To learn more about the positions BioVectra is hiring for and to apply, click here.

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To Jean-Paul Deveau, president and CEO of Acadian Seaplants, there’s nothing more important than getting his employees home safely after a day’s work. “Without those 400 employees, there is no company,” says Deveau.

Over his 30 years in the family business, two incidents stand out as dramatic reminders of the importance of safety. In both cases, seaweed harvesters went missing at sea. And, while they were eventually found safely, Deveau spent several anxious hours waiting for news. “It certainly makes it very personal when you receive a call that there is a fisherman missing and they’re out searching for them.”

Despite the happy endings, those close calls underscored his firm belief that safety matters above all. “Safety needs to be placed in the forefront of all discussions and everyone in the company needs to be on board,” he says. “Safety is not a box you tick; it’s a way of life.”

Deveau knows safety leadership requires taking responsibility for fostering a strong safety culture and putting in place effective initiatives to support it. Inspiring leaders do the right thing — even when it isn‘t easy. They take tangible steps to make their workplaces safer by raising awareness, ensuring employees are properly trained and seeing that appropriate procedures are put in place and consistently followed.

Under Deveau’s watch, Acadian Seaplants now has a full-time safety officer, runs regular injury prevention and safety awareness programs and provides ongoing training for workers. And in 2012, the company received a Mainstay Award for its efforts.

Everyone can take the lead on safety

One thing Deveau has learned over the years is being a leader in workplace safety isn’t about job description; it’s about commitment.

While employers need to take the lead, any worker in any role in any industry can and should step up on safety. That’s the underlying message in A Call to Lead, a safety video produced by WCB Nova Scotia and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. “I will do all that I can, so you can do all that you can to make sure no one gets hurt,” is its call to action, inviting all of us to do our part to make our workplaces safer because “nothing matters more.”

There are signs Nova Scotians are heeding the call. Over the past few years, there has been a steady improvement in the safety culture in Nova Scotia workplaces and a significant decrease in the number of workplace injuries. Today, there are 1.76 time-loss injuries per 100 covered workers, down from 2.57 in 2007. According to WCB Nova Scotia, more employers are also putting basic safety practices in place. In a 2017 survey, 72 per cent of workplaces reported having a health and safety program. But there’s still work to do.

Safety leaders like Jean-Paul Deveau make safety matter by making it a priority. But they can’t do it alone. Success requires each one of us to make the choice to take safety seriously by following proper safety practices, reporting workplace hazards and responding appropriately to incidents.

“Safety is everybody’s job, including me and every one of the 400 people who work in this company,” says Deveau. “We’re all in this together.”

And when everyone works together, everyone gets to go home safe.

 

To find out how you can take the lead on safety, visit worksafeforlife.ca.

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In August 1922, 13-year-old Elizabeth Evans Hughes, extremely weak at only 45 pounds, was one of the first patients treated with insulin. It saved her life. She went on to graduate from college, get married and have three children. She died when she was 73.

Before insulin, diabetes led to death. The best treatment was a starvation diet, which allowed patients to live a few extra years—if they didn’t die of starvation first. When insulin was discovered in 1921, it forever changed what it meant to have type 1 diabetes. Today, people with the disease have an almost normal life expectancy and insulin is regarded as one of the greatest medical discoveries in history.

But the pharmaceutical industry didn’t stop there. It has continued to advance diabetes treatment. Today, medications for type 2 diabetes that support cardiovascular health and weight loss, in addition to blood sugar control, are once again promising to change what it means to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Good glycemic control is the hallmark of diabetes therapies, however according to Dr. Ronnie Aronson, we are now looking to effects beyond glucose-lowering when selecting medication.

“There have been substantial changes in the last decade,” says Aronson, a general endocrinologist and founder and chief medical officer of LMC Healthcare, which has 11 diabetes and endocrinology clinics across Canada. “A movement arose for treatments that go beyond lowering blood sugar levels to ones that benefit overall health and help patients avoid early death.”

Dr. Aronson says innovative new medicines currently being researched have been shown to both help with weight loss (often recommended for patients with type 2) and lower blood pressure, while another new class of drugs lowers blood sugar, leads to weight loss, and may even reduce the rate of heart attacks, stroke and hospitalization for heart failure.

These studies are especially noteworthy as people with diabetes are three times more likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease, according to Diabetes Canada.

“The old question for a physician was, ‘How do I lower my patient’s sugar?’ Now, the question is, ‘What drugs should my patient be on to lower their sugar and optimize their survival?’” Dr. Aronson says.

“Patients used to be on 11 pills. We can now reduce that to five or six and have better control and weight loss. This is because of the pharmaceutical industry—and it makes getting healthy easier.”

Research is also changing how people with diabetes monitor their blood sugar. Traditionally, they’d prick their fingers several times a day, but today, a tiny sensor underneath the skin can transmit a reading every five minutes to a smartphone, showing how the body responds to insulin, food or exercise. This constant awareness can help patients avoid high or low blood sugar or allow for intervention before a situation becomes severe.

However, lack of public funding and differences in private coverage means access to this technology is out of reach for many. This is the case for many diabetes medications, supplies and devices, where government coverage varies across jurisdictions

“Access is often limited to paying out of pocket or to people with employee benefits that cover it,” says Dr. Aronson. “These drugs may be more expensive, but they save lives, improve productivity and reduce health care costs. Governments should factor these benefits into their relative cost planning.”

Diabetes Canada estimates that diabetes costs the health care system $3.4 billion a year, a number that’s expected to rise to $5 billion by 2026.

“The older, more affordable drugs carry the risks of weight gain and unwanted low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which both translate to high costs in hospital emergency rooms,” says Dr. Aronson. “Those high costs could be reduced significantly with a movement to new types of therapy.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division and Patient Diaries, on behalf of Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) and an IMC member company

ACOA: Helping Spring Loaded Technology Ramp up Production to Improve Mobility–  The Government of Canada is providing this award-winning company with a $460,458 repayable contribution to help it upgrade its manufacturing operations, increase productivity and improve the quality of life of more people affected by mobility issues.

Sona Nanotech Limited Delivering Innovative Treatment Tools to Global Markets- The Government of Canada is supporting Sona Nanotech Limited’s efforts to establish a development and production facility for gold nanorod technology production in the Dartmouth area.

ACOA: Adaptiiv Medical Technologies Perfecting Customized Medical Software-  The Government of Canada is supporting Adaptiiv Medical Technologies’ revolutionary ideas in the creation of patient-specific boluses to improve the delivery of more effective and accurate radiation doses to targeted areas.

ACOA: Precision BioLogic Inc. Banks on Developing New Diagnostic Tools-  The Government of Canada is supporting Precision BioLogic Incorporated’s breakthrough ideas in bioscience and the research required to develop new diagnostic products for use in clinical coagulation laboratories.

WEBWIRE: McCain Foods makes significant strategic investment in vertical farming- McCain Foods Limited has completed a strategic investment in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture, a highly innovative Canadian agricultural technology company. TruLeaf has developed proprietary indoor vertical farming technology to grow fresh and nutritious leafy greens of high quality and flavour, in an environmentally sustainable way, 365 days per year.

News Release ACOA: Windsor Expansion Helps BioVectra Meet Global Market Demand-  The Government of Canada is investing $5,000,000 in BioVectra Inc. to help the Charlottetown-based biotechnology and pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing company expand its operations to Nova Scotia.

Densitas Receives 510(k) Clearance for Breast Density Software-  Breast imaging analytics innovator Densitas Inc. announced today that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its machine learning breast density assessment software.

ENTREVESTOR: ABK Raised $9M in Equity in August- ABK Biomedical has raised more than $9 million in an over-subscribed round of equity funding that closed last August.  The larger equity base has allowed the company to borrow $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund.

ENTREVESTOR: Appili Raises $4.3M in Equity Funding- Halifax drug discovery company Appili Therapeutics Inc., has raised $4.3 million in equity financing to further its operations and add to its number of drug candidates.

See original news release here

News release

Funding supports Dartmouth-based manufacturer of bionic knee braces

May 15, 2018 – Dartmouth, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Breakthroughs in health technology result in jobs, create valuable intellectual property and further promote Canada’s standing as an innovation leader. High demand for a bionic spring-loaded knee brace pioneered by Spring Loaded Technology Incorporated is requiring the firm to scale up. That is why the Government of Canada is providing this award-winning company with a $460,458 repayable contribution to help it upgrade its manufacturing operations, increase productivity and improve the quality of life of more people affected by mobility issues.

Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, was onsite today to make the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The funding is being made through ACOA’s Business Development Program.

In addition to acquiring new production equipment, Spring Loaded will also purchase and implement new customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. These new programs will enable the company to expand its reach by facilitating business-to-business sales methods.

With increased manufacturing capacity, this project will help maintain 30 full time positions in Dartmouth. As production increases, new positions will be required.

This will build on previous projects that helped Spring Loaded establish its manufacturing facility, develop a commercialization strategy, create new products and product features, and further leverage investor dollars. 

 

Quotes

The Government of Canada is committed to encouraging innovation that increases productivity, growth and competitiveness. We want to turn ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into jobs and startup companies into global successes. That’s what innovation is all about.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Dartmouth benefits greatly from having companies such as Spring Loaded choosing to do business here. Not only is Spring Loaded an employer of highly skilled people in the area, but it is also making significant strides in the quality of care for people with mobility issues all around the world. The Government of Canada is pleased to continue to support its long term growth and sustainability.” 

  • Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour

“ACOA’s support to date has helped us bring a game-changing product to the market and stay ahead of the competition. Its most recent investment will help us ramp-up production so we can impact even more people’s lives by enhancing their mobility.”

  • Chris Cowper-Smith, President & CEO, Spring Loaded Technology Incorporated

Quick facts

    • Spring Loaded Technology is an innovative life sciences company focused on mobility restoring bionics. Incorporating its patented liquid spring technology, the company designs and sells Levitation™ – the world’s first bionic knee brace.
    • Levitation is equipped with Spring Loaded’s proprietary tri-compartment unloading technology to immediately reduce pain and damage caused by knee osteoarthritis, injured ligaments and meniscus tears. Spring Loaded’s bionic knee braces are starting to be used to enhance mobility for individuals with a wide range of neurologically based movement disabilities.
    • In 2015, Spring Loaded Technology won the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Young Entrepreneur Award, including a cash prize of $100,000.
    • Spring Loaded Technology was awarded a $1 million contract with the Canadian Armed Forces after successfully qualifying under the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), which enables early stage companies to pre-qualify to sell to government departments.
    • Spring Loaded Technology has grown from three employees in 2012 to a current payroll of 30.

Contacts

Alex Smith
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Cell: (902) 830-3839
Office: (902) 426-9417
E-mail: alex.smith@canada.ca

Keith Gordon
Director of Marketing
Spring Loaded Technology
Cell: (902) 877-4376
Email: keith@springloadedtech.com

See original story here

Spring Loaded Technology on Tuesday used a press conference to show what its Levitation knee brace means to the people who use it –especially to users who suffer from osteoarthritis.

The manufacturer held the media event at its Dartmouth headquarters to announce a $460,000 loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program, and the launch of a new add-on product for the Levitation.

But the highlight was a video and speech by Jane Grover of the Annapolis Valley, who explained what the knee brace – which not only stabilizes the joint but adds to its power – has meant to herself and her granddaughter.

Grover, 64, said the Levitation knee brace has helped her granddaughter Kelsie, who has muscular dystrophy, continue to enjoy exercise and outdoor life in spite of her disease. So, when Grover found out she herself needed a second knee replacement, she opted for a Levitation knee brace instead.

“I was offered surgery within a month but I declined because of my faith in the Levitation knee brace that my granddaughter Kelsie was wearing,” said Grover, who mounted the stage wearing one of the devices. [Watch the video here.]

Resson Raises $14M; Mahindra Leads

Spring Loaded began six years ago when Chris Cowper-Smith (now the CEO) and two co-founders set out to design a knee brace that would store energy when the knee joint is bent and release it when the leg is straightened. The company launched its Levitation knee last June, and its sales have risen steadily, especially among osteoarthritis patients.

“It’s the most attractive market to us because it’s the market where we actually got pull,” said COO Dawn Umlah in an interview. She added that the 14 million people in Canada and the U.S. living with osteoarthritis have no other suitable alternatives.

On Tuesday, the company unveiled its new Levitation Offloader, an add-on to the knee brace that improves performance for osteoarthritis patients.

“With the launch of the Levitation Offloader, we’re able to offer customized relief to further reduce pressure on the worst-affected compartment of the knee,” said Cowper-Smith in a statement. “This allows us to better support a wider range of osteoarthritis patients, to reduce wear and tear and provide the pain relief they need.”

The statement said conventional knee braces only address a narrow range of arthritis cases–uni-compartment tibiofemoral arthritis–which account for less than 4 percent of knee arthritis cases. Spring Loaded said its knee brace is the only one capable of reducing forces in all three compartments of the knee.

The company will use the ACOA funding to expand its manufacturing capacity and increase its output. It has increased its staff 40 percent year-on-year and now employs 35 people, said Umlah. She added Spring Loaded is now raising equity capital, though she declined to say how much.

Spring Loaded is one of three Nova Scotia life sciences companies to announce loans from ACOA’s Business Development Program this week.

Adaptiiv, formerly 3DBolus, announced it has received funding of $328,943. The company has developed software that works with 3D printers to produce a personalized bolus — a plastic fitting used in radiation therapy. The company recently announced a distribution deal with CIVCO Radiotherapy.

And Sona Nanotech announced a $500,000 BDP loan. Sona, which produces gold nanorods for medical markets, is going through the process of gaining a listing on the TSX Venture exchange. 

See original news release here

Gold nanorod manufacturer exploring potential of dual revenue streams for diagnostic, life sciences technology

May 14, 2018 – Dartmouth, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Helping Atlantic Canadian businesses succeed in technology-driven global markets is key to generating income, spurring growth and strengthening the middle class and those seeking to join it. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting Sona Nanotech Limited’s efforts to establish a development and production facility for gold nanorod technology production in the Dartmouth area.

Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour, announced a repayable investment of $500,000 on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The contribution is being made through ACOA’s Business Development Program, which supports small and medium-sized companies’ innovations to improve competiveness in export markets.

The assistance will allow Sona Nanotech Limited to introduce novel nanorod products and customization services into the diagnostic and life sciences markets. A gold nanorod is a microscopic particle that can be implanted into the body and used to deliver medicine to the area that requires treatment. The commercialization of these products and services is expected to enable the company to become a self-sufficient diagnostics and life sciences innovation company.

The investment builds on the commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The strategy supports strategic investments in initiatives that build on the region’s competitive advantages, such as its strong export potential and skilled labour, to expand business activities between the region and international markets.

 

Quotes

“In order to grow a strong and sustainable economy in Atlantic Canada we must focus on connecting Canadian businesses with global customers to help turn our small companies into bigger ones, bringing our innovative goods, services and ideas out into the world. Curiosity, courage and creativity are what lead to the kinds of innovations and technologies that improve our daily lives and drive our economy, and our country, forward.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

Our government is committed to creating sustainable growth, economic opportunity and prosperity in communities across Canada. Today’s investment will allow Sona Nanotech Limited to make a significant contribution to the regional economy by encouraging it to capitalize on its export potential to compete successfully in global markets.”

  • Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour

“This funding will help us commercialize our products and services as we strive to grow a strong, sustainable business in the competitive life sciences market. Sona may have global ambitions but it will always be Canadian at heart, and we are proud to be part of the thriving Nova Scotia business community.”

  • Darren Rowles, Sona Nanotech Limited’s President and CEO

Quick facts

    • Gold nanorods are used for non-invasive targeted cell, tumor, tissue and organ therapies such as cancer treatment, liposuction, diagnostic imaging and location-specific drug and pain treatment.
    • The company plans to establish a development service for the diagnostic market, with its own nanorod technology at its core, which will be available through direct sales channels and/or licensed to prospective customers.
    • Customization services will be accessible for life sciences markets, where the product will be sold directly to clients, or purchased through distribution networks.
    • Sona’s gold nanorod particles are CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium) free, eliminating the toxicity risks associated with the use of other gold nanorod technologies in medical applications.

Contacts

Alex Smith
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: 902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
E-mail: alex.smith@canada.ca

Darren Evans
Head of Communications
Sona Nanotech Ltd.
Phone: (+44) 07967 707160
E-mail: darrenevans01@hotmail.com 

See original news release here

Government of Canada supports targeted marketing plan, regulatory approvals and research commercialization 

May 14, 2018 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Helping Atlantic Canadian businesses succeed by fostering greater innovation through the commercialization of research creates well-paying jobs and improves the lives of all Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting Adaptiiv Medical Technologies’ revolutionary ideas in the creation of patient-specific boluses to improve the delivery of more effective and accurate radiation doses to targeted areas.

Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Halifax, announced a $328,943 investment of behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The contribution is being made through ACOA’s Business Development Program, which supports small and medium-sized companies’ innovation to improve competitiveness in export markets.

The assistance will help Adaptiiv Medical Technologies obtain regulatory approval to expand into new markets in the United States, and to execute a new marketing plan featuring promotional materials and a demonstration video to showcase the company’s software to aid with its increased market reach. The funds will also help Adaptiiv finalize the commercialization of its High Dynamic Range (HDR) Imaging-Surface Bracatherapy Module, which is a form of treatment where sealed radiation is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment. Bracatherapy is commonly used to treat cervical, prostate, breast and skin cancer, and can also be used to treat tumors in many other body sites.

The investment builds on the commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The Strategy supports targeted investments in initiatives that build on the region’s competitive advantages, such as its strong export potential and skilled labour to expand business activities between the region and international markets.

Quotes

“Canada is a country of innovators. Curiosity, courage, and creativity are what lead to the kind of innovations and technologies that improve our daily lives and drive our economy, and our country, forward. Adaptiiv Medical Technologies, a pioneer in medical solutions to deliver better, more accurate treatment, is an example of the adaptability we need to foster in our home-grown businesses to maintain our competitive edge in the global economy.”

–       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“For businesses to grow and create good, well-paying jobs, they must be supported in their endeavors to turn their new ideas into products that can compete in the global marketplace. Adaptiiv Medical Technologies is well-placed to help countless individuals with its technologies that can improve medical treatments, providing a strong foundation on which to build new partnerships with both clients and consumers.”

–       Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“Adaptiiv’s software enables clinicians to design and 3D print accessories for radiation therapy treatment. Our goal is to democratize the delivery of patient-specific treatment. To that end, Adaptiiv is thrilled with the support it has received from the Canadian Government and Atlantic provinces and their continued role in encouraging innovation as we work to provide our patient-specific solution to the global radiotherapy market.”

–       Peter Hickey, CEO of Adaptiiv Medical Technologies 

Quick facts

    • A conventional bolus is a flat piece of rubber-like material placed on top of the patient’s skin to increase the radiation dose to the skin and to the tissues right below it. However, conventional boluses are unable to accommodate or correct for anatomical irregularities, making them less than optimal.
    • Conventional boluses often have air cavities between the bolus and skin, which can cause an under dose of medication.
    • Adaptiiv overcomes the challenges of conventional boluses and other accessories currently used in radiation therapy.
    • Adaptiiv is a software application that fully integrates with existing treatment methods, using 3D printing to produce treatment accessories on demand.
    • Adaptiiv’s algorithms automatically calculates a customized design that changes the surface shape of the bolus to allow for tailoring of dose distribution. The application produces objects that are accepted directly into the planning software and used to accurately develop a treatment plan.

See original press release here

Precision BioLogic Inc. Banks on Developing New Diagnostic Tools

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

News release

Government of Canada supports research project to advance medical technology for clinical coagulation tests

May 11, 2018 – Dartmouth, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Helping Atlantic Canadian businesses succeed by fostering greater innovation through the commercialization of research creates well-paying jobs and improves the lives of all Canadians. This is why the Government of Canada is supporting Precision BioLogic Incorporated’s breakthrough ideas in bioscience and the research required to develop new diagnostic products for use in clinical coagulation laboratories.

Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, announced a $500,000 investment on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The contribution is being made through ACOA’s Business Development Program, which supports small and medium-sized companies’ innovations to improve competitiveness in export markets.

The assistance will help Precision Biologic Inc. develop new products to complement its existing line of frozen plasma diagnostic items used for hemostasis testing throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The new research project will create one job.

This investment builds on the commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The Strategy supports targeted investments in initiatives that build on the region’s competitive advantages, such as its strong export potential and skilled labour to expand business activities between the region and international markets.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada focuses on supporting scientific research and providing equipment that Canadian researchers need to succeed in creating new technologies and medicines to diagnose diseases and treat patients. We are pleased to help an innovative company such as Precision BioLogic develop new products for identifying coagulation disorders.”

–       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Investments such as this bring innovative services and more opportunities to our country, helping to generate wealth and economic growth in Atlantic Canada. This project will encourage Precision BioLogic Incorporated to bring additional focus to its commercialization and to reach new markets.”

–          Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour

“Precision BioLogic has been developing, manufacturing, and marketing frozen diagnostic products for more than 25 years. This funding will allow us to develop new products to help in the diagnosis of coagulation disorders.”

–          Paul Empey, President & CEO of Precision BioLogic Incorporated 

Contacts

Alex Smith
Director of Communications & Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: 902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
Email: alex.smith@canada.ca

Elaine Benoit
Marketing & Communications Manager
Phone: 902-468-6422 x 357 / 902-430-7795 (cell)
Email: ebenoit@precisionbiologic.com

See original story here

The shareholders of Halifax-based Stockport Exploration have approved the company’s merger with Sona Nanotech, completing another step in the merged company’s path to a stock market listing.

The companies on Friday released a statement saying the Stockport shareholders voted 99 percent in favour of the merger last Thursday. The meeting was attended by 18 Stockport investors, as well as employees and board members from both companies.

Halifax-based Sona Nanotech, which produces gold nanorods, agreed last year to merge with publicly listed mining concern Stockport Exploration and raise about $700,000 in a private placement. The merged company will focus solely on Sona’s core business of producing gold nanorods. If the deal passes all the relevant regulatory requirements, the parties say it should close within the next few weeks, paving the way for the listing on the TSX Venture exchange.

“We see the vote as also being a vote of confidence in our ambitious plans for Sona,” said Sona CEO Darren Rowles in the statement. “This merger will give Sona a strong and stable financial foundation from which to build our brand in the life sciences market.”

Sona was formed by St. F.X. University profs Gerrard Marangoni, Michael McAlduff and Kulbir Singh to commercialize their research in nanotechnology, which includes health-care applications such as cancer treatment. The founders discovered a way to produce gold nanoparticles free of a toxic substance called cetrimonium bromide, or CTAB.

The rod-shaped nanoparticles are known to have uses in several tasks associated with medicine, such as diagnostics, but traditional methods of making the microscopic particle create toxic substances in the process. The company’s founders believe absence of the toxic substance makes Sona’s nanoparticles ideal for a range of medical applications.

Having recently recruited Rowles from Wales, Sona also recruited a new nanotechnology scientist and is recruiting a new business development manager. It plans to hire up to five new members of staff in total by the end of 2018.

It now plans to relocate its facilities and team to the Halifax-Dartmouth area from Antigonish, and is actively looking for new premises.

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