Atlantic Canada’s life sciences companies reaching global markets

News release

Businesses are commercializing products to improve lives and transform Atlantic Canada’s economy

March 2, 2020 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Atlantic Canada’s growing life sciences industry is moving the economy toward a more prosperous future. Today, four Halifax-area companies are one step closer to bringing their innovative healthcare solutions for a wide range of challenges to the world:

-       Motryx has found a way to protect and monitor blood samples moving between hospitals and laboratories;

-       Nxtgen Care is combating loneliness, a condition known to have negative health effects, especially for seniors;

-       IR Scientific’s solution relieves pain in sensitive teeth; and,

-       Skinfix specializes in clean and clinically active skincare to improve skin health.

Growing life sciences sector

These companies are part of a cluster of more than one hundred locally-owned life sciences businesses that are growing revenues and attracting new investments across the region. The life sciences sector is an important contributor to the economy, providing thousands of good jobs for Atlantic Canadians. The sector is gaining momentum in the region and is building an international reputation for success. Atlantic Canada has made Startup Genome’s list of ecosystems to watch in the life sciences category in its 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

Investments for growth and expansion

René Arseneault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax, announced contributions totaling $1,746,850 to help four life sciences companies  commercialize their healthcare solutions, benefiting the local economy. This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

The Government of Canada will continue to invest in small- and medium-sized businesses to help them scale up, increase productivity and participate in the global economy. Support for these projects is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.


“Strong regional economies are essential to grow a successful and sustainable Canadian economy. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is there to help businesses and innovators grow, succeed and create good jobs for Atlantic Canadians. Our government is making strategic investments that will enable businesses in all regions of the country gain a competitive edge.”

-   The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Halifax’s life sciences cluster is at the heart of a vibrant and growing Atlantic innovation ecosystem that has the talent and resources to compete on a global scale. The economic potential of this sector is incredible and we can be rightfully proud of its achievements to date. With its continued growth, I believe we are well-positioned to move our economy into a prosperous future.”

-   Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“This project will move the marker closer toward commercializing the Motryx product for blood transportation in hospitals as well as in private laboratories. This funding will allow us to hire strategic technical expertise as well as grow our sales force to reach customers in these markets, which have a combined addressable value of over $800 million.”

- Dr. Franziska Broell, CEO and Founder, Motryx Inc.

“Nxtgen CareTM is leading a Revolution in Seniors Care. Our business intelligence and analytics platform creates a real-time community of care for senior living facilities – optimizing care delivery while enhancing resident care levels. This project will allow us to grow our local team, invest in our flagship Care ScorecardTM and resident M-FactorTM digital health products and execute agreements in place within the coveted US healthcare marketplace.”

- Dan LeBlanc, President, Nxtgen Care

“This funding allows IR Scientific to continue its primary market research, expand oral care product claims beyond sensitivity and secure a global supply for our partners. With the help of four new employees, external resources, continued investor support and this funding program, IR Scientific is able to create incredible value, for our partners, our investors, and Atlantic Canada.”

-   Andrew Doyle, CEO IR Scientific Inc.

“This funding will allow Skinfix to effectively compete in the $150 billion global skincare market as the first clean, clinically validated skincare brand. Skinfix will use the funds to hire expert industry talent and build marketing programs to propel the brand at Sephora in North America, where skincare has now become the largest beauty category for the first time in Sephora's history. This project will help Skinfix drive awareness for its highly unique proposition as the first scientifically validated, wellness focused skincare brand.”

-   Amy Risely, Founder & CEO, Skinfix

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing repayable contributions through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. 

  • The Business Scale-up and Productivity stream of the REGI program supports businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, to accelerate their growth, help them scale-up and improve their productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets. 

Related products

Associated links


Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages

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

Dr. Franziska Broell

Dan LeBlanc
Nxtgen Care

Roar Askheim
Chief Financial Officer
IR Scientific

Katheryn Spears
Marketing Manager

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