Leading Health and Life Sciences in Nova Scotia

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

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.


Alex Smith Director of Communications & Outreach Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Phone: (902-426-9417 | 902-830-3939 (cell) Email: [email protected] Caitlin Pierlot Chief Executive Officer Covina Biomedical Inc. Phone: (902) 442-4014 | 902-495-9008 (cell) Email: [email protected] Michèle Charlton Communications Advisor, Research Dalhousie University Phone: 902-494-4148 Email: [email protected]