H|T: The Healthtech Times – OMERS reportedly puts LifeLabs up for sale

pointclickcare toronto
Plus: PointClickCare's acquisition spree continues with US healthtech company.

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PointClickCare continues growth through acquisition with American HealthTech purchase

Toronto-based healthtech firm PointClickCare is continuing its acquisition spree, buying American HealthTech (AHT), a provider of electronic health record solutions to the post-acute care market.

According to a LinkedIn post from PointClickCare’s chief product officer B.J. Boyle, AHT’s customers will be migrated to the PointClickCare platform and will have access to PointClickCare’s dataset and the opportunity to join PointClickCare’s connected care network. 


LifeLabs medical testing company for sale by pension fund manager OMERS

OMERS, one of the country’s largest pension plans, has put Canada’s biggest medical testing company, LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services, up for sale after building the business over 17 years, drawing interest from suitors based in the United States and Canada.

OMERS has invested more than $2.5-billion in LifeLabs and two of the sources said the asset manager is asking for a premium valuation on the business, well above the capital OMERS has put into acquisitions. 

(The Globe and Mail)

AGF Private Capital acquires majority stake in Kensington Capital Partners for $45 million

Toronto-based firms AGF Private Capital and Kensington Capital Partners have signed a definitive agreement that will see AGF acquire a majority interest in Kensington for $45 million.

Kensington has controlled a large amount of capital flowing through the Canadian tech ecosystem. Following AGF’s investment, Kensington will now benefit from AGF’s $42.8 billion in assets under management, as well as its distribution reach and operating infrastructure, the firms said in a statement.


TBD Health enters B2B space, partners with digital health companies Folx Health, Wisp

TBD Health, a hybrid sexual health provider, is launching an enterprise offering for digital health companies.

Initial customers include Folx Health and Wisp. The former will have access to TBD Health’s at-home STD/STI test kits and diagnostics lab, and the latter to two brick-and-mortar clinics.

“We’re allying ourselves with other mission-driven companies … so we can work together to solve care gaps,” TBD cofounder and co-CEO Daphne Chen told Fierce Healthcare.

(Fierce Healthcare)

Ottawa Founders: Virica Biotech makes gene therapies, viral medicines more accessible

Ella Korets-Smith is having a hectic morning, busily working on a big grant application for Virica Biotech, an Ottawa-based medical sciences startup she co-founded that uses breakthrough biotechnology to enhance the production of viruses for the benefit of disease-fighting gene therapies. 

While the company’s goal is simple — it aims to make viral medicines and cell therapies less expensive and easier to produce, ultimately helping more patients access life-saving treatments — the science can be puzzling, especially if you don’t have a background in biotechnology. 

But Korets-Smith, Virica’s chief strategy officer, does. She’s a scientist who worked in genetics before deciding to make a bold career move. 

(Ottawa Business Journal)

#CDNtech CEO shakeups continue

There has been a growing tidal wave of leadership changes at Canadian tech companies and organizations that began at the end of 2023.

Some CEO replacements were expected as part of a substitution process following the retirement of previous leaders, such as with MaRS Discovery District in December and MindBridge this week, while others opted to retire or were forced out.

Just this past week, ActiveState, AnalytixInsight, Acuity Insights, Volaris Group, and Flashfood have all experienced transitions at the CEO level. Other departures however, were not as expected.


Ontario to provide $1.4M in support of Kitchener’s FluidAI Medical, job creation

The Ontario government has committed $1.4 million dollars worth of funding to support medical technology company, FluidAI Medical – in support of the company’s own investment of $25 million.

The combined investment is expected to create 38 new positions for the company known for its work in developing “an AI-powered monitor that detects post-operative gastrointestinal leaks,” which could assist in preventing complications for patients.

FluidAI raised a $20 million CAD Series A round in October 2023.


Forta scores $55M to scale parent-led autism therapy platform

AI-enabled, family-powered autism therapy company Forta announced it closed a $55 million Series A funding round led by Insight Partners.

Forta combines AI and LLMs with a 50-hour training course for parents to provide their child with personalized applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for autism.

The San Francisco-based company will use the Series A funds to grow its autism therapy practice, continue its AI and LLM research, and develop its clinical algorithms further.


OCI is bringing back innovation conference DiscoveryX

After a four-year absence, the Ontario Centre of Innovation is bringing back its innovation conference this April.

The DiscoveryX Conference and Trade Show, now in its 15th year, will be held from April 17 to 18 in Toronto’s Enercare Centre. The event will host entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, as well as government and tech industry stakeholders.

Early bird attendee and student passes are currently available until March 1.


Investors raise billions to buy discounted stakes in start-ups

Investment firms are raising billions of dollars to buy stakes in venture capital-backed technology start-ups, as a long drought in acquisitions and initial public offerings forces early investors to offload their stock at discounts.

Secondary market specialist Lexington Partners last week announced a new $23-billion fund to buy up stakes from “large-scale investors”. Lexington had originally aimed to raise $15 billion, but upped its target on the back of high demand, and said it was “in the early stages of a generational secondary buying opportunity” that could last years.

“We are seeing crazy amounts of [limited partner investors] that are distressed and need to lighten their venture load,” said the head of a $2-billion venture capital firm.

(Financial Times)

Apple finds workaround on reinstated ban of Apple Watch sales

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said this week it would uphold the ban instituted by the International Trade Commission’s exclusion order on sales and imports of Apple’s Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S.

The ruling was the result of an ongoing dispute between Apple and medtech company Masimo, which alleges Apple was poaching its employees and stealing trade secrets related to technology that uses light to measure blood oxygen levels in the Apple Watch.

The tech giant, however, has found a way to keep the watches on shelves and workaround the ban by tweaking their watches to just not include the disputed blood oxygen feature.


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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