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.
“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
- 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.
ContactsAlex Smith Director of Communications & Outreach Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Phone: (902-426-9417 | 902-830-3939 (cell) Email: email@example.com Caitlin Pierlot Chief Executive Officer Covina Biomedical Inc. Phone: (902) 442-4014 | 902-495-9008 (cell) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Michèle Charlton Communications Advisor, Research Dalhousie University Phone: 902-494-4148 Email: email@example.com
See original story here As it continues to fund young companies, the First Angel Network has developed an investment niche for the biomedical space and is showing an eagerness for repeat investments. FAN, as it is known, has been investing in Atlantic Canadian startups for 12 years, making it the dean of active investment groups. Its portfolio has included a couple of exits and a few failures. The group has sometimes been controversial, and a group of FAN investors is now suing the developer of King’s Wharf in Dartmouth. Through it all, the co-founding team of Ross Finlay and Brian Lowe has been arranging quarterly investments for their network of angels, as they have been for the past 48 quarters. The landscape has changed since FAN started, and the group concentrates more these days on life sciences companies or IT companies that have medical applications. Recent investments like Chinova Bioworks, Covina Biomedical and Spring Loaded bear this out. “It seems like our members gravitate toward those types of deals,” said Lowe in an interview last week. “Our members like to invest in biotechnology and medical devices. They seem to understand the sector well.” A look at the companies FAN has invested in shows the concentration in life sciences: Spring Loaded Technology, Dartmouth — Spring Loaded has recently launched the Levitation knee brace, which not only stabilizes the joint but also adds power to it. Chinova Bioworks, Fredericton — Chinova is using the multi-purpose compound chitosan in an anti-microbial agent, which it uses in a natural preservative in such foods as juices. Iron Apple International, Halifax — Iron Apple International provides food safety solutions to transportation companies throughout North America. Covina Biomedical, Halifax — Covina is commercializing a non-toxic bone cement that can be injected into the vertebrae of osteoporosis patients who have suffered a fracture. The company has said it raised $350,000 from FAN as part of a round with a target of $1 million. WellTrack, Fredericton — WellTrack is a product that helps organizations — especially universities — improve the mental health of their members, especially those suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. NB Biomatrix, Saint John — NB Biomatrix has developed Naqua-Pure, a liquid that uses nanotechnology to remove heavy metals and other pollutants from waste water. What’s interesting about the Spring Loaded funding is that it is the second time the knee-brace-maker has tapped FAN for funding. The company received funding from FAN and Innovacorp two years ago, then from Build Ventures last year and returned to FAN earlier this year. “FAN has been a long-term supporter of Spring Loaded,” said CEO Chris Cowper Smith in an email. “They are well organized and offer an efficient process for raising capital through their network. We had excellent uptake from FAN on our current offering and we look forward to working with them going forward.” Lowe and Finlay said the organization is interested in providing follow-on funding from its more successful portfolio companies. It has done return investment for Spring Loaded and Halifax-based Metamaterial Technologies Inc., which recently announced an $8.3-million funding round that included contributions from FAN. Some of these companies are also raising money through the Wilmington Investor Network, a North Carolina group with whom FAN sometimes co-invests. Finlay noted that research by the Angel Research Institute of the United States shows that follow-on funding accounts for more than half the angel investment in the U.S. “We’ve been wondering if we should try to focus more on not chasing the shiny new object but on supporting the companies that are already in our portfolio,” he said. “We think that’s a good use of our capital.”