The Canadian Government has awarded a $980,000 grant to Toronto-based medical device company Perimeter Medical Imaging to develop and test an innovative new breast cancer imaging tool.

The grant will support the next phase of product and clinical development and also streamline regulatory clearances for the company’s optical tissue imaging system (OTIS).

This will enable surgeons, radiologists and pathologists to review tissue microstructure during tumour removal surgery.

"Our government is proud to support an innovative company that is bringing new technology to the fight against cancer."

The intra-operative imaging tool is expected to decrease the requirement for follow-up surgeries, reducing hospital costs while offering better healthcare for patients.

Canadian MP for Don Valley West John Carmichael said: "Our government is proud to support an innovative company that is bringing new technology to the fight against cancer.

"Perimeter Medical Imaging is an example of an early-stage company that is poised for growth.

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"We look forward to seeing Perimeter’s success in markets around the world while they create high-quality jobs right here in southern Ontario."

Perimeter Medical Imaging president Paul Weber said: "With FedDev Ontario’s support, we will triple in size with high-value jobs here in Toronto over the next year, and will accelerate market launch of our first product, taking leading edge Canadian innovation to international markets."

The system will provide clinicians with a high-resolution image of the entire surface of the removed tissue sample, enabling better decisions.

More than 25% of patients require a second surgery in breast cancer lumpectomy surgeries, because of cancer cells left behind.

The project is expected to create 18 new jobs in the greater Toronto area, leverage an additional $4m in private sector investment, $300,000 in government investments, and more $5m in private sector investments by 2016.

Perimeter plans to launch OTIS into the American market by 2016 and secure regulatory approval in Europe and Canada in 2017.