Halifax health science firms pursue innovative solutions to medical challenges
Research aims to help people struggling with rare diseases, debilitating pain and sleep apnea
January 24, 2023 · Halifax, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Atlantic Canada’s bioscience sector has become a key driver of economic growth and diversification for the region. The Government of Canada is investing to help three Halifax bioscience companies create innovative healthcare solutions for a wide range of challenges facing people around the world.
Federal government supports three Halifax start-ups
Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced repayable contributions totalling $1,698,750 through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program to ClearDynamic Inc., AGADA Biosciences Inc. and NovaResp Technologies Inc. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.
ClearDynamic is receiving $948,750 to explore the feasibility of a drug-free treatment to eliminate joint pain, specifically in the knee. The contribution will help the company conduct critical pre-clinical trials, including hiring skilled staff and attracting international investors.
AGADA Biosciences is receiving $500,000 to expand into a new, state-of-the-art customized laboratory in the Brewery Market building, as well as purchase specialized lab equipment and hire additional staff. The firm works with international pharmaceutical and non-profit foundations to help develop drugs for patients with rare muscle and nerve diseases. This support will help AGADA meet increased demand for its services and research.
NovaResp Technologies is receiving $250,000 to hire a consultant to speed up the design and approval of its AI-enabled software that will be integrated with existing sleep apnea devices to provide a more comfortable, personalized approach to improving sleep, and quality of life for users.
For more information about the funding recipients, see the attached backgrounder.
Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to boost regional prosperity by supporting entrepreneurs and innovation in Atlantic Canada’s bioscience sector.
“Strategic investments in Atlantic Canada’s bioscience sector are helping local companies bring innovative ideas from the lab to the marketplace. These advancements are creating well-paying jobs and made-in-Halifax solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world."
- Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“The Halifax biomedical community has a well-earned reputation for innovation and excellence. Companies like ClearDynamic, AGADA Biosciences and NovaResp Technolgoies are helping build a strong future for all Canadians as they develop their novel ideas, scale up and prepare to reach new markets.”
- Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Halifax
“We simply could not develop this breakthrough health technology without the support and advice of ACOA. Their assistance has enabled us to attract much needed foreign direct investment to Nova Scotia, it has helped us to accelerate our development plans, and to partner with leading physicians around the world.”
- Dr. Daniel Boyd, Acting Chief Scientific Officer, ClearDynamic
“AGADA is delighted to continue its rapid expansion, both providing new therapeutic opportunities for neuromuscular disease patients, while taking advantage of the outstanding workforce graduating from Atlantic universities.”
- Dr. Eric Hoffman, Chief Executive Officer, AGADA Biosciences
“I would like to thank ACOA for their support and financial assistance. ACOA has been there for us from the beginning, helping us work toward our technological and commercialization objectives. I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that ACOA’s support for the life-sciences ecosystem has been a crucial part of our growth, as well as the employment and training of highly skilled employees that’ll help form the future of our region.”
- Dr. Hamed Hanafi, Chief Executive Officer, NovaResp Technologies
The Atlantic Canadian bioscience sector is made up of 900 organizations including research institutions, non-government organizations, private business and government. Together, they employ more than 10,000 people.
Life sciences are a component of the bioscience sector. In Halifax, there are more than 100 life sciences companies across a range of industries, from medical devices to digital health to bioproducts.
The Halifax life sciences sector includes an emerging medical technology cluster which builds on the city’s IT strengths and vibrant innovation ecosystem.
The funding announced today is provided through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Director and Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Eric Hoffman
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Hamed Hanafi
Chief Executive Officer
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