Alberta Cancer Foundation

Alberta Cancer Foundation announces initial investment of its novel philanthropic Breakthrough Fund to support early-stage cancer research

Breakthrough Fund

Entos Pharmaceuticals and 48Hour Discovery named as first recipients of Breakthrough Fund

Edmonton, AB – Jan 23, 2024 – The Alberta Cancer Foundation is thrilled to announce that Entos Pharmaceuticals (Entos) and 48Hour Discovery are the first recipients of its new Breakthrough Fund, an innovative, philanthropic vehicle that will support important research opportunities with the potential to accelerate cancer care and treatment through to commercialization. This Fund evolves the traditional model of philanthropy, positioning donors as investors in the health and wealth of the community.

“The Alberta Cancer Foundation recognized the need to actively move ideas from research through to market in order to truly transform patient outcomes, survival rates and quality of life,” said Wendy Beauchesne, CEO, Alberta Cancer Foundation. “These ideas often lose momentum between the applied research stage and early-stage investment causing a lag in getting ground-breaking treatment to patients.”

Alberta is home to researchers and clinicians with innovative ideas that have the potential to change the way we deliver cancer care around the world, and the Breakthrough Fund focuses on supporting novel therapeutics, medical devices and platforms to transform the way cancer is being treated, offering a new kind of investment that will bridge the gap from research to commercialization. The model invites investors to make a five-year commitment to the Fund to support Proof of Principle Grants each year, helping to advance research to the point where venture capitalists and partners can bring it to market. Should those big ideas become successfully commercialized, the returns would be re-invested into the Fund.

Earlier this month, the Alberta Cancer Foundation was pleased to announce Entos Pharmaceuticals and 48Hour Discovery were each awarded $100,000 to advance their research in cancer treatment options. 48Hour Discovery is developing radiopeptide-based theranostics, a bespoke, non-invasive systemic approach treating a wide variety of cancers with enhanced accuracy and reduced risk. Entos is pursuing a personalized immunotherapy approach to treat cancer patients with advanced disease with DNA vaccines specific for mutations within their own tumors. Recent cancer immunotherapy treatment advancements demonstrate the effectiveness of personalized DNA vaccines and Entos plans to use Breakthrough funding to propel its research to the next stage.

“This funding will help move our research through to clinical trials in a much faster and more efficient way, with the intent to bring this product to patients years before it would otherwise be an option,” said Dr. John Lewis, CEO of Entos. “This research has the potential to greatly advance cancer care and treatment in Alberta and beyond, and we are very grateful to receive support from the Alberta Cancer Foundation and Breakthrough Fund investors.”

Investors of the Breakthrough Fund are entrepreneurial in nature, comfortable with risk and are interested in not only giving back to their community but looking to be actively engaged in the process. A stark contrast from traditional philanthropic models.

As Chair of the Breakthrough Fund and Co-Founder and Co-CEO of AltaML, Cory Janssen spearheaded the idea to gather investors across the province to participate in and support this Fund. These efforts have garnered significant investments in Alberta.

“The Breakthrough Fund is a revolutionary way of thinking about philanthropy and creates important opportunities for researchers and the future of cancer care and treatment in Alberta and beyond,” said Janssen. “The engagement from the investors we have been able to attract at the middle-stages of research is vital to bring new and innovative cancer care solutions to market.”

The Breakthrough Fund is helping to create opportunities to change and enhance cancer care and treatment options.

For more information about the Alberta Cancer Foundation, visit
For more information about 48Hour Discovery, visit
For more information about Entos Pharmaceuticals, visit


Albertans helping Albertans is at the core of everything the Alberta Cancer Foundation does. Our very purpose comes from our desire to create more moments for all Albertans facing cancer, no matter where they live or the type of cancer they are facing. From the Canmore mountains to the canola fields in Lloydminster – we support leading edge treatment, care and research that is making a difference for cancer patients across the province.

As the fundraising partner for the 17 Alberta Health Services cancer centres, including the new Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Calgary, we make life better for Albertans facing cancer by supporting world-class research and patient care, right here in our own backyard.


A new reality in genetic medicine lies ahead, one that will be ushered in with the advent of safe, effective, and redosable nucleic acid delivery technologies. At Entos, we develop next generation genetic medicines using our proprietary Fusogenix proteolipid vehicle (PLV) drug delivery system. Fusogenix PLVs are formulated with FAST proteins to enable the delivery of nucleic acid into target cells through direct fusion. For more information, visit, or follow Entos on Twitter or LinkedIn.


48Hour Discovery, headquartered in Edmonton, is a pioneering biotechnology company that specializes in rapid drug discovery through its revolutionary peptide platform. By harnessing state-of-the-art technologies, the company quickly identifies and optimizes drug candidates providing an innovative approach to tackling unmet medical needs. Founded in 2017, 48Hour Discovery has validated its technology through strategic partnerships with over 25 companies, including global pharmaceutical leaders. With a dedicated focus on developing radiopharmaceutical assets, the company is at the forefront of advancing precision medicines for the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers. Discover more about our groundbreaking initiatives at

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Rebecca Hurl
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