In today’s data revolution, genomics is emerging as a potential game changer for medicine and human performance, fuelled, in part, by pioneering work in precision personalized data underway on Canada’s east and west coasts. This exciting development was examined in a recent panel discussion hosted and emceed by Genome Atlantic on “The Future of Personalized Health & Human Performance” during BioPort Atlantic 2019.
Dr. Steve Armstrong, Genome Atlantic’s President and CEO and the panel’s emcee, teed up the discussion by posing the following questions:
“If you were diagnosed with cancer today, wouldn’t you want a treatment plan that is custom designed for you, your genetic blueprint and your specific cancer? If your son or daughter had an unexplained illness and you were bouncing from specialist to specialist for years on end, wouldn’t you want to bring this diagnostic odyssey to an end? Or if you were the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, home of our local hero Sydney Crosby, wouldn’t you want to ensure that Syd and the team were performing at their best? In all three examples, what kind of data would you need to make that happen?”
To answer these questions, the panel tapped three well known trailblazers who use data every day in their quest to improve human health and well-being: Dr. Janessa Laskin, a BC Cancer medical oncologist and the clinical leader of the Personalized Oncogenomics (POG) initiative in Vancouver; Dr. Christopher McMaster, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Genetics and Director of the Scientific and Clinical Hub for Orphan Drug Development (formerly IGNITE), both based at Dalhousie University in Halifax; and Dr. Travis McDonough, founder and CEO of Kinduct, a Halifax-based athlete management and monitoring company with professional sports team clients from around the world.
POG is the world’s only cancer research project that uses whole genome sequencing, including transcriptomic (RNA) data to search for personalized treatments for patients with metastatic cancer, a malady Dr. Laskin characterizes as “a disease of the genome.” Dr. Chris McMaster and his group have uncovered a potential therapy for congenital sideroblastic anemia, a condition in which the bone marrow fails to produce enough healthy red blood cells, and are developing treatments for inherited Parkinson’s disease and for familial exudative vitreoretinopathy, a hereditary disorder that can cause vision loss. Meanwhile, Kinduct collects, sifts and aggregates a vast array of data, including genomic information, on individual athletes to come up with comprehensive regimes to improve athletic performance.
Dr. Janessa Laskin
Dr. Laskin said one of the challenges of using genomics to find and then target the drivers of an individual’s cancer is the realization that “we have been extremely siloed in the way we think about cancer and how we think about drugs. But now we have technology that tells us that a particular drug might be very useful in multiple different kinds of cancers and genome technology is helping us figure that out.”
What we are learning, she said, is that drugs not normally used for cancer or for a particular type of cancer can be strong therapeutic possibilities to attack drivers of a particular cancer based on its genomic analysis. Drugs normally used for hypertension, for instance, have been selected for use in some POG cancer treatments, as well as drugs conventionally deployed in different types of cancer. For example, based on an individual’s genomic data, a drug approved for lung cancer might be appropriate for a particular case of pancreatic cancer.
These findings have potential disruptive consequences, she said: “We have to think about how regulatory authorities are approving drugs and funding drugs, so they aren’t just siloed in particular applications in one particular tumour type.”
Dr. Christopher McMaster
The growing role for genomics in human health and other fields is largely due to the plummeting cost of creating the data, said Dr. McMaster. “The human genome was sequenced in 2003,” he said, adding, “It took a decade and it cost over $1 billion. In 2019 we can sequence the human genome in a few weeks for about a thousand dollars.” No technology, he said, has accelerated at such a pace.
Dr. McMaster’s research lab uses genomic data to uncover therapies for orphan diseases, most of which are currently untreatable. For orphan diseases which used to take five-seven years and up to $30,000 of tests to detect with certainty, Dr. McMaster said advances in genomics mean “we can now diagnose these cases by sequencing the [patients’] genomes in a matter of weeks. It’s speeding up a diagnosis without increasing costs to the health care system.”
Sometimes called “rare diseases,” orphan diseases are not rare at all when viewed as a category. More than 7,000 diseases fall into this grouping. In Canada, it has been estimated, one in 40 children are born with an orphan disease and because it is often life-limiting, 35 per cent of them fail to reach their fifth birthday.
“The nice thing about inherited diseases is, it’s a single gene in which a mutation is causing a disease,” said Dr. McMaster, so there is “an immediate cause to an effect.” With the help of Genome Canada, Genome Atlantic and other partners, he is now involved in a “scientific-clinical hub to come up with treatments.”
For most inherited disease there is no current treatment. “So, this hub is looking to lead Canada in terms of bringing medicines into the clinic and into the market for treating cases with inherited diseases,” he said. Helping advance this ambition, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. offers Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Vouchers which help companies move qualifying drugs to the front of the review line in the approval process. The express provision brings cost savings to drug developers, ranging from $100 million to $250,000.
Dr. Travis McDonough
The software company, Kinduct, grew out of Mr. McDonough’s experience in the healthcare industry where 3-D medical examinations and rehabilitation programming generate a slew of compartmentalized data. Elite sports do the same thing with even more varied types of data – all sorts of player monitoring and player tracking, for instance. Kinduct figured out how to put it all together and draw helpful conclusions to optimize performance and wellness in professional sport.
“Essentially we create better athletes,” said Dr. McDonough. The goals, he said, are to create “vigorous, stronger, faster athletes,” mitigate costs associated with soft tissue injuries, identify “the next great athlete out there,” and capitalize on the new markets starting to appear for monetization.
Kinduct aggregates reams of data, including DNA, and with the help of AI engines, the company contextualizes and analyzes it. Detected trends can then lead to recommendations or interventions for the athlete – from nutrition to training programs and playing strategies. Kinduct is now considered a world leader in Athlete Management Systems and many professional sports teams, including in the NHL, have jumped aboard. Kinduct, he said, is now also starting to work with player associations.
“It’s been a crazy journey for us,” Dr. McDonough admitted. While focused on elite professional sport, he said, opportunities to move into related areas with Kinduct’s methodology of data collection and analysis seem boundless – from sports medicine to horses in equestrian sports.
“We hope that the people who attended were inspired”
“The panelists are recognized leaders in clinical care, orphan disease research and human performance and each brought to the table information on the incredible advancements they’re pioneering,” said Dr. Steve Armstrong. “We heard about a revolutionary new approach to cancer therapy, the progress being made in treating rare diseases in children at the IWK, and how a Halifax-based company is helping professional sports teams get the most of their athletes. These seemingly disparate topics are linked together by the ability to custom-tailor treatments and optimize performance thanks to personalized data.”
“We hope that the people who attended were inspired and that they left feeling optimistic about a future made brighter by the transformative power of personalized data and genomics.”
New data demonstrates durable protective response for Appili’s vaccine candidate against Francisella tularensis, a Category A pathogen and potential biological weapons threat
Presentation provides additional safety and efficacy data supporting use of ATI-1701 as a medical countermeasure, supports ongoing development under U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s medical countermeasure development guidelines
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, November 18, 2019 – Appili Therapeutics Inc. (TSXV: APLI) (the Company or Appili), a biopharmaceutical company focused on anti-infective drug development, today announced that Dr. Carl Gelhaus, Senior Program Manager of the Medical Countermeasures Division at MRIGlobal, will present positive interim data on Appili’s ATI-1701 program at the Chemical and Biological Defense Science & Technology Conference (CBD S&T). The conference is being held from November 18-21 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The poster presentation at CBD S&T will summarize the latest findings from the ongoing preclinical study of ATI-1701, which showed complete (100%) protection 90 days after vaccination from a lethal exposure to the pathogen Francisca tularensis. This time period is the longest vaccine protection period tested to date in this model. Researchers will conduct an additional evaluation of vaccine efficacy up to 365 days in the same model in H1 2020. The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), is funding this trial. MRI Global is managing the study under the DTRA contract HDTRA1-16-C-0028.
“Together with our partners at the DOD, MRIGlobal, and the National Research Council of Canada, we are greatly encouraged by results from the 90-day vaccine challenge study,” said Kevin Sullivan, CEO of Appili Therapeutics. “Although results are preliminary, they add to a growing body of evidence supporting advanced development of ATI-1701. We look forward to sharing the 365-day challenge results next year, and working with our biodefense partners to potentially produce the first FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of tularemia.”
Presentation details are as follows:
Title: Development of Francisella Tularensis SCHU S4 DeltaclpB as a Vaccine for the Prevention of Pneumonic Tularemia in the Warfighter
Session: Medical Countermeasures in the Context of a Layered Medical Defense
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET
Appili is developing ATI-1701 as a vaccine to combat Francisella tularensis, which the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines as a Category A pathogen (an organism that poses the highest risk to national security and public health). As it is 1,000 times more infectious than anthrax, experts consider the aerosolized form to have a high potential use in a bioterrorist attack.[i] Several countries may already have operational weapons programs leveraging this pathogen, making the need for a vaccine to counter this biological weapons threat exceedingly important.[ii]
About the Chemical and Biological Defense Science & Technology Conference (CBD S&T)
DTRA will host the 2019 CBD S&T Conference at the Duke Energy Convention Center, in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 18-21, 2019. The conference provides the opportunity to collaborate with more than 1,500 scientists, program managers and leaders from across the globe who are committed to making the world safer by confronting chemical and biological defense challenges. Attendees will also network with DTRA science and technology managers as well as other members of DTRA’s Chemical and Biological Defense team.
Celebrating its 75th year of business, MRIGlobal addresses some of the world’s greatest threats and challenges. Founded in 1944 as an independent, non-profit organization, we perform contract research for government, industry, and academia. Our customized solutions in national security and defense and health include research and development capabilities in clinical research support, infectious disease and biological threat agent detection, global biological engagement, in vitro diagnostics, and laboratory management and operations. MRIGlobal is one of two partners in the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, which manages and operates the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit www.mriglobal.org
About Appili Therapeutics
Appili Therapeutics, Inc. was founded to advance the global fight against infectious disease by matching clearly-defined patient needs with drug development programs that provide solutions to existing challenges patients, doctors, and society face in this challenging disease space. Appili has built pipeline of assets designed to address a broad range of significant unmet medical needs in the infectious disease landscape. This diverse pipeline aims to address some of the most urgent threats in global public health. Via an in-licensing program, Appili acquired the rights to ATI-1701, a vaccine for tularemia, being developed to mitigate the risks of a very serious biological weapons threat. ATI-1503 is a drug discovery program aimed at generating a novel class of antibiotics with broad-spectrum activity against Gram-negative superbugs. ATI-1501 employs Appili’s proprietary, taste-masked, oral-suspension technology with metronidazole for the growing number of patients with difficulty swallowing. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with offices in Mississauga, Ontario, Appili is pursuing worldwide opportunities in collaboration with science and industry commercial partners, governments and government agencies. For more information, visit www.AppiliTherapeutics.com.
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” which reflect the current expectations of the Company’s management future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s proposed development plans with respect to its product. Wherever possible, words such as “may “, “would “, “could “, “should”, “will,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “potential for” and similar expressions have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s current beliefs with respect to future events and are based on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks, uncertainties and assumptions including with respect to the ability of the Company to adequately fund and implement its development plans and business strategy. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including, without limitation, those listed in the final prospectus of the Company dated June 12, 2019 and the other filings made by the Company with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities (which may be viewed at www.sedar.com). Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. These factors should be considered carefully, and prospective investors should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. Although the forward-looking statements contained in the press release are based upon what management currently believes to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure prospective investors that actual results, performance or achievements will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange, nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the exchange), accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Novel clinical-stage asset shows activity against drug-resistant fungal infections that pose a significant health threat and have limited treatment options
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Appili Therapeutics Inc. (TSXV: APLI) (the “Company” or “Appili”), a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on anti-infective drug development, announced today it has signed an agreement with FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. to acquire and develop the novel antifungal drug T-2307, which will now be called ATI-2307. This drug candidate is a novel broad-spectrum antifungal agent that has been evaluated in multiple preclinical studies and three human Phase I clinical trials. Today’s agreement with FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical assigns Appili exclusive worldwide rights (ex-Japan) to develop and commercialize this antifungal candidate. With the execution of the agreement, FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical is eligible to receive from Appili future regulatory and commercial milestones payments, as well as a royalty on future net sales.
“Appili was founded with the purpose of identifying, acquiring, and rapidly advancing the most promising anti-infective technologies,” said Appili CEO Kevin Sullivan. “The acquisition of this highly differentiated, clinical-stage program added immediate incremental value to the Company and is an exciting step forward as we continue to build our portfolio and deliver on our commitment of growing shareholder value and meeting patient needs by addressing urgent and underserved public health threats.”
ATI-2307 is a novel broad-spectrum antifungal with a highly differentiated mechanism of action that is not currently susceptible to existing resistance mechanisms. FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical researchers developed the compound internally. It exhibits broad-spectrum antifungal activity both in vitro and in vivo against multiple high priority and clinically important fungi, including Cryptococcus and the multi-drug resistant Candida species. FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical advanced ATI-2307 into clinical development and completed three Phase I clinical studies that demonstrated the drug candidate to be well tolerated in humans at anticipated therapeutic dose levels.
“FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical is excited to announce this agreement with Appili Therapeutics,” said Junji Okada, President and Chief Operating Officer of FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical. “Appili has demonstrated deep expertise in accelerating anti-infective drug development that is well aligned with FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical’s focus on innovative R&D in the area of infectious disease. FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical is committed to solving public health issues through innovation, high-value drug development, and accretive partnership. We are confident that Appili is the right partner to help maximize the potential of ATI-2307 and address the urgent threat of invasive and difficult-to-treat fungal infections.”
ATI-2307 has demonstrated activity against multiple difficult-to-treat fungi, including Cryptococcus and Candida species. Appili will initially focus on developing ATI-2307 for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis. Cryptococcal meningitis is an opportunistic fungal infection that is a major cause of mortality worldwide.iii The largest burden of the disease is found in immunocompromised patients in sub-Saharan Africa, South, and Southeast Asia, and is a growing problem in the North America and Europe with increasing numbers of solid organ transplant and cancer therapy treatments.iiiiv In-hospital acute mortality from cryptococcal meningitis continues to remain high despite current therapies. The current standard of care for cryptococcal meningitis, which is amphotericin B in combination with flucytosine, is associated with significant toxicity, including the potential for kidney failure. v vi
“For many patients, standard-of-care antifungal agents are toxic and outcomes are poor,” said Dr. Armand Balboni, Appili’s Chief Development Officer. “Rising rates of antifungal resistance and the emergence of intrinsically resistant pathogens threaten to further erode an already inadequate antifungal armamentarium. Additionally, population aging and growing utilization of immunosuppressive therapies increasingly put patients at increased risk of fungal infections that are difficult to treat and cause severe strain on hospital resources and increase patient morbidity and mortality.
“Cryptococcal meningitis is a devastating disease with great unmet medical need. We think that ATI-2307 has great potential to provide a more effective and safer therapeutic option for patients with these invasive fungal infections,” continued Dr. Balboni.
In addition to cryptococcal meningitis, Appili is exploring development options for the treatment of refractory, resistant, or otherwise difficult to treat Candida infections. Despite the widespread availability of front-line azole and candin class antifungals, important segments of patients are infected with highly resistant or multi-drug resistant Candida species in which outcomes are poor.vi
About Appili Therapeutics
Appili Therapeutics Inc. was founded to advance the global fight against infectious disease by matching clearly defined patient needs with drug development programs that provide solutions to existing challenges patients, doctors, and society face in this challenging disease space. Appili has built a pipeline of assets designed to address a broad range of significant unmet medical needs in the infectious disease landscape. This diverse pipeline aims to address some of the most urgent threats in global public health. Via an in-licensing program, Appili acquired the rights to ATI-1701, a vaccine for tularemia, that it is developing to mitigate the risks of a very serious biological weapons threat. ATI-1503 is a drug discovery program aimed at generating negamycin analogue candidates, which are a novel class of antibiotics with broad-spectrum activity against Gram-negative superbugs. ATI-1501 employs Appili’s proprietary, taste-masked, oral-suspension technology with metronidazole for the growing number of patients with difficulty swallowing. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with offices in Mississauga, Ontario, Appili is pursuing worldwide opportunities in collaboration with science and industry commercial partners, governments and government agencies. For more information, visit www.AppiliTherapeutics.com.
About FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd
FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical was launched by merging FUJIFILM RI Pharma Co., Ltd., a company that conducts research, development, manufacture, and sales of radiopharmaceuticals, and TOYAMA CHEMICAL CO., LTD., a company that conducts research, development, manufacture, and sales of small molecule pharmaceutical products. FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical dedicates efforts to developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals and therapeutic drugs with unique action mechanisms in the fields of “oncology,” “central nervous system diseases,” and “infectious diseases” where significant unmet medical needs still exist, with close collaboration with FUJIFILM Corporation, which focuses on research of new medicines. It will also advance the development of new medicines utilizing drug delivery system (DDS) technologies that deliver the required amount of a drug in a timely manner to a specific body area. Also, by exploring synergy with in vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices and reagents owned by Fujifilm group companies, the company will expand its offering of comprehensive solutions from “diagnosis” to “treatment.”
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” which reflect the current expectations of the Appili’s management future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as “may “, “would “, “could “, “should”, “will,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “potential for” and similar expressions have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, without limitation, those listed in the annual information form of the Company dated July 3, 2019 and the other filings made by the Company with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities (which may be viewed at www.sedar.com). Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. These factors should be considered carefully, and prospective investors should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange, nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the exchange), accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
CHARLOTTETOWN – November 04, 2019 – Today, H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm with over $34 billion of equity capital under management, announced that one of its affiliates has completed the acquisition of BioVectra Inc., a leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates, from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.
“We are excited to enter into this new chapter with H.I.G. Capital.” said Oliver Technow, Chief Executive Officer of BioVectra. “We have been fortunate over the last few years with the support of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals to execute on our strategic growth plan. We look ahead to continuing on this path with H.I.G. Capital, an experienced investor in the CDMO space. H.I.G. is committed to our strategy and management team, and we look forward to continuing to pursue the company’s various growth initiatives
“We are very pleased to partner with Oliver Technow as well as his exceptional leadership team and dedicated employees,” said Mike Gallagher, Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital. “Oliver and his team have expanded BioVectra’s presence by pursuing strategic capital expenditure programs to significantly expand capacity. We believe the company is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for its broad set of technical capabilities and exceptional quality track record.”
Entering their 50th year, BioVectra’s highly-skilled employees and recent expansions to support active pharmaceutical ingredient production capacity in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and biologics capabilities in Windsor, Nova Scotia, will be major drivers of the company’s growth plans. “Make no mistake,” said Technow. “This fantastic opportunity with H.I.G. Capital is a direct reflection of the dedicated team we have and the incredibly supportive environment we operate in. Everyone at BioVectra looks forward to continued growth and success right here in Atlantic Canada!”
BioVectra is a CDMO that serves global pharmaceutical and biotech companies with full-service cGMP
outsourcing solutions for intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). An innovative and
reliable service partner with a strong regulatory history, BioVectra specializing in:
• cGMP microbial fermentation
• Complex chemistry – high potency APIs
• Formulation development
For more information about BioVectra, please visit www.biovectra.com.
About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with over $34 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and
operationally focused/ value-added approach:
1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.
Communications and Marketing Manager
BioVectra Inc. [email protected]
902-566-9116 ext. 6376
One of the strongest developments in the Atlantic Canadian startup community in recent years is the development of the life sciences segment – both the biotech companies and the ecosystem that supports them.
Five years ago, these companies made up 16 percent of the companies we listed in our Entrevestor databank, but that proportion rose to 21 percent last year. And our research shows that the number of people working at Atlantic Canadian-owned life sciences companies rose 25 percent in 2018 to almost 1,300, while the companies that provided us with sales data showed a 95 percent increase in revenues. There were 24 new life sciences companies in 2018 (up from six in 2014), so that one-fifth of the region’s biotech companies were launched in 2018.
Finding a theme in this sector is difficult because there are several initiatives taking place across the region. On Prince Edward Island, the PEI BioAlliance continues to build up its community with a special emphasis on pet health and natural products. The BioAlliance’s Emergence incubator is growing into a more regional initiative.
In Nova Scotia, BioNova last year produced its BioFuture 2030 report, which sets out a roadmap for doubling the sector or better. It plans to triple employment to 4,100 jobs and quadruple revenues to $1.1 billion. It is also calling for new ecosystem initiatives, such as an acceerator to teach sales to life sciences companies.
Newfoundland and Labrador is beginning to launch more life sciences companies as the Bounce Health Innovation initiative is nurturing partnerships between innovators and the medical community. BioNB is growing and becoming more active in developing a cannabis R&D cluster in New Brunswick.
These provincial groups are working together more than ever before, as the life sciences group of the Atlantic Growth Strategy is bringing them together to work on common goals. BioNB, BioNova, the Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Technology Industries and the PEI BioAlliance are all working together in the Atlantic Canada Bio-Industries Alliance. This group brought together 20 companies and organizations in early 2019 to attend the 2019 BIO International Convention and Trade Show in Philadelphia.
As well as the ecosystem changes, there are some great companies pushing forward. Halifax-based ABK Biomedical raised a US$30 million (C$40 million) venture capital round this spring, a record for the region. Drug discovery company Appili Therapeutics listed on the TSX Venture exchange in June. Adaptiiv, which 3D prints boluses for cancer treatment, and Densitas, whose software measures breast density during mammograms, are both growing revenues. Moncton-based Picomole is developing its cancer detection device and has made inroads in the Boston area. Mara Renewables is producing its Omega-3 food supplements from algae and now employs 60 people. Publicly listed IMV of Dartmouth will soon announce the results of clinical trials for its flagship drug candidate, DPX-Survivac.
Funding of life sciences companies rose to a new plateau of more than $20 million per year in 2017 and 2018. The US$30 million funding round announced by ABK Biomedical will ensure that life sciences funding will set a record in 2019.