Sona Nanotech Inc. Announces Collaboration with Anteo Technologies

Read original release here

Innovative companies combine technologies to speed up lateral flow assay development time

Halifax, Nova Scotia–(Newsfile Corp. – January 16, 2019) – Sona Nanotech Inc. (CSE: SONA) today announced a collaboration with Australia-based nanotech company Anteo Technologies Pty Ltd to speed up the development of lateral flow immunoassays. Under the terms of the agreement Sona will supply its unique, proprietary gold nanorod technology to Anteo, which will combine it with its own proprietary AnteoBind ™ technology and various biomarkers including, but not limited to, cardic (cTnI), sepsis (CRP) markers and HCG, the well-known fertility marker used in pregnancy tests. Anteo will supply Sona with these solutions for assessment in a lateral flow assay format as well as conducting its own in-house assessment. Because lateral flow assays are relatively cheap and easy to produce, more than 2 billion are manufactured every year, including more than 400 million each for malaria and HIV tests (1). The lateral flow market was worth an estimated US$6 billion (C$7.9 bn) in 2018 (2). Sona Nanotech CEO Darren Rowles said: “The project aims to co-develop sets of reagents that can benefit all lateral flow assay developers worldwide, by providing them with products that can reduce a key production process timeframe, while increasing performance of tests and the benefits of multiplexing. By integrating Sona’s gold nanorod technology with Anteo’s surface chemistry technology we have the potential to create innovative new products for the market. We are excited to be working with Anteo and look forward to a productive collaboration.” Anteo Technologies Pty Ltd is a fully-owned subsidiary of Anteo Diagnostics Ltd, an ASX listed company (ASX:ADO). The company, which has its head office in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, develops and commercialises products in the life sciences research, in-vitro diagnostics, energy and medical devices markets. Charlie Huang, Anteo’s head of research and development, said: “We have been impressed by Sona’s unique gold nanorods and their impact in the lateral flow market. We believe that our combined technologies have great potential. We are excited about the new opportunities this could bring for both companies.” (1) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324096920_Improving_Lateral_Flow_Assay_Performance_Using_Computational_Modeling (2) https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-lateral-flow-assay-market-is-projected-to-reach-usd-8-7-billion-by-2023-from-usd-6-0-billion-in-2018-growing-at-a-cagr-of-7-7-from-2018-to-2023–300754197.html About Sona Nanotech Inc. Sona Nanotech Inc. is a nanotechnology life sciences firm that has developed two proprietary methods for the manufacture of rod-shaped gold nanoparticles. The principal business carried out and intended to be continued by Sona is the development and application of its proprietary technology for use in multiplex diagnostic testing platforms that will improve performance over existing tests in the market. Sona’s gold nanorod particles are CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium) free, eliminating the toxicity risks associated with the use of other gold nanorod technologies in medical applications. It is expected that Sona’s gold nanotechnologies may be adapted for use in applications, as a safe and effective delivery system for multiple medical treatments, pending the approval of various regulatory boards including Health Canada and the FDA. Sona is a publicly listed company on the Canadian Securities Exchange existing under the laws of Nova Scotia, with its operations in Nova Scotia. About Anteo Group – Anteo Diagnostics Limited (ADO: ASX) & Subsidiaries (Anteo Technologies Pty Ltd is a fully-owned subsidiary of Anteo Diagnostics Ltd.) Anteo Group is a surface chemistry company with Intellectual Property (“IP”) in its core technology product groups: AnteoCoat™, AnteoBind™ and AnteoRelease™. The Company’s purpose is to create shareholder value by identifying and solving important global industry problems and providing unique value-add solutions for its customers. Anteo’s customers operate in the Life Sciences, Diagnostics, Energy and Medical Devices markets. For more information, please visit www.anteotech.com For More Information For more information about Sona, please contact: Darren Rowles President and Chief Executive Officer Telephone: (902) 442-7192 Email: Darren Rowles darren@sonanano.com FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION This press release contains forward-looking statements and information that are based on the beliefs of management and reflect the Company’s current expectations. When used in this press release, the words “estimate”, “project”, “belief”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “plan”, “predict”, “may” or “should” and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. The forward-looking statements and information in this press release includes information relating to the Amalgamation (including the structure of the Amalgamation), the Amalgamation (including shareholder approval, shareholder support, and other terms), the Private Placement (including its completion and the use of proceeds from the Private Placement), the directors and management of the resulting issuer upon completion of the Amalgamation, and the implementation of Sona’s business plan. Such statements and information reflect the current view of the Company with respect to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in those forward-looking statements and information. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following risks: risks associated with the completion of the Amalgamation and matters relating thereto; and risks associated with the marketing and sale of securities, the need for additional financing, reliance on key personnel, the potential for conflicts of interest among certain officers or directors, and the volatility of the Company’s common share price and volume. Forward-looking statements are made based on management’s beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated or implied by forward-looking statements and information. Such factors include, among others, risks related to Sona’s proposed business, such as failure of the business strategy and government regulation; risks related to Sona’s operations, such as additional financing requirements and access to capital, reliance on key and qualified personnel, insurance, competition, intellectual property and reliable supply chains; risks related to Sona and its business generally, such as infringement of intellectual property rights and conflicts of interest. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of material factors is not exhaustive. When relying on the Company’s forward-looking statements and information to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. The Company has assumed a certain progression, which may not be realized. It has also assumed that the material factors referred to in the previous paragraph will not cause such forward-looking statements and information to differ materially from actual results or events. However, the list of these factors is not exhaustive and is subject to change and there can be no assurance that such assumptions will reflect the actual outcome of such items or factors. While the Company may elect to, it does not undertake to update this information at any particular time. THE FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PRESS RELEASE REPRESENTS THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE COMPANY AS OF THE DATE OF THIS PRESS RELEASE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER SUCH DATE. READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE IMPORTANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY UPON THIS INFORMATION AS OF ANY OTHER DATE. WHILE THE COMPANY MAY ELECT TO, IT DOES NOT UNDERTAKE TO UPDATE THIS INFORMATION AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME EXCEPT AS REQUIRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES]]>

Colloidal gold, the suspension of gold nanoparticles in liquid, has been used for hundreds of years, from staining glass in the Middle Ages to early experiments with photography in the Victorian era. But it was only 160 years ago that gold nanoparticles were given any serious scientific examination, when scientist Michael Faraday created the first pure sample of colloidal gold in his basement laboratory at the Royal Institute in London. Faraday’s early experiments were forays into what would ultimately become the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Despite many decades of technological development since then, the healthcare potential of gold nanoparticles  is only coming into focus now. This largely reflects recent developments which have allowed scientists to synthesise gold nanoparticles of various shapes and sizes, consistently and at scale. These nanoparticles are also stable, easily functionalised and, critically, biocompatible, meaning they can potentially be used in the body as therapeutic agents.
In combination, these properties mean that gold nanoparticle-based technologies have enormous potential in the healthcare sector. We are already seeing a wide range of possible applications in diagnostic testing, medical treatments and procedures, such as drug delivery, gene therapy, tumour detection and radiotherapy dose enhancement. Innovative applications for gold nanoparticles regularly make headlines in scientific journals and the mainstream press too. Polish scientists, for example, recently patented a formula for artificial saliva that includes gold nanoparticles. The saliva will help patients who have salivary secretion disorder, a condition that means they are unable to swallow, eat and speak. Professor Halina Car from the Medical University of Bialystok said the formula combines at least four properties of natural saliva, while improving lubricity, boosting anti-microbial properties and maintaining hygiene by preventing dental plaque development.
In the US, scientists from the University of Missouri have developed a method of cross-linking gold nanoparticles with collagen gels to treat ageing or damaged skin. Collagen gels are used as soft tissue fillers, to reconstruct soft tissue that has been damaged as a result of age, disease or trauma. The gold nanoparticles, which exhibit high surface reactivity, antioxidant and antimicrobial behaviours, are used to improve the collagen’s resistance to degradation. And in Switzerland, scientists have pioneered a revolutionary approach in the use of gold nanoparticles that could lead to the development of a new generation of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs. Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland created gold nanoparticles that can attract viruses and destroy them. When injected into the body the nanoparticles mimic human cells and ‘trick’ the viruses into binding with them to infect them. This deforms the viruses and opens them, rendering them harmless. Broad- spectrum antiviral drugs have the potential to cure many deadly viruses that are currently untreatable, from HIV to Ebola. They could also help curb the rise of antimicrobial resistance arising from the over-use of antibiotics. Scientists have pioneered a revolutionary approach in the use of gold nanoparticles that could lead to the development of a new generation of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs.
I have focused my professional attention on gold nanoparticle technology for years, working with lateral flow assays in particular. These are relatively simple devices, used to detect diseases or other conditions outside of a laboratory setting, home pregnancy kits or cost-effective, reliable tests for diseases including malaria and HIV/AIDS. Now, at Sona Nanotech, we have created a unique gold nanoparticle product, synthesising high volumes of high- quality rod-shaped gold nanoparticles without the use  of the toxic chemical cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). Ideally suited for diagnostic testing, our gold nanorods are the first in the world to be created without CTAB, which means they can be used inside the body.
They have the potential therefore to be enabling technologies for such medical innovations as non-invasive targeted cell, tumour, tissue and organ treatments including photothermal cancer cell destruction and location-specific drug and pain treatment.
Analysts predict that the global, gold nanoparticles market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.84% between 2017 and 2021, driven largely by increasing demand for medical applications.
Having travelled extensively over the last few months, discussing this breakthrough and identifying new partners and opportunities, I have experienced first-hand the growing demand for innovative gold nanoparticle products. China in particular is a vast untapped market with the healthcare industry being especially focused on lateral flow diagnostic testing products, specifically those targeting heart disease. The country has more than a quarter of the worldwide market for these products but local manufacturers often make gold nanoparticles in-house and quality control is poor. This leads to a sub-optimal final diagnostic product so firms are moving to other methods of clinical diagnostic testing, using markers such as fluorescent markers and quantum dots. While these methods are new and innovative, they are more expensive than gold and don’t necessarily produce better results. Looking ahead, there is an enormous opportunity for lateral flow diagnostic manufacturers in China to create better quality, stable gold nanoparticles, which can be reliably produced at scale. It is not a complex issue and it would help to drive the availability of high-quality, cost-effective healthcare solutions around the world, and Sona is committed to making this happen. For those of us working in the field, it is exciting to see  the technological innovations and breakthroughs involving gold nanoparticles – and the business and investment opportunities that stem from them. Indeed, analysts predict that the global, gold nanoparticles market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.84% between 2017 and 2021, driven largely by increasing demand for medical applications from home or point-of-care testing to drug delivery in cancer treatment. While the quantities of gold used in these types of application are small, the added value and impact to individuals are potentially very significant. This branch of science and technology has much to offer in the twenty-first century and beyond.
]]>

ENTREVESTOR: Stockport Shareholders OK Sona Deal

See original story here The shareholders of Halifax-based Stockport Exploration have approved the company’s merger with Sona Nanotech, completing another step in the merged company’s path to a stock market listing. The companies on Friday released a statement saying the Stockport shareholders voted 99 percent in favour of the merger last Thursday. The meeting was attended by 18 Stockport investors, as well as employees and board members from both companies. Halifax-based Sona Nanotech, which produces gold nanorods, agreed last year to merge with publicly listed mining concern Stockport Exploration and raise about $700,000 in a private placement. The merged company will focus solely on Sona’s core business of producing gold nanorods. If the deal passes all the relevant regulatory requirements, the parties say it should close within the next few weeks, paving the way for the listing on the TSX Venture exchange. “We see the vote as also being a vote of confidence in our ambitious plans for Sona,” said Sona CEO Darren Rowles in the statement. “This merger will give Sona a strong and stable financial foundation from which to build our brand in the life sciences market.” Sona was formed by St. F.X. University profs Gerrard Marangoni, Michael McAlduff and Kulbir Singh to commercialize their research in nanotechnology, which includes health-care applications such as cancer treatment. The founders discovered a way to produce gold nanoparticles free of a toxic substance called cetrimonium bromide, or CTAB. The rod-shaped nanoparticles are known to have uses in several tasks associated with medicine, such as diagnostics, but traditional methods of making the microscopic particle create toxic substances in the process. The company’s founders believe absence of the toxic substance makes Sona’s nanoparticles ideal for a range of medical applications. Having recently recruited Rowles from Wales, Sona also recruited a new nanotechnology scientist and is recruiting a new business development manager. It plans to hire up to five new members of staff in total by the end of 2018. It now plans to relocate its facilities and team to the Halifax-Dartmouth area from Antigonish, and is actively looking for new premises.]]>

ENTREVESTOR: A Call for Better Business Acumen

See original article here Written  by Darren Rowles , CEO of Sona Nanotech Having been a scientist for more than 15 years, I’ve seen my fair share of science-based startups come and go. Those that succeed tend to do so through a combination of good products, good business sense and good fortune. Often a good enough product or idea can compensate for a lack of business sense, and some companies succeed through sheer luck alone. But many others fall by the wayside before they even get a chance to succeed. Without a good business plan and knowledge of the market even the best products and ideas can fail. The simple fact is, many scientists lack the business acumen and motivation needed to take their idea or product to market. I don’t say this as a criticism, just an observation; many scientists have absolutely no interest in business, finance or commerce and that’s fine. Take my company, Sona Nanotech, for example. The team at Sona comprises brilliant scientists who have developed unique products – the world’s first toxin-free gold nanorods. But they lacked the knowledge and contacts to gain the vital market access they needed to make the products a commercial success. Over Sona’s brief history there has been no shortage of would-be investors willing to back the company and its products, but it was difficult for the team to properly capitalize on these offers without a solid commercial strategy. That’s why I was brought on board as CEO and president at the end of last year, because I know the market, I am comfortable in business environments, I can talk the language and I can build relationships and partnerships. Read our Report on Sona’s Plan To List on the TSX Venture Coming from the U.K., I am having to learn how to navigate an entirely new and unfamiliar system here in Nova Scotia, so I can understand some of the difficulties other life science startups in the province face when it comes to commercializing their own products. For example, after an initial successful application a couple of years ago, we applied to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for further funding, but not being very familiar with the system and wanting to get the best out of it meant we needed help. So, we brought in a consultant to help us better understand the system and how to access the different tiers of funding programs. As a result, our current application stands a better chance than most. There are also operational issues to consider. Take facilities, for example. We are incredibly lucky and grateful that we have been able to operate the company out of lab space at St. Francis Xavier University. But now we need a new space to accommodate our growth and have been looking around for somewhere suitable. Many life sciences startups will no doubt be in the same position, having spun out of one of the province’s excellent universities they will be looking for a permanent base from which to grow. Luckily there are options for us in the Halifax area, and for startups there are several incubation hubs in the region that can offer superb facilities. However, finding those facilities and negotiating a good deal can be difficult if you aren’t commercially minded. Logistics is another issue. We recently needed to buy in some specialist equipment from the U.S., but to do so we had to use brokers to deal with the import/export costs and supply chain logistics, something which came as a bit of a surprise. ABK Raises $9M in Equity Financing Nova Scotia has a healthy and growing life sciences sector. Worth around $300 million and centered on the Halifax area, it is home to more than 50 companies that employ around 1,100 people. There are also some incredible life science startups dotted throughout Nova Scotia, but unless they receive proper business support many are going to struggle to fully realize their potential. Life sciences if a fast-moving global sector, and startups need interaction with industry partners, access to programs of funding and, most importantly, access to the market. And this can’t just be access to market reports, because those can be sourced online, but real market access, company databases, contact info and the opportunity of actually getting in front of the key decision-makers in their specific part of the life sciences sector. Ideally, they need to obtain access or incorporate an individual or organization into their setup that can bridge the gap between science and business, which can be worlds apart. That’s why something like BioNova, the life sciences body for Nova Scotia, is so vital. BioNova aims to advance life sciences in the province and accelerate the commercialization success of its businesses and organizations by building relationships and by creating networking and educational opportunities. Additionally, it offers programs that allow life sciences SMEs to apply for project funding or work with collaborators. As a member we have made vital connections in the sector both inside and outside the province. If the potential of Nova Scotia’s life sciences sector is to be fully realized in the increasingly competitive global marketplace, its science and business communities must work more closely together in future.   Darren Rowles is CEO of Sona Nanotech, a biotech firm based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has 15 years’ experience in product manufacture and development in the area of gold nanoparticles and lateral flow diagnostics.]]>