Halifax, N.S. – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – June 30, 2016 –
The Government of Canada today announced a $250,000 repayable contribution to Health QR through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program (BDP). With this investment, Health QR will further develop its mobile application which allows users to view their prescriptions online, share information with family members and healthcare professionals, and set refill reminders.
The investment will allow the company to undertake a pilot project with the Canadian Technology Accelerator for Health Information Technology (CTA Health IT) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Through the pilot project Health QR will make improvements on its existing technology, based on customer and pharmacy feedback. This will increase the company’s productivity and competitiveness while preparing for expansion into the United States market.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting businesses like Health QR who are strategic, knowledge-based, and operate in the growing sector of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Investments such as this one help early stage companies get their products to market and generate incremental export revenues at an accelerated rate.
“Supporting Information and Communications Technology projects such as this one will help to diversify our region’s economy, open up new markets, and create high-quality jobs for Atlantic Canadians. Exploring new applications and innovative ideas positions us as leaders.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
“Health QR’s innova tive product can have very broad applications for domestic and international markets helping to position Canada as a leader. The research and ingenuity of projects like this provide the opportunity to showcase the Atlantic regions’ unique resources in healthcare and our growing IT industry. The Government of Canada is pleased to support Health QR as they grow and break into new markets.”
– Darrell Samson, Member of Parliament for Sackville- Preston-Chezzetcook
“Health QR is proud to be working with ACOA as we prepare to take our product across Canada and beyond our borders. Canada is a world leader in advanced pharmacy practice and Health QR provides solutions to pharmacy to support the delivery of innovative new services. As other countries explore similar pharmacy-based services, Health QR will be there to export solutions to serve prescription customers around the world safely and securely.”
– Patricia Ryan, Founder and CEO of Health QR
• Health QR website
• Health QR Facebook page
• Health QR Twitter page
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
(902) 830-3839 (cell)
Founder and CEO
Email: email@example.com ]]>
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Osteoporosis and broken bones could soon prove much less of a problem thanks to a breakthrough surgical glue invented by the team behind Covina BioMedical, a Halifax startup currently searching for $2 million in seed capital.
The newly incorporated company (formerly known as Biofix) has patented a novel type of glass ionomer cement (GIC), the super strong glues that are great for dental work but pose problems — including aluminum-driven toxicity — when used outside the mouth. Covina has figured out how to remove the aluminum from its GIC yet retain the tool’s polymerized strength. In addition, its GIC handles better – allowing surgeons to inject it non-invasively into bone including vertebrae, opening the door for much faster turnarounds in the operating room.
Brett Dickey, currently wrapping up a PhD at Dalhousie University’s school of biomedical engineering, told the Chronicle Herald he and fellow cofounder Caitlin Pierlot, a postdoctoral fellow at the school, are at the due diligence stage with several Toronto and Nova Scotia-based angel investment groups to raise $2 million “as soon as possible.”
Dickey said Covina will use the capital to achieve ISO13485-certification, an internationally-recognized approval of a medical device company’s quality management procedures, for its product’s proposed manufacturing process. The hurdle requires significant pre-clinical testing, which Covina is conducting with Dalhousie and aims to conclude in 2017, he said. This should clear the way for a 2018 launch in Europe, a market with more clearly defined and user friendly regulatory requirements than the U.S., says Dickey.
“Europe allows medical device companies to achieve regulatory approval and licence to sell their technologies in a more efficient manner. Also, establishing a European market will bring in revenue while we prepare to launch in the U.S.
“It’s a long process, but we believe in our product and its potential.”
Demographics do appear to be in Covina’s favour. Dickey says every year, more than 700,000 orthopedic fractures occur in the U.S. alone. Meanwhile, that country is expected to see an increase in people suffering from osteoporosis — a deterioration of spinal bone — to 61 million by 2020, he says.
“Our minimally invasive procedure could treat people’s pain in a way that would be inexpensive for hospitals and convenient for patients. Patients will be able to go into a hospital or clinic, lie on a bed and be given a local anaesthetic. Our cement would then be injected, using a hollow needle similar to a biopsy needle, directly into the vertebrae of the spine. The cement sets in place, the fracture is stabilized, and the patient will be able to walk out. We will make this an outpatient procedure.”
Dickey says Covina enjoyed a big boost after coming first at the 2015 BioNova BioInnovation Challenge at industry event BioPort Atlantic, held in Halifax in October. The win not only landed the company a $15,000 cash prize but also plugged it into $30,000 of “incredibly useful” in-kind strategic and tactical marketing, financial modeling and planning advice.
“Winning the challenge was an excellent catalyst, a great way to kick things off and get us to a lot of places quickly, in terms of gearing us up.”
Alberta-born Dickey, who grew up in Nova Scotia, owns Covina with Peggy’s Cove native Pierlot, Halifax-based interventional radiologist Dr. Bob Abraham and Dalhousie biomaterials professor Daniel Boyd, who moved to Canada several years ago from Ireland and whose research enabled the original innovation behind Covina’s cement.
The foursome coalesced in 2011 around a $2.5-million Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) grant to fund the development of non-invasive bone repair. Covina is benefitting also from a $50,000 Innovacorp grant.
Dickey says one of the main drivers behind Covina’s creation was the team’s collective desire to grow a world-beating global brand built and permanently run out of Nova Scotia.
“You can do it here,” he says. “Take a look around and you see a lot of good companies coming up in bigger and bigger waves.”]]>
June 13, 2016
Precision BioLogic is pleased to announce the donation of coagulation diagnostic products through the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Humanitarian Aid Program. This important donation means that Precision BioLogic is the first diagnostics company to commit to supporting the WFH’s efforts to ensure that people with inherited bleeding disorders in the developing world have access to effective diagnosis and treatment.
The donation will provide much-needed calibrators, controls and reagents to the University Teaching Hospital in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Globally 1 in 1,000 people has a bleeding disorder. Most are not diagnosed and do not receive treatment. The donation is the first of its kind and an important step in the effort to improve and sustain care for people with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.
Precision BioLogic has been a proud supporter of WFH since 2013 and is very pleased to be able to increase its support to include humanitarian aid.
“Helping others is important to us at Precision BioLogic,” says Paul Empey, executive vice president of Precision BioLogic. “We’re excited to make this donation and directly support WFH’s efforts to close the gap in care between those with bleeding disorders who receive proper diagnosis and treatment and those who do not.”
“While the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program is helping achieve our vision of Treatment for All, there still remains the immense challenge of diagnosing people in developing countries,” said Alain Baumann, WFH CEO. “This commitment from Precision BioLogic is an important step in addressing the lack of diagnosis in many of these countries.”
About the World Federation of Hemophilia
For over 50 years, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), an international not-for-profit organization, has worked to improve the lives of people with hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. Established in 1963, it is a global network of patient organizations in 127 countries and has official recognition from the World Health Organization. Visit WFH online at www.wfh.org.
About the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program
The lack of access to care and treatment in developing countries is an urgent and important public health challenge, as the cost of products to treat is prohibitively expensive for the majority of those affected with a bleeding disorder. The WFH is leading the effort to change this lack of access in developing countries by providing consistent and predictable access to treatment for all. Since it was created in 1996, the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program has distributed over 322 million IUs to 90 countries, helping over 100,000 people directly who are in urgent need. In 2015, the WFH donated 52,829,144 international units (IUs) of clotting factor to 63 countries.
About Precision BioLogic
Precision BioLogic is a privately-held company that develops, manufactures and markets specialized products used by medical professionals and researchers around the globe to diagnose coagulation disorders and develop new products to improve patient outcomes. For more information, visit www.precisionbiologic.com.
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For more information, contact:
Elaine Benoit, Precision BioLogic
Sarah Ford, WFH