Leading Health and Life Sciences in Nova Scotia

BioMedica Diagnostics Inc. Cornering the global market for blood testing kits

See original article on the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service Website BioMedica Diagnostics Inc. is well established as an exporter, with almost 100 percent of the sales of its blood coagulation testing kits, reagents and other products in more than 70 countries around the world.

(Photo: BioMedica Diagnostics Inc.)
But today the Windsor, Nova Scotia, company is stepping up its efforts abroad, with an aggressive growth plan that includes refocusing on existing markets and products, while extending its global reach and developing new disruptive technologies for the future. The firm has been given fast‑track status under a pilot program of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) that will provide resources to help it produce more revenues and generate additional jobs in the community. “We’d like to expand our international presence two- to three‑fold over the next few years,” says Lauren Iannetti, BioMedica’s vice‑president of business development, noting that the private company’s strategy is based on selecting distribution partners in the field, with the assistance of the TCS, that can help it grow. “We want to be market leaders.” BioMedica was started in 1999 as a medical device company focused on bringing affordable health care to countries around the world in the field of haemostasis (bleeding) and thrombosis (clotting) in the body. Its plasma‑based products are sold through a network of distributors to laboratories and used in panels of tests. They are either directly marketed under the BioMedica brand or purchased by instrumentation companies, which then sell the products under their own labels. The company was revamped five years ago under a new president and CEO, Brian Jeffers, and it renewed its commitment to routine coagulation testing in the international market. Three years ago, BioMedica expanded to include a specialty coagulation testing line through a firm that it acquired in Stamford, Connecticut, which increased its offering to some 100 products.

Tips for life sciences companies looking to go global

Exporters looking to aggressively extend their global reach in a field such as medical devices need passion, drive and a good business plan that ensures they don’t over extend, the experts say. “The realistic thing is how much business can a company handle,” says Butch Postma, a trade commissioner who covers the life sciences sector in Atlantic Canada and is based in Charlottetown. “It’s a work in progress with all clients.” Companies looking at international markets have various support partners at home to assist with export readiness, Postma says. “As clients carry out their due diligence on potential markets, an excellent first step for them is to leverage the domestic TCS network in Canada.” The company’s information is verified in a client management system, he says, making the client aware of the TCS’s service offerings and carrying out an introduction to TCS officers abroad. “This is all part of the beginning steps as we support the client with a recommended strategy, contacts and focused intelligence for the market or markets identified.” The biggest challenge for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is to get themselves known to new customers, he says, noting that many also “fall down on not following up” once they’ve made initial contacts. “Sometimes you have the president of the company who’s also the marketing guy, who’s also the finance guy. And when he gets back to the office the international business component takes a backseat, because there’s other things that demand his attention.” Aurora Polo, a trade commissioner in Barcelona whose responsibilities include Spain’s life sciences and health industries sector, says the best market-entry strategy for Canadian medical devices or diagnostics SMEs is “to identify a good distributor or commercial partner with the right knowledge of the market and industry sector.” It’s important for a potential partner to have contacts in both the public and private health-care sectors, with expertise in the regulatory framework for such devices. It’s also critical to have appropriate knowledge of the bid procurement structure and processes at the local, regional, national and international level. Having the right contacts and being able to provide adequate technical support are key, she says. “Visiting the market is also a must, as personal relations are important to establish long-standing solid business relations with distributors and commercial partners.”
Today the company has about 50 employees and it is transferring that U.S. operation to its location in Windsor, west of Halifax, where it occupies a former high school in an agricultural setting. “It allows us to lean into that aggressive growth space,” says Iannetti, noting that more than 98 percent of BioMedica’s products are exported, with the help of the TCS. “It’s an excellent resource,” she says of the TCS, which has chosen BioMedica for the six-month fast‑track pilot. The program is intended to give 20 firms priority service and help them grow. BioMedica has selected 15 countries to focus on, including 10 markets where the company is not very well established or “we think we can do more,” Iannetti says, among them Dubai, Spain and South Africa. There are also five brand‑new countries for BioMedica, including Mexico, India and Hungary. Iannetti says that in Spain, BioMedica has “dabbled here and there,” but it is now looking to advance significantly with the assistance of Aurora Polo, a trade commissioner in Barcelona who covers the country’s life sciences and health industries sector. The company faces hurdles there from language barriers to complex regulations for medical devices, Iannetti says. “We rely on Aurora to bring forward potential leads of companies that would be ideal partners for us.” Polo says Spain is among the top five countries in Europe in sales of medical devices, “however it is competitive, with many players who are all attracted by the market potential,” she says. “With our help, BioMedica has been able to establish contact with some of the top diagnostics medical device and health technologies distributors, commercial partners and manufacturers.” The majority of these have confirmed an interest in collaborating with BioMedica. Iannetti says the company replies on Polo’s guidance. “We’re the experts on our products, and we greatly rely on the trade commissioners to be experts on the in‑market details.” TCS specialists can check out leads and make introductions to possible distributors “rather than us making cold calls,” she says, which helps to “legitimize” the company. “If the trade commissioner can vet the potential partner and give it the thumbs up, that instantly eliminates many of our concerns.” The TCS organizes events, for example at Medica, a giant international trade show for the medical sector held each year in Düsseldorf, Germany. At the one in November 2018, BioMedica had 50‑plus side meetings, Iannetti says, many of which the TCS set up. It also offers assistance at home, through its regional office in Halifax. Butch Postma, a trade commissioner who covers the life sciences sector in Atlantic Canada and is based in Charlottetown, “has been a great champion of ours,” Iannetti says, from suggesting strategies to proposing new markets. “He’s on it.” Postma says the company is “an excellent user of the TCS,” and has been “making aggressive plays internationally,” from expanding its export targets to enhancing its market share in countries where it already has business. “They have a good business plan and from an international point of view they have a combination of product and people to really carry it out,’” says Postma, who calls himself “a matchmaker between the client and my colleagues abroad.” BioMedica’s Brian Jeffers says that the TCS has helped the company implement its global objectives. “The TCS, both here and in international markets, has been highly effective for us and a pleasure to work with,” says Jeffers. He is a member of the TCS industry Life Sciences Sector Advisory Group, which looks at trends and changes in the sector and offers guidance to help the TCS develop and deliver programs and services to life science exporters. BioMedica markets itself as “proudly Canadian,” Iannetti says. “There’s a view that Canada and our products are very high quality.” She hopes the TCS can help the company “navigate some of the trickier markets” and help with matters such as payment issues and logistics as the company increases its reach. It has a busy and active research & development team that’s looking at disruptive technologies, for instance new ways of doing blood coagulation testing, Iannetti says. BioMedica looks for well‑established distributors that are the “right fit,” says Iannetti, screening and selecting those that can act autonomously on its behalf. “We don’t want to have to hand hold and we don’t need to babysit them.” This makes it imperative that “the trade commissioners are on task so we’re confident we’re signing up the right partners,” she adds.
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News Release: BioMedica Diagnostics Acquires Sekisui Diagnostics

here For Immediate Release Halifax, NS -Windsor based, BioMedica Diagnostics (BMD) made the announcement today that it has purchases the specialty coagulation business and product line from Sekisui Diagnostics (SDG). The agreement includes all aspects of the business worldwide, with the exception of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, where SDGmbH, a Sekisui Diagnostics subsidiary, will continue to distribute and support the products in partnership with BMD. In conjunction with this agreement, BMD will also acquire the American Diagnostica trademark. “This is great news, not only for BioMedica Diagnostics but for the entire life sciences sector,” Said Scott Moffitt, Managing Director at BioNova – the association leading the development of the life sciences sector in Nova Scotia. ” This acquisition is proof of our global competitiveness and our capabilities to build high growth life sciences companies right here in Nova Scotia.” The agreement closed as of December 1st, 2016 and from this time forward BMD will be responsible for the operation of the business.


About BioMedica Diagnostics Established in 1999, we are a diagnostics company with a focus on providing customized diagnostic solutions in human and animal health. The acquisition of these assets is a natural fit to further solidify our foundation in thrombosis and haemostasis and expand our reach in specialty coagulation.   Contact info BioMedica Diagnostics Nadine Williams 902-798-0982 [email protected]   BioNova Jessica Gillis, Communications Officer 902-237-8608 [email protected]    ]]>

BIOMEDICA DIAGNOSTICS: BioMedica Diagnostics has acquired the specialty coagulation business and product line from Sekisui Diagnostics

See original story here We are pleased to announce today that BioMedica Diagnostics (BMD) has purchased the specialty coagulation business and product line from Sekisui Diagnostics (SDG). The agreement includes all aspects of the business worldwide. In conjunction with this agreement, BMD will also acquire the American Diagnostica trademark. Both BMD and SDG are committed to a seamless transition where maintaining exceptional product quality and the highest service levels for all customers and partners are our top priorities. The agreement closed as of December 1 st , 2016 and from this time forward BMD will be responsible for the operation of the business. Established in 1999, we are a diagnostics company with a focus on providing customized diagnostic solutions in human and animal health. The acquisition of these assets is a natural fit to further solidify our foundation in thrombosis and haemostasis and expand our reach in specialty coagulation. We look forward to continuing to serve customers with the outstanding level of quality and service that partners have come to expect from BMD and SDG. For more information about BioMedica Diagnostics or to purchase products, please contact Nadine Williams at +1-902- 798-0982 or [email protected].]]>

BioPort News: Meet Honorary Conference Chair Dr. Abdullah Kirumira

Dr. Abdullah Kirumira, Chairman and Technical Director, BioMedica Diagnostics  In 1993, Dr. Kirumira was responsible for the invention of the world’s first rapid-acting HIV diagnostic test. In 1999, Dr. Abdullah Kirumira founded BioMedica Diagnostics in Windsor, NS, who’s success has been built on their ability to deliver superior service, quality and results to their partners. Dr. Kirumira’s entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to give back has resulted in impressive levels of support in underdeveloped regions lacking the ability diagnose infectious diseases.

“My vision is to establish affordable laboratory medicine in Third World countries that do not have access to diagnostic equipment because it is too expensive, or they don’t have the appropriate technology at their disposal.” (Source).
 Dr. Kirumira’s achievements have been well recognized and appreciated by a variety of local and international organizations.
Join us at BioPort to hear from one of the key scientist-entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry.]]>

BioMedica Diagnostics receives support from Government of Canada

Monday, June 6, 2016, BioMedica Diagnostics is proud to announce that it will receive a non-repayable financial contribution from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to support research towards a new approach for monitoring blood clotting profiles. This agreement represents funding of up to $371,787, in addition to technical and business advisory services. Over the next two years, NRC-IRAP will provide support to BioMedica Diagnostics on a specific pipeline program that is focused on developing the next generation of innovative and novel base IVD technologies. The new products to be developed will be offered to BioMedica Diagnostics’ global commercial partners. These technologies are focused on ultimately improving diagnosis and patient outcomes, as well as lowering healthcare costs to Canadians and people around the world. At BioMedica Diagnostics, technical innovation is the lifeblood of our operation. The technical and financial support of NRC-IRAP is highly valuable to continue to allow BioMedica Diagnostics to excel in our field. Successful development and commercialization of this important pipeline initiative allows BioMedica Diagnostics to continue to evolve and grow, creating products with positive health impacts together with jobs in Nova Scotia and in Canada, while lending meaningful contributions to the vital Canadian biotechnology community. The team at BioMedica Diagnostics would like to acknowledge and thank the Government of Canada and NRC-IRAP for the support of this exciting project.]]>

How BioMedica Reached a 50/50 Gender Balance Without Trying

See original article here
BioMedica Diagnostics, a Canadian research and in-vitro-diagnostic solutions company based in Windsor Nova Scotia, has set out to do one thing: “help people live better lives.” This is the approach BioMedica takes with everything they do – from the development of its diagnostic patient-care technologies and solutions, all the way to its collaborative relationships with employees and partners.
When Brian Jeffers took the wheel in 2014 as BioMedica’s new President and CEO, he purposely aimed to build an environment that would attract and retain the best talent. He envisioned a high-performance company culture that enabled individuals to thrive under the concepts of empowerment and accountability. One such individual who understood and bought into the idea of a high-performance culture, and joined BioMedica in an essential role is Sheri Fitzpatrick-Poulain, Director of Commercial Operations.
Together Jeffers and Fitzpatrick-Poulain are building a leadership team of top talent that just happens to be 50% women. This feat landed BioMedica in the spotlight for its approach to gender diversity at BioTalent Canada’s Connecting & Advancing Women in Biotechnology events. With an increased focus in achieving a 50/50 employee gender-balance across multiple sectors, including the Canadian parliament, one can’t help but ask, what lessons can be learned from BioMedica.
The answer is surprising. BioMedica didn’t set out to hire women. Their focus is on talent. “We aim to go after the best talent out there with no internal or external barriers,” said Jeffers. “We focus on someone’s capability as an individual and as a team player, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity.”
Do as you say
BioMedica’s vision of “helping people live better lives” is reflected in the way the company interacts with its team. Fitzpatrick-Poulain said, “we are driven to make the company more successful and in turn are given real workplace flexibility.” Team members can work from home across the country, a benefit that is appreciated companywide.  For example, the option to work from home during inclement weather allows everyone on the team to stay safe and focused on their jobs without worrying about issues like childcare and unsafe road conditions. In turn, BioMedica gains an engaged and productive team focused on achieving the objectives that have been set.
Reject artificial harmony
Employees are empowered to take initiative and lead. BioMedica has created an environment where it is safe to disagree and have spirited debates with the objective of getting things right. Office politics and artificial harmony are rejected; instead the focus is on obtaining different perspectives to reach better outcomes for patients and partners alike.
Groom to grow
BioMedica believes in grooming talent to propel the company forward, such as in the case of Fitzpatrick-Poulain, “whose next step in her career is definitely in a President’s role,” said Jeffers.  There is a focus on fostering leadership and team building skills, and everyone is given the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and new challenges within the objectives set out. Accountability is a strong pillar of leadership, and rather than point-and-blame, team members are encouraged to take ownership of their mistakes, and come up with solutions. In addition to traditional skills training, team members are actively mentored in every phase of their careers, with the goal of grooming them to grow into leadership positions.
BioMedica understands that its current and future success as a company relies heavily on attracting top talent and creating an environment where they can grow and be empowered to realize their full potential.
Jeffers has a simple answer to the attention BioMedica is getting, “In building our team, we go after the best talent – period. Gender balance is a byproduct of our approach.”
Newsletter Issue:
HR Microscope February 2016