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OICR Makes Equity Investment in Medical Information Company

TORONTO, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) today announced it has made an equity investment in Privacy Analytics Inc., an Ontario company that is developing a software platform to help organizations such as health centers disclose detailed disease and treatment data without compromising individual privacy.

The software platform, called Privacy Analytics Risk Assessment Tool (PARAT), is currently being used by hospitals and patient registries in Canada. The funding from OICR will be used to extend the functionality of PARAT to include more powerful capabilities.

"With the increasing volumes of personal health data being collected today, there are rising demands to use that data for multiple purposes, including trend detection, public health monitoring of diseases such as cancer, and predictive modeling," said Frank Stonebanks, Vice-President, Commercialization and Chief Commercial Officer of OICR. "However, the breach of personal information can often result in costly legislative action, litigation and reputational damage, all of which can cripple an organization.  PARAT protects individual privacy while unlocking the potential of vast amounts of data on diseases and patient care."

"The current approaches for dealing with privacy in medical data result in excessive distortion of the information," said Dr. Khaled El Emam, from the University of Ottawa, who is serving as the lead investigator for OICR for the application of PARAT technology. "The PARAT software will address this shortcoming, permitting more sophisticated and accurate analyses of health data for multiple purposes while protecting patient identity."

PARAT is a Windows based application and is compatible with a number of databases (Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server). Using a simple four-step process, PARAT allows for easy and safe disclosure of data. The funding from OICR will also be used to support the marketing and sales of the improved PARAT software into new markets.

Funding from OICR is provided through its Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization Program, which provides seed funding for late stage academic projects that meet specific market-oriented criteria. The PARAT technology was chosen for funding in part because it advances OICR's commitment to the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

About OICR

OICR, based in Ontario, Canada, is a new, innovative cancer research & development institute dedicated to prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation. OICR has 300 scientific staff (located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario) and an $85 million annual operating budget. It has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing, from early stage research to Phase I clinical trials.

For more information, please visit the website at

SOURCE The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
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