Halifax, NS – November 8, 2018 – Today Picomole from Moncton, New Brunswick was named the winner of BioNova’s eighth annual BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition at BioPort 2018. Picomole is an innovative medical technology company with the goal of developing their patented and patent-pending technologies for breath analytics into the standard of care for non-invasive clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine.
Stephen Graham of Picomole said, “This experience has been invaluable. The mentorship and training we’ve received through this process has helped take Picomole to the next level, and we know the funding and the advisory services will help to elevate us even more.”
Atlantic Canada’s best health and life science innovators participate in the BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition each year. The competition’s goal is to help ease the transition from research laboratory to market. Picomole will receive a prize package that includes $25,000 in seed funding and an advisory services package worth more than $30,000. Picomole was up against Matthew Kay, CEO ofTalem Health Analytics and Gabrielle Masone, CEO of Coloursmith Labs.
“Our panel of judges had a difficult time selecting a winner because all seven finalists have what it takes to make their start up a success,” said Scott Moffitt, Executive Director of BioNova. “Congratulations to Picomole.”
The Judging Panel:
Jennifer Hamilton, Senior Director, New Ventures (Canada), Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Gerry Lacroix, Technology Sector Leader – Nova Scotia, Grant Thornton LLP
John Holyoake, Managing Director, Investment Banking, Bloom Burton & Co.
Shana Cristoferi, Marketing Manager, BioNova
Mobile: (902) 830-9193
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 sustainable 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. www.bionova.ca
About BioPort 2018
The 17th annual BioPort conference will take place at the Halifax Convention Centre on November 7-8, 2018. BioPort provides a forum to educate, inform and inspire the health and life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region and with guests brought in from the U.S. and from around the world. www.bioportatlantic.ca]]>
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Eight companies have been chosen to compete in this year’s BioInnovation Challenge, a regional health and life sciences business competition hosted by BioNova.
The competition will go down on Nov. 7 at BioPort 2018, BioNova’s annual conference for the life-science industry at the Halifax Convention Centre.
The BIC is one of the longest running business competitions in the Atlantic region. Since 2011, over 50 companies have gone through the program.
Past winners of the BIC include New Brunswick-based Pfera Inc. as well as Spring Loaded Technology, ABK BioMedical and Covina Biomedical from Nova Scotia.
“A strong and vibrant economy in our region requires continuous innovation and BIC has become a key program to support that,” said Scott Moffitt the Managing Director of BioNova in a statement.
“Many of the companies coming out of the program have gone on to raise millions to grow and scale.”
This year’s semi-finalists will receive training and sessions with expert pitching coach Linda Plano, who has over 10 years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs with startups in life sciences.
The winner of the competition will also receive $25,000 in funding to develop their business idea as well as a package of support services and mentoring valued at more than $30,000.
The BioPort 2018 conference is set to be the biggest yet. A Keynote address will be given by Corrina Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix in Maryland. BioPort 2018 will also be the inaugural year for a new program for Nova Scotia’s youth.
The eight BIC semi-finalists are:
Coloursmith Labs – Direct-to-consumer contact lenses that work as the world’s first practical solution to colour blindness. Read Entrevestor’s coverage of Coloursmith here.
Unified Health – New models designed to ease the strain on the emergency system while reducing healthcare costs and bringing better patient outcomes. The company plans to set up wellness clinics that merge traditional and alternative care practices.
Talem Health Analytics – A Software-as-a-Service company for healthcare professionals to track, analyze and predict treatment regimens for people who have been in motor vehicle accidents. It draws on data from physiotherapy clinics and can help insurers assess how the patient will rehab. Talem was one of the five winners that took home $25,000 at the last Volta Cohort.
Picomole – A painless, accurate, and versatile diagnostic breath test to detect early stage lung cancer. This Moncton-based company is testing its device with the Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick. Read Entrevestor’s story on Picomole here.
BioHuntress – A Saint John company develping a natural treatment for blood cancer that brings a better patient experience.
Neuro Amel Technologies – This Halifax-based company is building a frameless, automated brace that uses electrical stimulation to improve mobility for stroke patients. Neuro Amel recently graduated from Dalhousie University’s LaunchPad program. Read Entrevestor’s story on the early development of the project here.
Macro Movements – A company that is building a software that gives feedback on your movement to prevent injury.
3F Waste Recovery – Turns waste in the fishery, farming and forestry industries into profitable solutions. The company is in the business of “turning garbage into gold,” for the cosmetics industry.]]>
BioPort 2018 Announces Keynote Speakers
And Explores the Future of Life Sciences in Atlantic Canada
June 21, 2018 – Halifax, NOVA SCOTIA – Health and life sciences innovators, industry leaders, and investors from across North America will come together to attend BioPort 2018, on November 7-8, 2018 at the Halifax Convention Centre. This year’s event will feature keynote speakers Dr. Corrina Lathan, CEO of AnthroTronix, Inc. and William Charnetski, Ontario’s Chief Health Innovation Strategist, who will explore the transformative impact of technology on life sciences companies and health care. The annual event will also feature a business pitch competition and an exciting new program targeting Nova Scotia’s youth.
“BioPort highlights the potential of the health and life sciences sector in Atlantic Canada to tackle the world’s toughest challenges,” said Scott Moffitt, Managing Director of BioNova. “This year our speakers will share how embracing disruptive technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology, present opportunities to grow our sector.”
Corinna Lathan, Ph.D., will provide the keynote address on November 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm ADT. Dr. Lathan is a neuroscientist, engineer, and health technology entrepreneur. Her company has successfully developed an FDA-cleared mobile platform for healthcare providers to assess cognitive function. She has also developed robotics for kids with disabilities, and wearable sensors for training surgeons and soldiers. These human-technology innovations have been featured in Forbes and Time magazines, and led to Dr. Lathan being named as MIT Technology Review Magazine’s ‘Top 100 World Innovators’.
On November 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm ADT, William Charnetski, LL.B, will provide a keynote address on how collaboration across the health care system facilitates the adoption of innovative health technologies. Mr. Charnetski is an accomplished national and global executive who has worked in the highest levels of business, law, and government. For over 10 years he was vice president and general counsel for AstraZeneca. He was also a partner at the law firm Torys LLP and served as chief of staff to The Hon. William Graham, P.C., Q.C.
As per previous years, BioPort will feature the BioInnovation Challenge (BIC), an Atlantic Canadian health and life science business pitch competition that gives entrepreneurs a chance to win $25,000 in funding to develop their business idea. New to this year’s program, the conference will also feature BioInnovation Challenge Junior (BIC Junior), for Nova Scotian high school and first year post-secondary students to create health and life science business ideas. The winner will receive a prize of $2,000.
For more information or to register for the event, visit BioPortAtlantic.ca. Complimentary media registration is available to reporters. Follow #BioPort2018 @BioNovaNS for updates.
Since 2002, BioPort has provided a forum to inform and inspire the health and life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies, and build links within the region, nationally and abroad.
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, contact:
Marketing Manager, BioNova
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By Peter Moreira
For the past few years Kami Harris has received 1,000 ticks annually at her office at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. She hopes it continues. Her business model depends on it.
Some come from scientists, some from New Brunswick’s Natural Resources Department, others from members of the public who have heard about her work in ticks and Lyme disease.
Harris is the founder and CEO of Zecken Laboratories, which is dedicated to enhancing the diagnosis of Lyme disease. She has been studying ticks and Lyme disease for her PhD at Mount A, and now she is transforming her research into a company. Her faith in the endeavour is based in part on the growing public awareness and fear of Lyme disease.
“We’ve gone in five years from people thinking, ‘This could happen in the Maritimes’ to ‘This is a big problem,’” Harris told the BioPort Atlantic conference in Halifax last week. “Half my day already goes to answering emails from people who know I’m the ‘tick girl.’”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by blood-feeding insects, particularly deer ticks. And as the climate warms, ticks are spreading north and their bites are becoming more common in the Maritimes. Concern about Lyme disease is growing.
Harris said there are actually 21 types of Lyme disease but current diagnostic tests only identify one type. That means about 90 per cent of the instances of Lyme disease go undetected, which can lead to long-term health problems. What Zecken is doing is devising products that can identify markers in the other types of Lyme disease to improve diagnosis and therefore generate more treatment.
The company has already identified peptides that show the presence of the affliction, and continues to research the disease to identify new strains as they come along.
“We’re not only going to give you the right information; we’ll give you more information,” Harris said. “We’ll be able to tell you the type of Lyme disease you have.”
At BioPort, Zecken was a finalist in the BioInnovation Challenge, the region’s main pitching competition for life sciences competitions. Earlier this year, it was a semifinalist in Breakthru, the main startup competition in New Brunswick. Soon it will be ready to start bringing in revenue.
The company is planning a basic swab test for consumers in 2018. For $50, consumers can swab their mouths at home, send the sample to the company and learn if they have Lyme disease and if so what type. Harris said this service will not require regulatory approval.
The swab service will bring in revenues as the company seeks regulatory clearance for more sophisticated products, such as a blood test to detect Lyme disease for health-care providers. It also wants a business-to-business product to offer to such industries as forestry, where tick bites are a growing concern.
So far, the company’s research has been financed through Harris’ research funding, but she and her three teammates know they will need a more structured financing model.
They will probably aim for a $250,000 funding round in their first year.]]>