ACOA NEWS RELEASE: Panag Pharma providing effective, non-addictive plant-based pain management

Halifax biotech company developing safe, cutting-edge products to ease chronic pain, inflammation

July 11, 2019 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Innovative new treatments for pain management improve the daily lives of Canadians. Panag Pharma Inc. is developing a line of plant-based remedies to fight chronic pain and inflammation, helping people enjoy a better quality of life, and growing Atlantic Canada’s life sciences sector.

The Halifax biotechnology company is creating a family of both over-the-counter and prescription cannabinoid-based products that provide safe, effective, non-addictive pain management. The treatments act directly on the pain receptors in the body and are used for wound healing, treating irritated skin and relieving cold sores, among other applications. Unique in the world, these natural medications enable the company to create highly skilled jobs and position it well for future growth.

Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced support for Panag Pharma Inc. as it develops and commercializes its innovative products.

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, highly skilled jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize and supporting not-for-profit industry organizations to fuel business growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.

Quotes
“Innovation that focuses on the commercialization of research to improve the quality of people’s lives can have far-reaching global impacts. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to projects such as this one that showcase the best of what Atlantic Canada offers, providing quality bio-innovations that attract investment and talent and advance regional economic prosperity.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for ACOA

“When a local organization develops groundbreaking solutions to treat problems like chronic pain, it not only improves the daily lives of Canadians, but also bolsters development of the life science sector in the region. The Government of Canada is proud to support local businesses like Panag Pharma that spur economic growth, create highly skilled jobs and make the world a better, and less painful, place.”
– Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“We are extremely pleased to have the support of the ACOA. This contribution clearly underlines the confidence the Agency has in our strategic direction to further grow our business and to our commitment to the Province of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada. Our management and employees are grateful for the opportunities this financing presents.”
– Chris MacLean, Chief Operating Officer, Panag Pharma Inc

“Today’s announcement reminds me of the expression that it takes a village. With the ingenuity and innovation of our life sciences group Panag, the marketing expertise of Tetra Natural Health, the licensing skills of Tetra Bio-Pharma, assistance with facilities from Dalhousie University and the generosity and confidence of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, we are able to showcase what collaboration can accomplish and it is something we should all be justifiably proud of.”
– Dr. Bill Cheliak, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc.

Quick Facts
 Panag Pharma is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ontario’s Tetra Bio-Pharma. The Panag Pharma team of PhD scientists and medical doctors are leading researchers and clinicians in the area of pain treatment and management. They bring a combined experience of more than 100 years in research and clinical care of people dealing with chronic pain and inflammatory conditions.
 Panag Pharma Inc. plans to produce AWAYE™, a topical over-the-counter medication for the temporary relief of aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with one or more of strains/sprains involving muscles, tendons, and/or ligaments, arthritis, simple backache and/or lumbago. The product, which is manufactured in New Brunswick, is already Health Canada approved and has a Natural Product Number. It is currently undergoing clinical trials and will be available through online distribution, over the counter in pharmacies, and by prescription.  Other treatments for cold sores, hemorrhoids, interstitial cystitis and corneal ulcers are in development.
 The Government of Canada is providing a repayable contribution of $500,000 to Panag Pharma Inc. through ACOA’s Business Development Program.
 The BDP primarily assists Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs who want to start a business, increase productivity or improve operations. Investments under the BDP address any gap that may arise if an application does not fit within ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
 The Business Development Program continues to build on the objectives of Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

Contacts
Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
[email protected]

Chris MacLean
Chief Operating Officer
Panag Pharma Inc.
902-499-6959 (cell)
[email protected]

energi PR
Marissa Zanti
Vice-President, Healthcare
437-215-6888 (cell)
[email protected]

Entrevestor: Motryx Wins $100K Women’s Fund Grant

Read full ENTREVESTOR article here

Halifax-based Motryx, which produces sensors that monitor the storage conditions of blood samples during transport, has been awarded a $97,500 grant from the federally funded Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.

CEO Franziska Broell, who holds a PhD in oceanography from Dalhousie University, said in an interview that the money will go toward integrating GPS support into the Motryx sensors by the end of this year—a feature that several laboratories have expressed interest in.

“It’s a key part of the solution that we need to develop in order to be able to access that big private lab market in the U.S.,” said Broell. “It’s going to be integral to [scaling the business].”

The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is a $2 billion, federally funded program that aims to double the number of women-owned businesses in Canada by 2025. Businesses with female CEOs, more than 50 percent female ownership or more than 50 percent female employees are eligible for funding from the program. Motryx meets all three criteria.

“Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for the bottom line,” said Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion Mary Ng in a press release. “It’s a smart investment with an economic and social return.”

Founded in 2014 as Maritime BioLoggers, Motryx originally intended to manufacture tracking tags for marine life. The company pivoted to monitoring blood samples in late 2018 because the marine trackers had to be customized for each new organism, which was going to make the business difficult to scale.

Entrevestor: Coloursmith Closes $600K Round

Read the full Entrevestor article here

Contact lens technology startup Coloursmith Labs has raised $600,000 in seed funding and announced the first two members of its board of directors.

Founded in 2018 by Dalhousie University researcher Gabrielle Masone, the Halifax-based company is developing technology that aims to allow contact lenses to filter certain types of light before it reaches the eyes.

The two board members are Wade Dawe and Rhiannon Davies. Dawe is the president of Brigus Capital, and Davies is a former vice-president and board member of Dutch optometry retailer GrandVision,

“Wade’s dedication to the company all this time has been nothing short of perfect,” said Masone in an interview. “And Rhiannon has a real finger on the pulse of the contact lens industry, and the eyewear industry in general.”

Masone, who Dawe describes as a “true innovator”, met both board members while completing Creative Destruction Labs’ accelerator program in the past year.

Coloursmith’s product works by using “optical filters” to control which types of light pass through contact lenses. This determines what wavelengths the wearer sees.

The technology aims to help reduce the effects of colour blindness and guard against the negative health effects of excessive blue light exposure. Blue light is the light given off by computer monitors, for example.

About one out of every 12 men and one in 200 women with Northern European ancestry suffers from colour blindness, according to the United States government’s National Eye Institute.

The science on whether or not blue light from digital devices harms the eye is not settled yet, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. But Harvard Health warns that it does cause sleep disruptions, and may contribute to obesity and other diseases.

Coloursmith is also considering other applications for the optical filters, including treating migraines and light sensitivity.

The company previously raised $200,000 from startup pitch competitions, such as Innovacorp’s Spark Innovation Challenge and the Volta Cohort Competition, as well as other programs that support early stage businesses.

Masone used the money to build a prototype and file patent applications in all major, global markets for contact lenses.

The latest $600,000 has been provided by investors that include St. John’s-based Killick Capital, PEI’s Island Capital Partners and Dawe’s Brigus Capital.

 

ENTREVESTOR: NovaResp Targets Sleep Apnea

See full Entrevestor article here

A new medical startup from Dalhousie University PhD graduate Hamed Hanafi plans to use artificial intelligence to treat sleep apnea.

The condition causes patients to intermittently stop breathing in their sleep. It is usually treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or “CPAP,” machines that force air into the lungs to restart the respiratory process.

Hanafi’s company, NovaResp, is developing a combined hardware and software solution that can be attached to any CPAP machine to improve its efficacy.

“We have a proprietary add-on for these machines that would be able to predict an obstruction that’s going to happen and not let it happen,” said Hanafi in an interview.

Sleep apnea raises a person’s risk of heart attacks, strokes and other medical problems. In 2017, about 6.4 percent of Canadians had been diagnosed with it and nearly a third of the population was at risk, according to Statistics Canada.

ACOA NEWS RELEASE: Halifax start-up gives Canadians a reason to smile

IR Scientific Inc. begins pilot production of its new desensitizing product, Sensi-IP, to help strengthen teeth

July 3, 2019 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
From the discovery of insulin to the invention of the pacemaker, Canada has a strong record of developing health innovations that attract investment, retain talent and provide more effective treatment options that improve patient outcomes. That is why the Government of Canada invests in Canadian-based companies like IR Scientific Inc., which has engineered a new product, Sensi-IP, to help strengthen damaged teeth and provide immediate and long-term protection for the three out of four Canadians who suffer from dentinal hypersensitivity.

Unlike existing products that have limited long-term effectiveness, Sensi-IP exhibits controlled abrasion for everyday use, promotes the natural process of rebuilding tooth mineral, completely dissolves in water, and can be added to any clinical or over-the-counter toothpaste, oral rinse, mouthwash or tooth varnish. IR Scientific will undertake product development and quality assurance for the commercialization of Sensi-IP, allowing the early-stage company to attract new investors, establish its production process and hire five full-time employees.

Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced the Government of Canada’s support to IR Scientific Inc. for the project.

This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which supports strategic investments that build on the region’s competitive advantages, including its growing innovation ecosystem and skilled workforce.

Quotes
“The health and well-being of Canadians is at the core of our society and represents a sizeable proportion of our country’s spending, which is why there has never been a better time to leverage this investment to produce greater oral health outcomes and economic prosperity for Atlantic Canada. The Government of Canada is proud to help Canadian-based innovations and companies to grow within the country as they move towards global leadership, focused on value-added products that aim to improve patient care and outcomes.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“IR Scientific’s advanced science has a wide variety of applications in oral health, from store brand toothpastes to clinical treatments, and is a game-changing solution for millions of Canadians suffering from dentinal hypersensitivity. It also has huge potential in the global marketplace. Transforming traditional oral healthcare with better solutions will give Canadians, and the world, something to smile about.”

– Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“IR Scientific has been able to advance its technology quickly thanks to the support of ACOA. Creating a new oral care ingredient to change the way the world relieves sensitive teeth was given a direct boost from ACOA programming. We set up a research lab, a production facility and hired required staff in weeks versus months because of our secure funding. Global Industry contacts are impressed with what we have managed to accomplish in a relatively short period time.”

– Dr. Daniel Boyd, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder, IR Scientific Inc.

Quick Facts
 IR Scientific is receiving a $500,000 repayable contribution through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP).
 Dentinal hypersensitivity occurs when the tooth’s dentin tubules, connected to the nerves of the tooth, are exposed.
 Sensi-IP uses a controlled release help block those passageways, stopping pain and helping to strengthen the teeth.
 Sensi-IP also promotes remineralization by supplying calcium and other minerals to repair damaged tooth enamel.
 Canada’s universal health-care system is a source of national pride, and the Canadian health and biosciences sector is a key source of high-paying, quality jobs, employing more than 91,000 people directly and approximately 2.1 million within the broader health system.
 The health and bioscience industry has tremendous growth potential, with areas poised for highest growth including precision medicine, which is set to be an $88 billion market by 2023.

Associated Links
Innovation and Skills Plan

Contacts

Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
[email protected]

Andrew Doyle President & CEO IR Scientific Inc.
902-877-8071 (cell)
[email protected]