Waséyabek Development Company invests in healthcare startup

Grand Rapids-based BAMF Health developing revolutionary cancer treatment technology

Pictured from left to right: Chris Rogers, Waséyabek Board Vice-Chair and Interim Chair; Bryant Phillips, Waséyabek Board Member; Deidra Mitchell, President and CEO of Waséyabek; Dr. Anthony Chang, CEO of BAMF Health; and Chad Bassett, COO of BAMF Health.

Waséyabek Development Company (WDC), the Tribally-owned economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP), announced a $3 million investment into healthcare startup BAMF Health. The passive investment marks the first foray of the company into the healthcare industry and further diversification of its portfolio. Grand Rapids company BAMF Health is developing cutting-edge cancer treatments with a technology that is showing promise in treating non-cancer-related ailments as well.

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

The technology, which is already being practiced in Germany, uses an innovative radiopharmaceutical approach that more directly targets cells and is less invasive than current methods. Patients from over 44 countries have sought treatment, including many from West Michigan. In their work to create a scalable platform for the treatment, BAMF launched a $30 million Series B raise, which WDC is participating in along with other investors.

“Having diverse communities invest in this company is well aligned with our mission and vision,” said Dr. Anthony Chang, CEO of BAMF Health. “These treatments and early detection can significantly impact positive outcomes for patients. We’re working towards smarter solutions, like same-day diagnosis and treatment, while deploying advanced AI and other technology to ensure it is affordable and accessible for everyone that needs it.”

BAMF’s process uses 1/40th the amount of radiation in traditional detection routines, making it more affordable and much less strenuous on the body. BAMF has been working on technology and the infrastructure to support it that will drive the cost down, enabling more patients access and making earlier treatment and detection the goal.

According to the CDC, Native American communities suffer much higher rates of several cancers, including lung, colorectal, liver, stomach, and kidney cancers. They are also more likely to be disproportionately impacted by a lack of preventative healthcare access and affordability.

“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, NHBP Tribal Council Chair. “Making this type of treatment and technology available to all is something that aligns closely with our values.”

“We welcome opportunities to be involved in groundbreaking technologies, especially those that are being researched and developed right here in Michigan,” said Chris Rogers, Waséyabek Board Vice-Chair and Interim Chair. “This is our first investment in the health care sector and another opportunity for us to broaden our investment strategy.”