.


Advice on fundraising and living in the future from Huntress CFO Marcos Torres

Building a business is an exercise in living in the future, according to Marcos Torres, CFO of managed cybersecurity platform Huntress.

In a recent #CIBCInnovationBanking podcast episode, Torres shared his advice for founders who want the best chance of success in difficult times.


AstraZeneca, Absci sign $247M agreement to uncover AI-driven cancer drug candidates

Absci, a startup focused on developing generative AI antibody discovery technology, announced a potential $247 million partnership with pharma giant AstraZeneca to focus on expediting the discovery of novel cancer treatments with the help of genAI technology.

The collaboration aims to utilize Absci’s de novo “zero-shot” AI models that result in new, improved antibody therapies against cancer.


Hims & Hers rolls out weight loss program with future plans to include GLP-1 drugs

Digital health company Hims & Hers launched its much-anticipated weight loss program this week that includes digital tracking tools, educational content and access to medications.

Hims & Hers is a multispecialty telehealth platform that connects consumers to medical care for numerous conditions related to mental health, sexual health, dermatology and primary care. The company expanded into heart health in August and now weight management.


As ailing WeWork reduces Canadian footprint, BDC opens new collaborative work location in Vancouver

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has opened a new BDC Square location in Vancouver, aiming to offer a new collaborative work and event space to small and medium-sized businesses.

When asked how BDC sees its Square locations being affected by the shuttering of WeWork locations in Vancouver, BDC told BetaKit that it has heard from entrepreneurs seeking more peer-to-peer learning opportunities, which prompted the Crown corporation to create a space for them.


Doctor Anywhere bags $41M, looks to enter genAI game

Technology-enabled healthcare provider Doctor Anywhere from Singapore has raised another $40.8 million in a Series C funding extension round joined by Square Peg and Novo Holdings.

The company is looking to incorporate generative AI to build new care solutions such as “predictive healthcare needs assessment” and “streamlined appointment scheduling.”


From Unicorns to Zombies: Tech Start-Ups Run Out of Time and Money

WeWork raised more than $11 billion in funding as a private company. Olive AI, a health care start-up, gathered $852 million. Convoy, a freight start-up, raised $900 million. And Veev, a home construction start-up, amassed $647 million.

In the last six weeks, they all filed for bankruptcy or shut down. They are the most recent failures in a tech start-up collapse that investors say is only beginning.

“As an industry we should all be braced to hear about a lot more failures,” said Jenny Lefcourt, an investor at Freestyle Capital. “The more money people got before the party ended, the longer the hangover.”


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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