ENTREVESTOR: Moncton-based Picomole wins $65,000 to help develop breath-based cancer detector

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See original Chronicle Herald article here

By: Peter Moreira

Picomole of Moncton won the $65,000 first prize at the BioInnovation Challenge on Thursday, which will help the company to conduct clinical trials on its device that detects cancer through breath samples.

Held during the BioPort Atlantic conference, the BioInnovation Challenge is the region’s main pitching competition for life sciences companies. This year, the winner receives a $25,000 cash prize as well as in-kind services that raise the total value to $65,000.

The winner Picomole is developing a portable breath analyzer that patients breathe into to be tested for early signs of lung cancer — a disease that kills 154,000 people each year just in the U.S. The product can be used for a fast, inexpensive test when patients visit their doctor, to flag patients who need immediate attention.

“We are targeting the high-risk lung cancer population as a start,” said CEO Stephen Graham in his presentation. “We are going to target them business-to-business, through health care professionals and insurance providers.”

The medical community now tests for lung cancer through such expensive processes as CT scans, which are faulty because 95 per cent of their positive results are inaccurate, said Graham. Picomole is working on a system in which people at clinics or pharmacies can provide breath samples, which are then analyzed at a central location. Patients or their doctors could receive the results within two days.

Graham said that by detecting lung cancer early, people with the disease improve their chances of living more then five years from 18 per cent to 55 per cent.

“Probably the most exciting part of it is our ability to apply our device to other diseases,” said Graham, By changing the algorithms in the analyzing system, it could detect breast cancer, or other lung diseases.

Picomole is now testing its product for proof of concept at hospitals in Saint John and Moncton. It has raised $2.5 million in equity funding and is seeking $12 million more to take the device through regulatory approvals.

The other finalists in the BioInnovation Challenge were:

– ColourSmith Labs, Halifax — Chemist and entrepreneur Gabrielle Masone started ColourSmith to develop soft contact lenses that can help colour-blind people see the full spectrum of colour.

She is preparing to file a patent for her technology, which applies a “notch filter” to a contact lens, so that it can screen out the types of light that cause colour blindness. The solution is more discreet than competitors’ products, such as sunglasses that perform similar functions.

Masone is now looking to hire a business development executive and intends to begin to raise her first equity funding round in the next month.

– Talem Healthcare, Sydney — Founded two years ago by physiotherapists Paul Travis and Matthew Kay, Talem has developed software that can help auto insurers understand the time and costs of an individual recovering from a car accident.

These accidents cause $240 billion in economic damage each year in North America. Drawing on data from physiotherapy clinics, the software uses machine learning and data analysis to predict how someone who has been in an accident will recover.

Kay told the BioPort audience that the system can cut the cost of claims by 10 percent, which can help to improve the efficiency of the industry and treatment for patients. The company is hoping to raise $750,000.

BioNova Announces Picomole as the Winner of the Eighth Annual BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) at BioPort 2018

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Halifax, NS – November 8, 2018 – Today Picomole from Moncton, New Brunswick was named the winner of BioNova’s eighth annual BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition at BioPort 2018. Picomole is an innovative medical technology company with the goal of developing their patented and patent-pending technologies for breath analytics into the standard of care for non-invasive clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine.

Stephen Graham of Picomole said, “This experience has been invaluable. The mentorship and training we’ve received through this process has helped take Picomole to the next level, and we know the funding and the advisory services will help to elevate us even more.”

Atlantic Canada’s best health and life science innovators participate in the BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition each year. The competition’s goal is to help ease the transition from research laboratory to market. Picomole will receive a prize package that includes $25,000 in seed funding and an advisory services package worth more than $30,000. Picomole was up against Matthew Kay, CEO ofTalem Health Analytics and Gabrielle Masone, CEO of Coloursmith Labs.

“Our panel of judges had a difficult time selecting a winner because all seven finalists have what it takes to make their start up a success,” said Scott Moffitt, Executive Director of BioNova. “Congratulations to Picomole.”

The Judging Panel: 
Jennifer Hamilton, Senior Director, New Ventures (Canada), Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Gerry Lacroix, Technology Sector Leader – Nova Scotia, Grant Thornton LLP
John Holyoake, Managing Director, Investment Banking, Bloom Burton & Co.

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Contact:
Shana Cristoferi, Marketing Manager, BioNova
Mobile: (902) 830-9193
scristoferi@bionova.ca

About BioNova
BioNova leads, accelerates, and advocates for Nova Scotia’s growing health and life sciences sector. Since 1993, BioNova has been accelerating the growth of its member companies. By hosting networking and educational events, and providing connections to potential funders and business resources, BioNova helps companies succeed.  While these companies commercialize life-changing research to improve healthcare, provide healthier food, and develop sustainable solutions, BioNova advocates on behalf of the sector. BioNova champions the sector’s cluster of world-class research facilities, incubator programs, and companies who, together, bring investment and jobs to Nova Scotia.  www.bionova.ca

About BioPort 2018
The 17th annual BioPort conference will take place at the Halifax Convention Centre on November 7-8, 2018. BioPort provides a forum to educate, inform and inspire the health and life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region and with guests brought in from the U.S. and from around the world.  www.bioportatlantic.ca

Meet the 2018 BioInnovation Challenge Semi-Finalists

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The BioInnovation Challenge, held annually as part of BioPort, is one of Atlantic Canada’s longest-running business competitions. This year’s semi-finals competition will take place at 1:30pm on November 7 at the Halifax Convention Centre.

Here are the seven semi-finalists:

Talem Health Analytics (Matthew Kay) – Talem Health Analytics’ mission is to empower insurance professionals and clinicians with technology that emulates the rapidly changing insurance industry. High level insights on treatment type, duration, and cost allows for a cost-effective claim management process that improves patient care. Talem’s principle focus is on data analytics, collaboration, and promoting growth for insurance companies. Research, both clinically and technologically, is one of Talem’s core competencies, delivering evidence-based solutions.

Neuro Amel Technologies (Hayam Mahmoud-Ahmed) – This Halifax-based company is building a frameless, automated brace that uses electrical stimulation to improve mobility for stroke patients. Neuro Amel recently graduated from Dalhousie University’s LaunchPad program.

3F Waste Recovery (Ben Wiper) – 3F Waste Recovery is an innovative pre-commercial business that is  focused on turning waste problems in the fishery, farming, and forestry industries into profitable  solutions. The goal is to become the regional leader or environmental stewardship, full product utilization, and manufacturing innovation.

Picomole Inc. (Stephen Graham) – Picomole is an innovative medical technology company.  The goal is to develop our patented and patent-pending technologies for breath analytics into the standard of care for non-invasive clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine. The initial focus is the development of a breath test for lung cancer screening.

BioHuntress Therapeutics Inc. (Alli Murugesan) – BioHuntress Therapeutics plays a key role in establishing a research to market reputation and repeatable set of processes for life science researchers. BioHuntress’ first venture is to develop nature-inspired, targeted and well-tolerated drugs for blood cancers and bone diseases that deliver better treatment outcomes and patient experience.

Macro Movements Inc. (Shea Munro and Krysta MacIntosh) – A company that is building a software that gives feedback on your movement to prevent injury.

Coloursmith Labs (Gabrielle Masone) – Coloursmith Labs Inc. is a direct-to-consumer contact lens brand that was built for people with colour blindness who want to see the world in added colour. They aim to offer the first practical, functional, and effectively transparent contact lenses on the market that are designed to restore colour vision.

BioPort 2018 Conference to Address Impact of Technology on Health and the Emerging Medical Cannabis Market

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BioPort 2018 Conference to Address Impact of Technology on Health and the Emerging Medical Cannabis Market

NEWS RELEASE: November 1, 2018 – Halifax, NOVA SCOTIA – BioPort 2018, Atlantic Canada’s largest health and life sciences industry conference, is set to explore trends transforming the industry. This year’s conference will focus on The Future of Health, with sessions covering the impact of new technology on health and the value of the emerging medical cannabis market. The Conference, hosted by BioNova, attracts health and life sciences innovators, industry leaders, and investors from across North America and will take place November 7-8, 2018 at the Halifax Convention Centre, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“BioPort provides a venue to highlight the accelerating momentum of the global health and life sciences sector, providing expert perspectives on opportunities and showcasing some of Atlantic Canada’s most ground-breaking, bio-focused entrepreneurs,” says Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “From foundational research to new disruptive innovations coming to market, BioPort creates the right conditions to build on Atlantic Canada’s unique strengths in biotechnology as we continue to discover how new intelligence impacts health and life sciences in Atlantic Canada.”

This year’s conference will feature two keynote speakers. Dr. Corinna Lathan, ranked as one of the ‘Top 100 World Innovators’ by MIT Technology Review, will be delivering the evening keynote on the impact of technology on health at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Jeremie Saunders, host of highly-acclaimed Sickboy podcast will deliver the afternoon keynote on the need for continued health innovation at 12:30 pm on Thursday, November 8, 2018.

“As Atlantic Canada’s health and life sciences sector continues to expand, we seek to evolve the topics we choose to feature at BioPort,” said Scott Moffitt, Executive Director of BioNova. “Our sessions explore how embracing disruptive technologies, like artificial intelligence, and uncovering emerging markets, like the value of natural products, present opportunities to grow our sector.”

BioPort 2018 also showcases Atlantic Canada’s best health and life science innovators in its BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition. New to this year’s program is BIC Junior, a pitch competition for students that aims to cultivate the next generation of health and life sciences innovators.

Atlantic Canada’s commercial health and life sciences sector is tapping into the $9 trillion global marketplace. Over 600 products are shipped to more than 80 countries. Nova Scotia presently has 185 products in development with $78 million committed to research and development.  The sector has also generated over $1 billion in financial exits over the past six years.

Details of the conference program and schedule can be found at www.bioportatlantic.ca.
All media are asked to register by contacting scristoferi@bionova.ca.

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Contact:
Shana Cristoferi, Marketing Manager, BioNova
Mobile: (902) 830-9193
scristoferi@bionova.ca

About BioNova
BioNova leads, accelerates, and advocates for Nova Scotia’s growing health and life sciences sector. Since 1993, BioNova has been accelerating the growth of its member companies. By hosting networking and educational events, and providing connections to potential funders and business resources, BioNova helps companies succeed.  While these companies commercialize life-changing research to improve healthcare, provide healthier food, and develop sustainable solutions, BioNova advocates on behalf of the sector. BioNova champions the sector’s cluster of world-class research facilities, incubator programs, and companies who, together, bring investment and jobs to Nova Scotia.  www.bionova.ca

About BioPort 2018
The 17th annual BioPort conference will take place at the Halifax Convention Centre on November 7-8, 2018. BioPort provides a forum to educate, inform and inspire the health and life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region and with guests brought in from the U.S. and from around the world.  www.bioportatlantic.ca

THE GUARDIAN: Sickboy: the podcast not afraid to tell ‘mind-blowing’ stories about illness

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Read the original article here.

Brain cancer, opioid addiction and multiple sclerosis aren’t usually the stuff of laughs. That is, unless they are tackled by the three Canadians behind Sickboy, a boundary-busting podcast that aims to chip away at the stigma associated with chronic and terminal illness.

“There’s not a single person on the planet who’s not affected by illness in some way,” said Jeremie Saunders, one of the podcast’s producers and co-hosts. “If we’re all experiencing it, if we’re all affected by it, why can’t we just talk about it and why can’t we just own up to the experiences that we’re going through?”

The 30-year-old launched Sickboy in 2015 along with two friends, Taylor MacGillivary and Brian Stever. The trio – all yoga instructors in the east coast Canadian city of Halifax – had been batting ideas for a creative project when they landed on an idea inspired by Saunders’ lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis.

“The idea was just to go into a room and have my two best friends ask me all the questions that they would ever want to ask a sick person,” said Saunders. “I wouldn’t hold back and I would answer any questions that they had.”

That’s exactly what they did, recording a conversation that ranged from Saunders’ rage at learning at the age of 10 that cystic fibrosis was fatal, to giggling over the embarrassment that ensued when he fell in love for the first time at age 14 – with the doctor tasked with giving him a barium enema.

When the three of them went back and listened to the conversation, they were floored at what had emerged; a raw, insightful chat which contrasted sharply with popular culture’s often one-dimensional portrayal of illness.

“And it just kind of rolled from there,” said Saunders. “We started this as a bit of a joke. And it very quickly turned into something that was much more important than that.”

As downloads grew to more than 1.5m a year, feedback came pouring in from around the world. Some listeners lauded them for shedding light on an often overlooked experience; others credited the podcast with transforming how they saw their own illness.

More than 750 people from countries around the world have contacted them, eager to have their own experience featured on the show.

For Saunders – whose parents were told that he wasn’t likely to live much past his 20th birthday – speaking openly about his illness didn’t always come easily.

As a child he often tried to hide his struggle with cystic fibrosis, ashamed of his uncontrollable coughing fits or the many pills he had to take. “I didn’t want people to define me by my illness,” he said.

A love of comedy set him on the path of trying to find whatever amusement he could in his own experience. “I started to realise that I do want my illness to define me, but I want it to define me on my own terms,” he said.

He began talking about about his illness, detailing the 40 or so pills he takes each day or the twice-a-day treatments he needs to counteract the steady deterioration that the genetic disease is inflicting on his lungs.

Humour proved to be a potent tool, both in bridging the wide gap between him and those who were healthy but also in chipping away at the power his illness had over him.

“It’s like I was able to sort of take back the power, take back all of the feelings I had felt when I was younger – feelings of shame and all that stuff surrounding my illness – I was able to harness all that and just kind of throw it in the trash,” he said.

The experience informs the podcast’s unconventional approach to illness – one that has left a few listeners bristling at the podcast’s lighthearted take on death and disease. “It’s very rare,” said Saunders. “We often try to challenge that person in a really friendly way, but in a way of like ‘let’s unpack that, why do you feel that way and if we have offended you, what can we do next time to be better?’”

For the two other co-hosts, both of whom are healthy, it can at times be trickier to ensure that guests’ health challenges aren’t trivalised.

“When we first started doing the show, I thought to myself what right do I have to be having these conversations? I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a doctor, I’m not involved in the health care system” said MacGillivary, 27. “But you don’t need to be a psychologist to listen to people and be curious, to approach things with an open manner.”

Illness also has its own way of reinforcing the gravity of the situation; since the podcast launched some three years ago, four of the guests featured on the show have died.

Shortly after Matthew Amyotte, their second-ever guest on the show, died of brain cancer, Saunders listened again to the episode. As he heard Amyotte described his illness with grace and humour, Saunders was overcome with gratitude for the memory he now had of his friend’s indomitable spirit.

“The podcast has just been this beautiful reminder that you never, ever have any idea what someone’s been through,” said Saunders. “We don’t really speak to celebrities or people of note, we’re hearing from regular people – regular, everyday people that you would see walking down the street. And the stories that they have to tell us are mind-blowing and jaw-dropping and fascinating.”

Jeremie Saunders Founder of Sickboy Podcast keynotes BioPort 2018

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Jeremie Saunders resized Jeremie Saunders, founder of the popular Sickboy Podcast series will be presenting the Keynote address to the attendees of BioPort 2018 during the afternoon on November 8th.  Jeremie is an award-winning professional actor, yoga instructor, public speaker and podcaster from the east coast who lives with the genetic lung disease cystic fibrosis. His podcast series Sickboy has been listed as one of iTunes Best Of 2015 and has been made into a CBC documentary.

Jeremie launched the Sickboy podcast in 2015 alongside his friends, Brian Stever and Taylor MacGillivary to explore conversations with a wide range of guests about their experiences of living with terminal or chronic illness. After experiencing the stigma associated with chronic or terminal illnesses firsthand, Jeremie took it upon himself to create a platform dedicated to diminishing that stigma and building a supportive community for everyone.

Since finding success with his podcast series, Jeremie has become a sought-after speaker with his keynote address at TEDxToronto being described as “simply the most thought-provoking, powerful talk I’ve ever witnessed.”

Jeremie is one of 70,000 people worldwide who are living with cystic fibrosis, the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadians today.

To hear Jeremie Saunders speak, register for BioPort 2018 on November 8th.

Register here. 

 

ENTREVESTOR: The BIC Semi-Finalists

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See original story here

Eight companies have been chosen to compete in this year’s BioInnovation Challenge, a regional health and life sciences business competition hosted by BioNova.

The competition will go down on Nov. 7 at BioPort 2018, BioNova’s annual conference for the life-science industry at the Halifax Convention Centre.

The BIC is one of the longest running business competitions in the Atlantic region. Since 2011, over 50 companies have gone through the program.

Past winners of the BIC include New Brunswick-based Pfera Inc. as well as Spring Loaded TechnologyABK BioMedical and Covina Biomedical from Nova Scotia.

“A strong and vibrant economy in our region requires continuous innovation and BIC has become a key program to support that,” said Scott Moffitt the Managing Director of BioNova in a statement.

“Many of the companies coming out of the program have gone on to raise millions to grow and scale.”

This year’s semi-finalists will receive training and sessions with expert pitching coach Linda Plano, who has over 10 years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs with startups in life sciences.

The winner of the competition will also receive $25,000 in funding to develop their business idea as well as a package of support services and mentoring valued at more than $30,000.

The BioPort 2018 conference is set to be the biggest yet. A Keynote address will be given by Corrina Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix in Maryland. BioPort 2018 will also be the inaugural year for a new program for Nova Scotia’s youth.

The eight BIC semi-finalists are:

Coloursmith Labs – Direct-to-consumer contact lenses that work as the world’s first practical solution to colour blindness. Read Entrevestor’s coverage of Coloursmith here.

Unified Health – New models designed to ease the strain on the emergency system while reducing healthcare costs and bringing better patient outcomes. The company plans to set up wellness clinics that merge traditional and alternative care practices.

Talem Health Analytics – A Software-as-a-Service company for healthcare professionals to track, analyze and predict treatment regimens for people who have been in motor vehicle accidents. It draws on data from physiotherapy clinics and can help insurers assess how the patient will rehab. Talem was one of the five winners that took home $25,000 at the last Volta Cohort.

Picomole – A painless, accurate, and versatile diagnostic breath test to detect early stage lung cancer. This Moncton-based company is testing its device with the Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick. Read Entrevestor’s story on Picomole here.

BioHuntress – A Saint John company develping a natural treatment for blood cancer that brings a better patient experience.

Neuro Amel Technologies – This Halifax-based company is building a frameless, automated brace that uses electrical stimulation to improve mobility for stroke patients. Neuro Amel recently graduated from Dalhousie University’s LaunchPad program. Read Entrevestor’s story on the early development of the project here

Macro Movements – A company that is building a software that gives feedback on your movement to prevent injury.

3F Waste Recovery – Turns waste in the fishery, farming and forestry industries into profitable solutions. The company is in the business of “turning garbage into gold,” for the cosmetics industry.

BioNova Names 2018 BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) Semi-Finalists

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NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BioNova Names 2018 BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) Semi-Finalists

August 29, 2018 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Eight (8) semi-finalists have been chosen to compete in the BioInnovation Challenge (BIC), BioNova’s regional health and life sciences business competition, which will be held in Halifax on November 7th during BioPort 2018 at the Halifax Convention Centre.

BIC is one of the longest running business competitions in the region with over 50 companies having gone through the program since 2011. The competition has supported the growth and innovation of past winners such as New Brunswick-based Pfera Inc., along with Spring Loaded Technology, ABK BioMedical and Covina Biomedical from Nova Scotia.

“A strong and vibrant economy in our region requires continuous innovation and BIC has become a key program to support that,” said Scott Moffitt, Managing Director of BioNova. “Many of the companies coming out of the program have gone on to raise millions to grow and scale.”

This year’s semi-finalists will receive significant training to be positioned for business growth, including sessions with expert pitch training coach Linda Plano, who has over ten years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs with start-ups in life sciences. This year’s winner will receive $25,000 in funding to develop their business idea as well as a package of support services and mentoring valued at more than $30,000.

Read more about the eight (8) semi-finalists below:

Coloursmith Labs – Direct-to-consumer contact lenses that work as the world’s first practical solution to colour blindness.

Unified Health – New models designed to ease the strain on the emergency system while reducing healthcare costs and bringing better patient outcomes.

Talem Health Analytics – Software for healthcare professionals to track, analyze and predict treatment regimens for people in motor vehicle accidents.

Picomole – A painless, accurate, and versatile diagnostic breath test to detect early stage lung cancer.

BioHuntress – A natural treatment for blood cancer that brings a better patient experience.

Neuro Amel Technologies – A frameless, automated brace that uses electrical stimulation to improve mobility for stroke patients.

Macro Movements – Software that gives feedback on movement to prevent injury.

3F Waste Recovery – Turns waste problems in the fishery, farming and forestry industries into profitable solutions.

BIC 2018 is presented by BioNova in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, BioNB, Emergence, DalhousieUniversity Industry Liaison and Innovation, Springboard Atlantic, Jennifer Cameron PR, PWC, Cox & Palmer, Bereskin & Parr, Archway Insurance, and Grant Thornton.

BIC 2018 will take place over two days in November. The eight (8) semi-finalists will present to a panel of judges and the conference audience at BioPort, BioNova’s annual conference, on November 7th. The top three presenters will then pitch the following morning.  The winner will be announced at the close of BioPort 2018 on the afternoon of November 8th.

About BioNova:
BioNova leads, accelerates, and advocates for Nova Scotia’s growing health and life sciences sector. Since 1993, BioNova has been accelerating the growth of its member companies. By hosting networking and educational events, and providing connections to potential funders and business resources, BioNova helps companies succeed.  While these companies commercialize life-changing research to improve healthcare, provide healthier food, and develop sustainable solutions, BioNova advocates on behalf of the sector. BioNova champions the sector’s cluster of world-class research facilities, incubator programs, and companies who, together, bring investment and jobs to Nova Scotia.

About BioPort 2018:
BioPort 2018 will take place at the Halifax Convention Centre on November 7 and 8. BioPort provides a forum to educate, inform and inspire the health and life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region and with guests brought in from the U.S. and from around the world.
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For further information, media may contact:

Shana Cristoferi
Marketing Manager, BioNova
902-421-5705
scristoferi@bionova.ca

Click here to download the BIC, BioPort, and BioNova Logos.

Health Technology Pioneer Dr. Corinna Lathan Keynotes BioPort 2018

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Untitled design (82)Dr. Corinna Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix, Inc., will provide an evening keynote address to health and life sciences innovators, industry leaders, and investors from across North America during BioPort 2018, on November 7-8, at the Halifax Convention Centre. Dr. Lathan’s keynote address will explore the transformative impact of technology on life sciences companies and health care.

Dr. Lathan is a neuroscientist, engineer, and health technology entrepreneur. Her company has successfully developed an FDA-cleared mobile platform for healthcare providers to assess cognitive function. She has also developed robotics for kids with disabilities, virtual reality technology for the Space Station (NASA), and wearable sensors for training surgeons and soldiers. These human-technology innovations have been featured in Forbes and Time magazines and led to Dr. Lathan being named as MIT Technology Review Magazine’s ‘Top 100 World Innovators’.

Since 1999, Dr. Lathan has served as the founder, CEO, and Board Chair of AnthroTronix Inc., a biomedical engineering research and development company creating diverse human-centered products in digital health, wearable technology, robotics, and augmented reality.  The company recently developed FDA-cleared, mobile digital health software platform DANA™. This work lead Dr. Lathan to be named ‘2017 Woman to Watch’ by Disruptive Women in Health Care.

Dr. Lathan is an advocate for STEM educational outreach programs and started her own in 1992 called Keys to Empowering Youth. She has also coached for the FIRST and VEX robotics program and advised the Smithsonian Institute’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Dr. Lathan sits on the boards of many innovative organizations such as the KID Museum Makerspace and Engineering World Health.

Dr. Lathan will be speaking at BioPort 2018, Nova Scotia’s premiere Health and Life Sciences event hosted by BioNova, on November 7th, at 6pm ADT at the Halifax Convention Centre.

 

ACOA: Covina Biomedical Inc. Solidifying Place in the Bone Cement Industry

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Government of Canada supports prototype development, regulatory approvals and research commercialization

August 7, 2018 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Great innovation happening here in Atlantic Canada is growing our economy, creating well-paying jobs, and improving the lives of Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting Covina Biomedical Inc. as it advances a proprietary bone cement used in the repair of knee implants, the single biggest problem in orthopedics today.

Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Halifax, announced a $500,000 repayable investment in Covina Biomedical on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The assistance will help Covina Biomedical prove the effectiveness of its injectable bone cement for orthopedic patient care. Customer feedback and validation will prepare the company for clinical trials and develop a roadmap to obtain regulatory approval in Canada and the United States. Together, these initiatives will position Covina to scale-up, creating new economic benefits for Atlantic Canada.

Intellectual property for Covina’s injectable bone cement that prevents invasive surgery is the result of an earlier ACOA project with Dalhousie University. The product is being developed and commercialized in Nova Scotia, creating up to six new full-time, highly skilled positions and maintaining two others.

This contribution is being made through ACOA’s Business Development Program, which works with small and medium-sized companies to improve competitiveness in export markets.

The investment builds on the commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The Strategy supports targeted investments in initiatives that build on the region’s competitive advantages, such as its strong export potential and skilled labour to expand business activities between the region and international markets.

 

Quotes

“Covina represents the benefits of collaboration between academia and industry. Commercializing research out of our universities and into the real world where it will help Canadians is one of the markers that will distinguish Canada as a world-leading economy now and for the long-term. This will help to create growing, innovative businesses with global reach, good jobs, and a thriving middle class.”

–       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA 

“It’s very exciting to see the outcome of local research and development result in a product that can be commercialized and exported globally. Covina Biomedical has tremendous potential to assist patients suffering from osteoarthritis or failed knee implants, and to contribute to the local, flourishing life sciences community.”

–       Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Halifax 

“Our company was founded on the passion to improve patient outcomes amidst a growing healthcare crisis of rising costs and wait times, and to do it here, in Atlantic Canada. The continued support of ACOA is helping to make this exciting opportunity possible, by supporting first, the transition of this high-quality research from Dalhousie University, and now, the continued development of our novel technology and growth of our company in the region.”

–       Dr. Caitlin Pierlot, CEO, Covina Biomedical Inc.

“The support of ACOA through the AIF program which funded the initial research at Dalhousie was instrumental. As the largest research intensive University in Atlantic Canada, Dal is a knowledge-generating institution and the ideal environment to pursue discoveries. We are proud to have partnered the technology with Covina and look forward to assisting them as they grow as a company. This is a great example of a bold research discovery that will have far reaching patient impact.”

–     Stephen Hartlen, Executive Director of Industry Liaison and Innovation and Assistant Vice-President of Industry Relations, Dalhousie University

Quick facts

  • The orthopaedic market is forecasted to exceed $45 billion in the United States by 2021.
  • Knee replacements are the single biggest problem in orthopaedics today with the global market worth over $8.4 billion (USD).
  • Age and BMI are key risk factors in the onset and progression of musculoskeletal conditions of the hip and knee, resulting in significant risk of requiring one or more joint implants in a lifetime.

    – In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, and of these, 650 million were obese

    – By 2050, nearly 20 per cent of the global population will be over the age of 65

  • The number of knee joint implants is expected to rise to 185,000 procedures per year in the US by 2025.
  • Average total cost of care of a single knee joint implant procedure in the US was estimated at $100,000 in 2014.

Contacts

Alex Smith
Director of Communications & Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: (902-426-9417 | 902-830-3939 (cell)
Email: alex.smith@canada.ca

Caitlin Pierlot
Chief Executive Officer
Covina Biomedical Inc.
Phone: (902) 442-4014 | 902-495-9008 (cell)
Email: cpierlot@covinabiomedical.com

Michèle Charlton
Communications Advisor, Research
Dalhousie University
Phone: 902-494-4148
Email: michele.charlton@dal.ca