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Vancouver’s Canexia merging with Imagia in cancer-tech consolidation

Merger comes attached with $20m equity investment
Geralyn Ochab will lead Imagia Canexia as CEO from Montreal | submitted

A couple Canadian companies concentrating on cancer are consolidating.

Vancouver-based Canexia Health Inc. is merging with Imagia Cybernetics Inc. in a deal expected to close by the end of the month.

The newly formed company, Imagia Canexia Health Inc., will be led by CEO Geralyn Ochab from Imagia’s present Montreal headquarters.

Meanwhile, Sue Paish, CEO of the Vancouver-based Digital Technology Supercluster, is set to serve as the newly merged company’s chair.

Rather than an outright acquisition, Ochab described the transaction as “a merger of equals.”

“It's two Canadian companies, one in B.C. and one in Quebec, addressing one of the most critical issues that is facing our healthcare system and those around the world, and that's access to cancer diagnosis, treatment and care,” she told BIV ahead of the merger’s announcement on Wednesday.

Canexia specializes in offering genomics-based cancer tests, while Imagia is known for tapping artificial intelligence to better understand health-care data.

“The pandemic has really shown the problems in our health-care system,” Ochab said.

“It's been even more evident in cancer care. The delays in diagnosis, the delays in surgeries. I think we're going to be facing some really challenging times with cancer care globally. We're really set up as two companies to solve some really significant issues and together we can handle it.”

The goal of the merger is to expand the new company’s footprint across North America, integrate AI into analytics and testing, and develop new products, according to Ochab.

“It really is about having the right people at the right time and the right place to start really impacting this problem of accessibility and health equity,” she said.

The deal also means more capital flowing within the combined companies.

Imagia Canexia is getting a $20-million equity investment as a result of the merger, with participation coming from BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund, Desjardins Capital and PacBridge Capital.

The combined company will have a headcount totalling 90 workers.

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