Leading Health and Life Sciences in Nova Scotia

BioTalent Canada and BioNova launch new provincial life sciences job board

HALIFAX, NS – February 10, 2020 – Today, BioTalent Canada and BioNova announced the launch of The PetriDish™ BioNova job board – giving companies in one of Canada’s fastest growing bio-economy hubs a platform to attract highly-skilled talent.

According to BioTalent Canada’s labour market report Mapping Potential, with over 100 life science companies, 26 research organizations and 11 post-secondary institutions, Nova Scotia is well positioned to lead innovation in Canada’s bio-economy.

“It is estimated that by 2030 the number of jobs in the life sciences sector in Nova Scotia will grow by 200%,” says Scott Moffitt, Executive Director at BioNova. “Providing a job board specific to life sciences companies in our province will help attract the talent they need to realize this potential for growth.”

As the HR partner and catalyst for growth in Canada’s bio-economy, BioTalent Canada has built relationships with employers, associations, academic institutions, governments and job seekers to address and alleviate the two key challenges still facing industry leaders – access to capital and access to talent.

“We look forward to working closer with our Silver partner, BioNova, to help their stakeholders with the necessary tools and services needed to succeed in a growing and competitive industry,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO, BioTalent Canada. “The PetriDish BioNova will give life sciences companies in the province a dedicated platform to reach the right talent to drive their innovations, after all, without people, there can be no science.”

Modelled after BioTalent Canada’s national job board, The PetriDish BioNova will provide employers with the same benefits of narrowing their search for candidates by providing more relevant bio-economy applicants.

Members of BioNova can access free job postings to help with their recruiting needs.

For current openings or to post a job, visit BioNova.ca/Careers

About BioTalent Canada

BioTalent Canada™ is the HR partner and catalyst for growth in Canada’s bio-economy. Our engagement with employers, associations, post-secondary institutions, immigrant serving agencies and service providers has built a dynamic network that is identifying labour market needs, strengthening skills, connecting job-ready talent to industry and creating opportunities. For more information visit biotalent.ca.

About BioNova

BioNova leads, accelerates, and advocates for Nova Scotia’s growing health and life sciences sector. Since 1993, BioNova has been accelerating the growth of its member companies. By hosting networking and educational events, and providing connections to potential funders and business resources, BioNova helps companies succeed.  While these companies commercialize life-changing research to improve healthcare, provide healthier food, and develop clean energy solutions, BioNova advocates on behalf of the sector. BioNova champions the sector’s cluster of world-class research facilities, incubator programs, and companies who, together, bring investment and jobs to Nova Scotia. For more information visit bionova.ca.

Media inquiries:

Siobhan Williams
Director, Marketing and Communications
BioTalent Canada
613-235-1402 ext. 229
[email protected]

Shana Cristoferi
Marketing Manager
902-421-5705 ext. 4
[email protected]

Entrevestor: Densitas Breast Density Tool In PEI

Halifax-based Densitas, whose software helps assess the density of breasts during mammograms, has announced that Prince Edward Island has become the second province, after Nova Scotia, to integrate its software across its screening program.

The Densitas software — named Densitas densityai —  provides an automated mechanism for quantifying and recording breast tissue density, a risk factor for breast cancer in women. Dense breasts can mask cancerous cells. Dense breast tissue is also linked to higher chances of cancer.

Now, every woman who receives a screening mammogram on P.E.I. will be notified of her​ breast density through the company’s densityai algorithm.

“Our advanced solutions are built to solve real clinical problems and effectively support healthcare providers,” said Ryan Duggan, Director of Product Development at Densitas in a statement.

The Densitas platform comprises three different products that tackle challenges in breast cancer screening, including mammography quality, workflow efficiencies, compliance with national standards, and meeting accreditation requirements.

NEWS RELEASE: Partner International a go-to for licensing, mergers and acquisitions in pharmaceuticals for 20 years

Halifax NS (Tuesday, January 28, 2020 ) – Partner International is celebrating 20 years in business and founder and CEO l, Joanne Ball-Gautschi, says the work they’ve accomplished has helped improve the health and wellbeing of people worldwide.

“The vision I had when starting Partner International was to help innovative organizations in the life science industry expand globally,” says Ball-Gautschi. “Now, we’ve grown to become an industry leader in facilitating and managing some of the largest licensing and merger and acquisition transactions in the sector.”

Focused primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, Partner International has developed and fortified valuable connections all over the world. Through their proprietary and highly specialized network, they link industry executives together to complete transactions that are not only worth millions but have also brought medical breakthroughs to the public.

“We bring together all sorts of stakeholders in all therapeutic areas at all stages of development,” says Vice President, Mark Regular. “For example, our clients may be multinational pharmaceutical companies, scientists, researchers or medical specialists with opportunities that may require buyers, sellers or partners, to put it simply. And what’s exciting is that we have this global presence that we are managing from here in Nova Scotia.”

Looking back at the past 20 years, Ball-Gautschi is grateful for Partner International’s global team of employees and international clients who’ve contributed to the company’s growth and success.

“I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our global team that upholds Partner International’s values every day,” says Ball-Gautschi. “We’re celebrating 20 years of leading the industry in global expansion with the most innovative medical technologies in the world – a testament to everyone’s collaboration and determination as we celebrate this momentous occasion.”

Partner International has offices and associates in more than 26 countries and represents clients in the life sciences industry from Asia, Latin America, Europe, Australia and North America. The company’s founder and CEO, Joanne Ball-Gautschi is a Top 50 CEO.


Media contact
Heather Hanson
(902) 488-2892
[email protected]

CBC: How virtual reality may dramatically change eye tests, research

See original article posted on CBC here

Eye clinics have depended on the same testing techniques for 6 decades, says IWK Health Centre specialist

Ryan Cameron is working with specialists to develop virtual reality programming that could be adapted to many medical fields. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

A team at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax is looking at eye testing in a new way thanks to an experiment with virtual reality.

The eye clinic works with patients ranging from infants to adults and depends on the subjective responses from patients to help with a diagnosis. That can make their work tricky, especially when small children are expected to undergo exams that can routinely run an hour long.

Dr. Darren Oystreck, an orthopist at the hospital who also works with the health faculty at Dalhousie University, estimated his profession has used the same tests for six decades to check for disorders of binocular vision or eye alignment issues.

“You compare it to other areas of medicine where they’ve had amazing breakthroughs in technology in some of the things they can imagine now and the data they can collect is mind-boggling,” he said.

Oystreck uses equipment like flashlights, pictures and foggy goggles to conduct his work and keep the kids focused.

Dr. Darren Oystreck says his field hasn’t evolved in decades, and the new virtual reality system could bring dramatic change to the way patients are tested. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Last year, his team decided it was time to look for new options. That’s when they met Ryan Cameron, the CEO of Electric Puppets, a Halifax-based virtual reality company that specializes in children’s programming.

“Everything [Oystreck] needed could be applied to many other areas, like brain injury research,” he said.

Cameron has adapted the old vision tests to a virtual reality program.

For the team at the IWK eye clinic, the collaboration allows the eye doctors to alter settings and try a wider range of scenarios, all while recording the reaction of a patient’s eyes.

The hope is that for children in particular, it will lead to more accurate observations.

Specialists can monitor and record the reactions of a patient’s eyes while testing them through a new virtual reality program. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

“They can calm down and relax and feel familiar with the environment quickly and then we can start to put them through the classic tests,” said Oystreck.

The program is being tested and studied at the hospital. The team needs to prove the results are just as accurate — if not more accurate — as the old tests, and they’ll produce a peer-reviewed study.

Steve Van Iderstine, a research associate at the IWK, said virtual reality systems weren’t designed for medical use, but they have great applications for that.

“I’m hoping in a year from now we’ll have good data to demonstrate that the virtual reality version of these tests has strong validity, then we’ll be able to look forward to the more exciting environments that we can generate with the virtual reality,” he said.

Steve Van Iderstine says the IWK Health Centre is making sure the research backs their belief that the virtual reality system gives more accurate results than traditional eye testing. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Cameron said those environments, for example, could be a virtual circus where kids would have the impression they’re playing a game, when in fact they’re being tested.

Van Iderstine said because virtual reality systems are commercially available, they’re far cheaper than medical equipment. They also take up less space.

He hopes headsets sized for small kids will soon be available.

For Cameron and his company, this program is just the beginning. They have a patent pending on their work, and they’re hoping that virtual reality could be used in the treatment of everything from physiotherapy to psychology.

ENTREVESTOR: PhotoDynamic Closes $2.3M Round

Read the full article here at Entrevestors website

Halifax-based PhotoDynamic, Inc. has closed a $2.3 million round of financing, which will help to finance the launch of its teeth-cleaning product in the autumn of this year.

The company’s CEO Martin Greenwood told Entrevestor a year ago that the company was aiming to raise at least $1.35 million, and it has handily exceeded that figure. More important, one of the lead investors is the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO, a group that will be key to bringing the product to market. The funders also include Charlottetown-based Natural Products Canada and Island Capital Partners.

PhotoDynamic is developing a device that uses natural extracts from a wild Nova Scotia plant to erase heavy plaque buildup on teeth. Such buildups are an unwanted side-effect of wearing braces, so PhotoDynamic plans to market the product by selling it through orthodontists.