Developing pioneering technology to optimize cancer care, Tenomix positions itself at the forefront of pathology innovation
Photo: Tenomix’s Sherif Abdou, Saumik Biswas, Michael Lavdas and Dr. Eveline Pasman
THE IMPACT OF innovation is felt across the globe, with dedicated entrepreneurs solving problems and building businesses that propel our economy forward and bring new opportunities to life.
At Tenomix, a London-based medical technology startup at the forefront of pathology innovation, the individual stories of loved ones prompted the four co-founders to strive for success. And as their technology advances into its usability testing phase this year, they are just getting started.
Tenomix was founded by Saumik Biswas, Dr. Eveline Pasman, Michael Lavdas and Sherif Abdou, who initially met attending Western University’s Medical Innovation Fellowship. Tasked to interview clinicians and find their pain points within the healthcare system, they discovered that pathologists using manual search techniques to find lymph nodes in surgically removed colon cancer tissues were experiencing trouble finding small lymph nodes, which can be accidentally missed and further impact the cancer staging report. They were also committing extensive time, lab resources and manual labour for the current search process.
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This finding led to further research with pathologists across the globe, and eventually sparked the co-founders to create Tenomix with a mission to develop new medical innovation technology that would reduce healthcare costs, reduce inefficiencies in clinical workflow and improve cancer care outcomes. Tenomix has created a technology that aids in the lymph node search process, developing the first ever automated benchtop device that uses ultrasound, robotics and AI to automate a traditionally labour intensive, costly and less-reliable system.
Tenomix is a recent i.d.e.a Fund recipient. Supported by a $10-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the i.d.e.a. Fund is led by Innovation Guelph in partnership with five Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): WEtech Alliance, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario.
“We have received so much support from the London community, and the i.d.e.a Fund is yet another opportunity that brings us closer to reaching our goals,” says Biswas. “We are forever grateful for the support of TechAlliance, the London community, hospital partners and academic collaborators that have all contributed to this medical technology that can and will save lives.”
With the funding, Tenomix has been able to continue the research and development of their prototype, rapidly working towards a beta unit that can be tested on human tissues.
In addition to investment readiness preparations, the fund connected Tenomix to TechAlliance’s manager of startup and venture growth, Andrew Leest, to stay on top of industry touchpoints and use this project as a launchpad for continued venture growth.
“Tenomix was dedicated to building a concrete financial model that will be used to help develop its business and go-to-market strategy as the project becomes finalized and implemented throughout pathology labs,” says Leest. “You can tell that there is a passionate drive behind the founders’ vision, and it is invigorating to see the entrepreneurial spirit coursing through the Tenomix team.”
As Tenomix begins AI algorithm integration into its existing hardware, the co-founders are anticipating early usability testing to start mid-next year with local hospital partners.
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“I watched how medical technology innovation changed the course of people’s lives. It changed my brother’s life for the better, and the lack of it impacted my aunt’s cancer treatment negatively before she passed,” observes Biswas. “It helped me understand just how impactful and important this type of work is and made me realize that I wanted to dedicate my life to making a positive impact on others.”
Now in the process of hiring new employees and building connections with investors, pathology labs and hospitals, Tenomix is anticipating continued success. The company’s novel and impactful solution enables applications of its technology for different pathology use cases, and further exploration and expansion promises to continue to advance medical technology.