Leading Health and Life Sciences in Nova Scotia

News Release: Semi-Finalists Chosen for BioInnovation Challenge

Semi-Finalists Chosen for BioInnovation Challenge

Halifax, NS – August 28, 2017 The semi-finalists have been chosen for the 2017 edition of The BioInnovation Challenge (BIC). Scott Moffitt, Managing Director of BioNova, the host of BIC, announced today that the semi-finalists who will take part in the program have been selected. The semi-finalists will receive professional pitch training between now and the semi-final run off, which will be held in Halifax on October 17. The program is part of a regional collaboration between BioNova, BioNB and PEI BioAlliance, its sister organizations in NB and PEI. The program allows up and coming life sciences companies to compete in the challenge and kick start their success. “We’re very excited about this year’s BioInnovation Challenge,” said Moffitt. “We have a number of brand new semi-finalists which shows that, year over year, this region is producing great life science ideas and great innovators.” Moffitt also notes that, “we are continuing to see exciting, new innovations as the BioInnovation Challenge evolves to offer more and more support for early stage companies.” The semi-finalists are: • Tieös Pharmaceuticals Inc. from New Brunswick • Neck Tronics Inc. from Nova Scotia • iPSNP Computing Inc. from New Brunswick • Heterogeneous Nanosystems Ltd. from Nova Scotia • Zecken Laboratories from New Brunswick • ADDtext Inc. from Nova Scotia • Pfera Inc. from New Brunswick • Canuevo Biotech Inc. from New Brunswick The winner of the BioInnovation Challenge will receive a $15,000 seed investment and a package of support services and mentoring valued at more than $30,000. The 2017 BIC is presented by BioNova in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, BioNB, Emergence, Dalhousie University Industry Liaison and Innovation, Springboard Atlantic, Jennifer Cameron PR, JLT, Sandler Training and Grant Thornton. BIC will take place over two days in October. The 8 semi-finalists will present to a panel of judges on October 17 at the Life Sciences Research Institute. The top three presenters will then pitch to the judges and the conference audience at BioPort Atlantic, BioNova’s annual conference, the following morning. The winner will be announced at the close of BioPort Atlantic on the afternoon of October 18. BioPort Atlantic will take place at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel on October 17 and 18. BioPort provides a forum to educate, inform and inspire the life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region and with guests brought in from the US and from around the world. About BioNova: BioNova is the industry association leading the advancement of the life sciences sector in Nova Scotia. BioNova leads and supports its members as we build a successful, self-sustaining life sciences industry in Nova Scotia. By promoting the industry and its successes, building relationships both inside and outside the province and creating networking and educational opportunities. BioNova aims to accelerate the commercialization success of Nova Scotia’s life sciences businesses and organizations. -30- For further information, media may contact: Kerri Mannette Program Manager, BioNova 902-421-5705 ext. 4 [email protected]]]>

MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies: Revolutionizing the way people are repositioned in wheelchairs

Originally featured in LINK Magazine

Revolutionizing the way people are repositioned in wheelchairs in homes, hospitals and care facilities around the world.

Nova Scotians working in the healthcare sector have the highest rate of workplace injury compared to any other industry, with musculoskeletal injuries to healthcare workers costing Nova Scotia taxpayers $100 million annually. These injuries are frequently caused by continuing care workers repositioning patients in wheelchairs who are unable to reposition themselves. MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies, in collaboration with NSCC and Northwood, a leading long-term care facility in Halifax, has developed The Paraglide system to help alleviate this problem. Paraglide is a wheelchair repositioning system that brings mechanical innovation to the currently injury-prone and undignified task of moving someone in a wheelchair from a slouched position to an upright position. The Paraglide device will be the first of its kind that will allow people who become slouched forward in wheelchairs to reposition themselves at the touch of a button, removing the reliance of a caregiver and giving them dignity and independence. The device will also eliminate the risk of caregiver injury for this task, prevent pressure injuries (bed sores), and save resources in healthcare facilities, nursing homes, homecare, governments and injury-related insurance coverage for both wheelchair users and caregivers alike. Paraglide, made of lightweight aluminum, contains a motor, gears, and electronics which attach to the back of the wheelchair. The device uses a wireless remote control, rotating and pulling a specially designed fabric sheet along the seat of the wheelchair thereby moving the person automatically. When the button is released the device releases the sheet, allowing enough slack for the individual to make their way forward again, allowing free movement. Last October, MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies was named the winner of the sixth annual BioInnovation Challenge (Presented by BioNova) chosen by a panel of judges for its adaptability, market pull, and consumer readiness. The prize package valued at more than $30,000, contained a seed investment and a package of advisory services that the company has used to advance its production as it prepares for the market this summer.]]>

BioPort 2016: Succeeding as an entrepreneur with Dr. Pravin Chaturvedi

“If you ask for advice, you will receive money. If you ask for money, you will receive advice.” This was just one of the gold nuggets Dr. Pravin Chaturvedi offered to BioPort Atlantic conference attendees during his keynote speech late last month.  With over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, multiple successful entrepreneurship endeavors under his belt and as a self-proclaimed “Agent Provocateur”, he was not scared to share his opinions and realities on the entrepreneur/investor relationship and how to successfully navigate them to build life sciences enterprises. I heard a great quote this fall from a speaker at a BioNova Boost session: “Companies don’t succeed, entrepreneurs succeed” (Kevin Talbot, Relay Ventures). According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail and Dr. Chaturvedi offered up his list of the top 10 mistakes entrepreneurs make to help you avoid these missteps and create a successful company:  

10. Failing to understand the real business opportunity 9. Failing to appreciate and address competition 8. Building upon the wrong structure 7. Assembling the wrong team 6. Being unrealistic 5. Over-valuing the business at critical junctures 4. Allowing mole hills to grow into mountains 3. Failing to maximize your competitive advantages 2. Assembling the wrong investors 1. Failing to manage expectations with investors

  A recent Entrevestor article stated life sciences is the second largest innovation sector in our region, with 13 life sciences companies forming in 2016, compared with six in 2014. This shows we have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and we, at BioNova, want to see a strong success rate because success not only impacts each company individually but our economy. If you are a life sciences entrepreneur and have questions on how to get started or how to build your high growth business, BioNova has the expertise and knowledge to help accelerate and drive your business forward. All the best, Scott Moffitt Managing Director, BioNova   References Chaturvedi, P. (2015) BioPort Keynote address Moreira, C. (2016). Fostering Life Sciences Companies in NS. http://entrevestor.com/ac/blog/fostering-life-science-companies-in-ns/ Wagner, E. (2013). Five reasons 8 out of 10 business fail. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/#6391a2905e3c]]>

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.]]>

NowNS: Halifax startup aims to turn treating bone fractures into outpatient procedure

See original post here Osteoporosis and broken bones could soon prove much less of a problem thanks to a breakthrough surgical glue invented by the team behind Covina BioMedical, a Halifax startup currently searching for $2 million in seed capital. The newly incorporated company (formerly known as Biofix) has patented a novel type of glass ionomer cement (GIC), the super strong glues that are great for dental work but pose problems — including aluminum-driven toxicity — when used outside the mouth. Covina has figured out how to remove the aluminum from its GIC yet retain the tool’s polymerized strength. In addition, its GIC handles better – allowing surgeons to inject it non-invasively into bone including vertebrae, opening the door for much faster turnarounds in the operating room. Brett Dickey, currently wrapping up a PhD at Dalhousie University’s school of biomedical engineering, told the Chronicle Herald he and fellow cofounder Caitlin Pierlot, a postdoctoral fellow at the school, are at the due diligence stage with several Toronto and Nova Scotia-based angel investment groups to raise $2 million “as soon as possible.” Dickey said Covina will use the capital to achieve ISO13485-certification, an internationally-recognized approval of a medical device company’s quality management procedures, for its product’s proposed manufacturing process. The hurdle requires significant pre-clinical testing, which Covina is conducting with Dalhousie and aims to conclude in 2017, he said. This should clear the way for a 2018 launch in Europe, a market with more clearly defined and user friendly regulatory requirements than the U.S., says Dickey. “Europe allows medical device companies to achieve regulatory approval and licence to sell their technologies in a more efficient manner. Also, establishing a European market will bring in revenue while we prepare to launch in the U.S. “It’s a long process, but we believe in our product and its potential.” Demographics do appear to be in Covina’s favour. Dickey says every year, more than 700,000 orthopedic fractures occur in the U.S. alone. Meanwhile, that country is expected to see an increase in people suffering from osteoporosis — a deterioration of spinal bone — to 61 million by 2020, he says. “Our minimally invasive procedure could treat people’s pain in a way that would be inexpensive for hospitals and convenient for patients. Patients will be able to go into a hospital or clinic, lie on a bed and be given a local anaesthetic. Our cement would then be injected, using a hollow needle similar to a biopsy needle, directly into the vertebrae of the spine. The cement sets in place, the fracture is stabilized, and the patient will be able to walk out. We will make this an outpatient procedure.” Dickey says Covina enjoyed a big boost after coming first at the 2015 BioNova BioInnovation Challenge at industry event BioPort Atlantic, held in Halifax in October. The win not only landed the company a $15,000 cash prize but also plugged it into $30,000 of “incredibly useful” in-kind strategic and tactical marketing, financial modeling and planning advice. “Winning the challenge was an excellent catalyst, a great way to kick things off and get us to a lot of places quickly, in terms of gearing us up.” Alberta-born Dickey, who grew up in Nova Scotia, owns Covina with Peggy’s Cove native Pierlot, Halifax-based interventional radiologist Dr. Bob Abraham and Dalhousie biomaterials professor Daniel Boyd, who moved to Canada several years ago from Ireland and whose research enabled the original innovation behind Covina’s cement. The foursome coalesced in 2011 around a $2.5-million Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) grant to fund the development of non-invasive bone repair. Covina is benefitting also from a $50,000 Innovacorp grant. Dickey says one of the main drivers behind Covina’s creation was the team’s collective desire to grow a world-beating global brand built and permanently run out of Nova Scotia. “You can do it here,” he says. “Take a look around and you see a lot of good companies coming up in bigger and bigger waves.”]]>

MEDIA RELEASE: BioNova Launches BioInnovation Challenge for Early Stage Life Sciences Companies

The BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) was created by BioNova, Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry association and sector development organization, to help ease the transition from research laboratory to market. But BIC is more than just a competition; it is a support program to accelerate Atlantic Canadian researchers and life science companies in becoming established, viable entities.  Since its inception in 2011, the BioInnovation Challenge has ushered 38 companies and research organizations from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI through the program, each receiving significant training to position a business for high growth. “We are very excited about this year’s competition,” said Scott Moffitt, managing director at BioNova. “There is a lot of innovation happening in the life sciences in Atlantic Canada and we are on track to be one of the pillars of the new economy, we are definitely a sector to watch out for.” The competition, presented by BioNova in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Dalhousie University, Springboard Atlantic, BioNB and PEI BioAlliance will take place during BioPort Atlantic, the premier annual life sciences industry event in Atlantic Canada on October 25-26, 2016 in Halifax. The winners, who will be announced at BioPort Atlantic, will be awarded advisory services with the first place winner also receiving seed funding for a total package value of $45,000.  In-kind services have been provided by: Plano and Simple, Cox & Palmer, Jennifer Cameron PR, JLT Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sandler Training, Grant Thornton LLP and BioNova. Life sciences companies and researchers will have until August 12, 2016 to submit their entries to BioNova. Semi-Finalists will be chosen by September 2. For full competition details and to submit an application visit www.bionova.ca About BioNova BioNova is Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry association and sector development organization. BioNova leads and supports its members as we build a successful, self-sustaining life sciences industry in Nova Scotia. By promoting the industry and its successes, building relationships both inside and outside the province and creating networking and educational opportunities BioNova aims to accelerate the commercialization success of Nova Scotia’s life sciences businesses and organizations. -30- For Further Information: Media Inquiries: Jessica Gillis Communications Officer [email protected] (902) 237-8608 Application Inquiries: Kerri Mannette Project Manager [email protected] 902-421-5705 ext. 4]]>