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OICR-supported cancer therapeutics company Fusion Pharmaceuticals acquired by AstraZeneca for $2 billion
This landmark acquisition of the Hamilton-based company comes after years of funding and support from OICR and FACIT.

This landmark acquisition of the Hamilton-based company comes after years of funding and support from OICR and FACIT.

AstraZeneca’s $2 billion (USD) acquisition of Hamilton-based Fusion Pharmaceuticals marks a major milestone for precision medicine in cancer and for Ontario’s life sciences sector, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is proud to have helped launch this made-in-Ontario success story.

Dr. John Valliant

Fusion is a clinical-stage oncology company developing and manufacturing radiopharmaceuticals, a new class of cancer therapy that uses radioactive isotopes linked to proteins such as antibodies to seek out and kill tumour cells. The company’s innovative therapeutics deliver treatment directly to cancer tissue, limiting the damage caused to surrounding healthy tissue.

Joining forces with AstraZeneca will accelerate the development of these next-generation therapies so they can transform health outcomes for patients with cancer in Ontario and around the world, Fusion CEO Dr. John Valliant said in a news release.

Fusion is a spinout company of the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), which OICR launched in 2008 with the Government of Canada and McMaster University and has supported with more than $12 million in funding and other resources for over the last 15 years.

OICR also supported Fusion through its commercialization subsidiary FACIT, including an initial investment in 2014 and a series of follow-on investments over the years.

Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi

“This is exactly the kind of made-in-Ontario success story we envisioned when we created CPDC and supported Fusion throughout the years,” says OICR President and Scientific Director Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi. “This landmark acquisition is a testament to Ontario’s booming life sciences sector and the provincial oncology community OICR has been critical in building. This transaction is a big win for the cancer patients who will benefit from their innovative treatments, and a shot in the arm for Ontario’s economy.”

Fusion is one of two Ontario companies to spin out from CPDC, which is also based in Hamilton. With OICR’s support, CPDC and its companies are driving cutting-edge research into radiopharmaceuticals, as well as manufacturing and distributing them to hospitals around the world.

“We are very proud of our roots in CPDC, McMaster University and in the Hamilton community,” says Valliant, CEO of Fusion. “The visionary strategy and support of OICR was instrumental in establishing and building Fusion.”

Fusion’s deal with AstraZeneca is expected to close in June. The company will become a subsidiary of AstraZeneca and its operations will continue in Canada and the U.S.