Heroes of 2020: PEI woman’s business aims to make all-natural breast prosthesis system

Emergence client Au Naturel Solutions and founder Simonne Cormier was featured in The Guardian PEI’s Heroes of 2020 series.

In 2019, Simonne founded Au Naturel Solutions, a company specializing in the manufacturing of an all-natural breast prosthesis with an attachment system. In contrast to the existing synthetic polyester or silicone options, Au Naturel’s product is made from animal and plant-based fibers.

In the fall of 2020, Simonne became a client of the Emergence program, which will take her business to the next important step of making a prototype in 2021 and eventually bring her product, and dream, to the marketplace.

Read full story from The Guardian PEI.

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Ahiflower oil used in multiple nutraceutical product launches

Emergence client Natures Crops International’s plant-based Ahiflower oil has been selected as a carrier oil in various nutraceuticals, food & beverage, and personal care.

Ahiflower is a ‘multi-omega’ oil grown regeneratively in the UK. Ahiflower oil’s rich omega fatty acid profile is ideal for driving health benefits in a variety of liquid and powder delivery formats.

It has been included as a functional companion ingredient and carrier oil in recent product launches in North America and Europe, including Asyva Serum, Auxly Dosecann CBD capsules, Braini memory and cognitive performance platform, Nouri Probiotic & Omega-3,6,9 digestive health Duocaps, among others.

Read full story on Nutraceutical Business Review.

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Pegasus Biotech supported by Ignition Fund 2020

Emergence client Pegasus Biotech is one of 10 recipients who received a $25,000 grant from Innovation PEI’s Ignition Fund, in this year’s round of funding. 

This year’s Ignition Fund recipients are:

  • CleanBands
  • Cape Reef Seafood and Smokehouse Limited
  • Element Extraction Technology Inc.
  • The Island Hop Company Ltd
  • Kari
  • Pegasus Biotech
  • Remidose Aerosols Inc
  • Reset: Breathe Corporate Innovation
  • Terry’s Berries
  • TopServe

“It’s been such a hard year for so many Island businesses, so it feels really good to be able to make such a positive announcement today. I was a business owner in the past so I know how important it is to help local entrepreneurs get their innovative ideas turned into reality.” 

– Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Minister Matthew MacKay

Read full release from the Government of PEI.

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Celebrating women-led bioscience companies

With only 16% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses owned by women, there is still much work to do in all sectors to support the full and equal participation of women in the economy. As an Atlantic bio-business accelerator, Emergence is committed to advancing gender equity and supporting the establishment and success of women-led bioscience companies.

According to the 2019 Emergence Company Survey, 45% of the 46 companies who responded had women founders and/or CEOs.

“We are delighted in the independent survey results that demonstrate the significant role that women entrepreneurs play in driving innovation in Atlantic Canada,” said Mark Redmond, Director of Incubation Services, Emergence. “As we review the Emergence portfolio of more than 60 companies, we see the notable presence of women in advancing initiatives with an emphasis on human and animal health and nutrition.”

The innovative work of these Emergence companies, alongside their solid leadership, is critical in growing and strengthening the bioscience sector – a key pillar of the Atlantic economy. There are many examples of women-led bioscience companies making waves in the industry to celebrate.

For example, BioTraceIT™ President, CEO and co-founder Deborah Dullen has a background in both the biotech and medical device fields with additional expertise in business development, sales, R&D, and global market entry. Her company, BioTraceIT™ recently launched PainTrace® a platform for detecting and monitoring pain in people and animals.

Chinova Bioworks is transforming the food and beverage industry with a natural, clean-label shelf-life extender extracted from white button mushrooms. Their CEO and co-founder Natasha Dhayagude has a background in biochemistry and a passion for entrepreneurship, delivering on Chinova’s mission to not only deliver clean-label ingredients, but also reduce food waste.

Because Animals CEO and co-founder Shannon Falconer has a PhD in microbial chemical biology and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. While Because Animals may be a small company at this stage, it has a big mission: to create nutritious, sustainable, animal-free pet food using cultured meat.

These are only a few examples of the many women-led companies in Emergence including high-performers such as Nutracelle, MicroSintesis, BioSpa, StepScan, CNS-CRO, Au Naturel Solutions, SeaFord Pharmaceuticals, SomaDetect, VetNOW, Dr. AK Gordon, and more.

For CEO of BioTraceIT™ Deborah Dullen, she credits her family’s support to dream big and the importance of passing on this encouragement to others.

“Worldwide women represent nearly 30% of researchers and in the US, women hold 31% of senior business roles,” she said. “We must thank all these individuals who are trailblazers; we are standing on the shoulders of giants.”

For more information on Emergence, visit emergencebioincubator.com.

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Kondor Pharma selected in J&J immunity challenge

Congratulations to Emergence client Kondor Pharma who was selected by Johnson & Johnson through their QuickFire Challenge on Immune-Support. Kondor will receive up to $50,000 in grant funding, one year of residency at JLABS, and the opportunity to engage with Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Kondor Pharma is developing clinically proven, natural products with immunomodulatory properties to support immune and cognitive health and to help people with inflammation-related ailments.

Read more on JLABS.

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BioTraceIT commercializes monitor to visualize animal pain signals

PEI-based BioTraceIT was featured in Chemical Week highlighting the commercialization of PainTrace, a monitor used to visualize animal pain signals.

Canada’s BioTraceIT has introduced a tool that enables veterinarians and researchers to objectively visualize animal pain in real time. The company has launched its PainTrace wearable device in the US and Canada, with a field-based sales team. The firm claims PainTrace is “a first-of-its kind objective monitoring system that detects, quantifies and tracks pain in mammals”.

Prince Edward Island-based BioTraceIT stated: “PainTrace leverages the BioTraceIT analytics application software, and offers qualitative and quantitative monitoring across companion animal care, equine and bovine care. This multi-species measurement tool will also be important for clinical researchers in pursuit of novel pain therapies and will improve efficiency in translational research.

Read full article on Chemical Week.

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Biologics technology company Pacific GeneTech latest to join Emergence

For Pacific GeneTech (PGT), they aim to improve life with biotechnology. Recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants and their shared environment in achieving optimal health outcomes, this innovative company takes a One Health approach in tackling the important issues facing society.

PGT is a biologics company that develops and commercializes next generation vaccines and adjuvant delivery systems to prevent zoonotic and other diseases including Salmonella, E. coli and other GI tract bacteria, apicomplexan parasites, and viruses such as influenza and African Swine Fever. They are the latest company to join Emergence: Canada’s Bioscience Business Incubator alongside a cohort of innovative companies currently in the program.

PGT was founded in 2009 in the United States to take discovery vaccine research into commercial development. Today, they have a substantial and growing international footprint, and have expanded the platform and technology through support from partners around the globe. PGT vaccines provide cross protection, eliminating need for multiple vaccines and addressing the problem of mutation.

“Canada is an important centre for vaccine research in both the animal and human fields, and we are very pleased to be a part of the Emergence program which will enable us to tap into important new industry and scientific resources,” said Tim Collard, CEO, PGT.

Emergence is a business incubator dedicated to assisting start-ups and growth-stage bioscience companies in efficiently bringing their products and services to market. As part of the Emergence program, Pacific GeneTech will have access to business incubation services including: 

Mentorship and advisory services: Emergence companies receive long-term expert advice from mentors, selected for their relevant experience, as well as services to fill in specific gaps in the company’s critical path.

Team Mentorship Program: The Critical Path Team Mentorship Program matches companies with skilled volunteer mentors to provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and business coaching. 

Access to networks and resources: Emergence companies have access to networks including funding agencies, regulatory bodies, future talent, public organizations, service providers, investors, potential partners, and bioscience cluster companies.

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AffinityImmuno presents as one of top three finalists at virtual BioInnovation Challenge pitch event

On November 4, during BioPort 2020, Amir Zuccolo, Director of Quality at AffinityImmuno presented as one of the top three finalists competing in the 10th annual BioInnovation Challenge (BIC), BioNova’s regional health and life sciences business competition. AffinityImmuno has been a client of Emergence: Canada’s Bioscience Business Incubator since 2016.

BIC is one of the longest running business competitions in the region with over 50 companies having gone through the program since 2011. Many of the companies coming out of the program have gone on to raise millions to grow and scale. 

AffinityImmuno was first named as one of the eight semi-finalists in August 2020, and received training to be positioned for business growth, including sessions with expert pitch training coach Linda Plano, who has over ten years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs with start-ups in life sciences. Resulting in an admirable third-place finish, AffinityImmuno will receive $2,500 worth of in-kind services from Grant Thornton.

AffinityImmuno has developed a novel serum test to meet the challenge of monitoring development of immunity to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The virus neutralization test monitors vaccine responses, population spread of a virus, and length of immune response.

For more information on AffinityImmuno, visit affinityimmuno.com.

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PEI company’s new bait fishes as well as traditional bait, says UPEI researcher

Emergence client Bait Masters are preparing to scale up production for a new alternative bait and got some good news from a study just published by a UPEI researcher.

It found that the new bait sausage created by Bait Masters catches as many lobster as traditional baits, such as herring and mackerel. The new bait is a mix of fish, oil and other organic matters in a biodegradable casing, which is why the company describes the product as a bait sausage.

The results are based on field trials in PEI bays in the summer of 2019.

Bait Masters Inc., has developed a new bait using 75 per cent less herring and mackerel than would usually go in a trap. It’s made up of fish, oil, and other organic matter squeezed in a biodegradable casing.

Read full story on CBC PEI.
Read secondary story on CBC NS.

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CAT to open Aqua Feedtech Center in 2021, Championing Innovation in Aqua Feed

Emergence client, the Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) is once again proving its versatility as a major player in the global Aquaculture Industry with plans for a new Aqua FeedTech extrusion facility. 

See below a republished article from CAT, announcing the opening of the Aqua Feedtech Center in 2021.

The CAT AQUA FeedTech Center will be the first of its kind in Canada, that is available to third parties, and will exist as part of the company’s operations in Souris, PE. It will house a complete pilot-scale feed processing line including two feed extruders and a new nutrition analytical lab.

The addition of the FeedTech Center will be a “game changer” according to CAT Director of Nutrition, Dr. Andre Dumas, who will oversee the new operation. “The Aqua FeedTech Center will allow us to develop healthy, high-performance feeds on an accelerated timeline at an optimized cost with minimal waste while complying with the high standards of feed safety and quality assurance”. 

The pilot-scale facility will become operational in 2021 and will address specific needs not currently being met, such as producing small batches of research diets needed for testing novel ingredients, customizing and developing new feed formulas, and providing a better understanding of the impact of feed processing on pellet quality. 

Complementing the first-class Nutrition Trial services currently offered at CAT, the Aqua FeedTech Center will provide an unprecedented one-stop shop for clients looking to develop, produce, and test new feed for their business. With the addition of in-house feed production, Dr. Dumas expects CAT will now produce feed for research trials at least four times faster than the current timeline.

CAT houses a ready inventory of feed ingredients and possesses expertise in regulatory approval and global shipping standards of aqua feed. 

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