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Left to right: BAMF Health COO Chad Bassett, BAMF Health CEO Anthony Chang, and Waséyabek Development Co. President and CEO Deidra Mitchell. Left to right: BAMF Health COO Chad Bassett, BAMF Health CEO Anthony Chang, and Waséyabek Development Co. President and CEO Deidra Mitchell. COURTESY PHOTO

Tribally owned firm invests $3M in company building advanced cancer treatment clinic in GR

BY Monday, November 15, 2021 04:50pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Waséyabek Development Co. LLC, the non-gaming economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, has invested $3 million in a company developing a new clinic for advanced cancer treatment in Grand Rapids.

The investment in BAMF Health Inc. represents Waséyabek’s first deal in the health care industry as the tribally owned firm further diversifies.

“Our goal is to invest in companies that not only align with our values but also show a strong potential for growth and success,” Waséyabek President and CEO Deidra Mitchell said in a statement. “This technology shows so much promise, and BAMF’s vision to provide accessible and affordable treatment solutions is one that we stand firmly behind.”

BAMF Health — short for Bold Advanced Medical Future — plans to open a clinic in mid-2022 in the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building on Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park research campus to provide an advanced cancer treatment using radiopharmaceuticals for molecular imaging.

The technology enables the earlier detection of cancer, neurological and cardiovascular diseases, and other illnesses, as well as helping to better target a treatment.

In August, BAMF Health began construction on a molecular imaging center, theranostics clinics, and a North American headquarters in MSU’s downtown Grand Rapids Innovation Park at Michigan Street and North Monroe Avenue. Founder and CEO Anthony Chang, a molecular imaging scientist, envisions BAMF Health treating thousands of cancer patients annually at the Grand Rapids clinic.

Waséyabek’s announcement of its investment in BAMF Health noted that U.S. Centers and Disease Controls and Prevention data that show Native American communities have higher incidence rates of several cancers, including lung, colorectal, liver, stomach and kidney.

“This investment represents something that is sorely needed in the healthcare industry, Tribal participation. When our communities are lacking accessible and affordable healthcare, it is our responsibility to ensure we’re making decisions to increase access and quality of care,” said Jamie Stuck, Tribal Council chairperson for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, said in a statement. “Making this type of treatment and technology available to all is something that aligns closely with our values.”

BAMF Health has been seeking to raise $30 million from investors to support facility development.

The company in October closed on the first $5 million raised from a single investor, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Oct. 14 filing indicated that BAMF Health continues work to raise the remaining $25 million in an equity offering.

Waséyabek’s $3 million investment was not part of the $5 million that BAMF Health closed on last month.

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