In a July 11 article titled “BC Exit Highlights PEI Bio-Ecosystem“, Entrevestor writes: “The exit of a life sciences company in British Columbia is highlighting the growing biotech ecosystem centred on Prince Edward Island”.
“Delta, BC-based Mazza Innovation Ltd.,” Entrevestor says, “has been bought by Milwaukee-based Sensient Technologies, which produces fragrance and flavours, for an undisclosed price.”
“Mazza, which specializes in extracting solvent-free bioactives from botanical sources, previously received investment from Charlottetown-based Natural Products Canada, or NPC, and was a member of the Emergence Bioscience Business Incubator, also based in Charlottetown”.
Citing “several other Emergence clients that have exited or raised capital in the past 15 months”, Entrevestor quotes Emergence director, Martin Yuill, who says: “The investment that these incubator clients have attracted will not only fuel their future growth but is a testament to the quality of the mentorship, business guidance, professional advice, and domain expertise they have received through the incubator program at all stages of their life cycles.”
Entrevestor quotes examples such as:
- Charlottetown-based Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc., a marine biotechnology company, was acquired by Croda International Plc, a listed U.K. company that makes specialty chemicals.
- Canada’s Island Garden, a licensed medical marijuana producer based in Charlottetown, which sold a majority stake to North Carolina-based tobacco leaf merchant, Alliance One International Inc.
- Dosecann Inc. which has been bought by Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp. of Vancouver for $38 million.
Another Emergence client, Animal Ethics (Pty) Ltd. of Australia, closed an $18.2 million investment from Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC in April 2017 in exchange for a 33% stake and a global license to sell the company’s lead product Tri-Solfen. Emergence is supporting Animal Ethics as it establishes a North American base in Canada.
Two other deals in the past year that demonstrate Emergence clients raising capital to build their operations are quoted by Entrevestor:
- Island Water Technologies of Charlottetown, which closed a $500,000 funding round from Island Capital Partners and Natural Products Canada; and
- Charlottetown medical device company Stepscan, which raised investment from Saint John investment group East Valley Ventures.
According to Yuill, “one reason these companies are attracting investment and buyers is they are part of a collaborative regional ecosystem with access to customized programs”.
“Atlantic bioscience-based startup ventures are punching well above their weight,” says Yuill. “Not insignificantly, all of these successful Atlantic exits have been clients of the Emergence incubator program, having taken advantage of the program’s core service pillars.”