Ottawa invests $2.7 million to develop surgical system
March 8, 2017
HALIFAX – The Government of Canada is making a $2.7 million investment over five years in the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) to develop a miniature endoscope prototype. The imaging and tissue cutting probe for guided neuro surgeries is expected to improve patient survival rates and create 12 highly-skilled positions in Nova Scotia’s life sciences sector.
This includes nine placements for graduate students to help them access the innovative jobs of today and tomorrow.
The miniature endoscope uses ultrasound for both imaging and precision cutting during surgery. Small enough for surgeons to insert into the brain through a small hole, it will assist in the diagnosis and treatment of serious conditions such as blood clots and brain tumors. It also has application in minimally invasive cardiac procedures.
The federal funding was announced by Darrell Samson, Member of Parliament for Sackville Preston-Chezzetcook, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
Canadian-based Synaptive Medical Inc. and Conavi Medical Inc. are each providing $250,000 in cash and $150,000 of in-kind support to assist with the development of this advanced ultrasound technology.
The NSHA will license the prototype to Synaptive Medical Inc., which intends to bring the device through the regulatory process and commercialize it for surgical applications, including neuro surgery. Conavi Medical will use the device for cardiovascular applications.
“I think the impact of this investment will happen in two areas: it will lead to healthcare technology that will improve cancer diagnostics and therapeutics within the brain; and, it will also have a significant economic impact as we are currently developing some of the most advanced ultrasound technology in the world. Moving ahead, we are excited to work with international leaders in life sciences R&D, such as Synaptive Medical and Conavi Medical,” said Dr. Jeremy Brown (pictured), Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, Dalhousie University; and, Affiliated Scientist, Nova Scotia Health Authority
The Government of Canada’s investment is provided through ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund. The Atlantic Innovation Fund encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop and commercialize new or improved products and services in Atlantic Canada.
“As a medical device and technology company based in Toronto, Synaptive welcomes opportunities to work with industry and research partners across Canada. Partnering with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Conavi Medical presents an exciting opportunity to leverage our expertise in surgery, ultrasound and medical imaging while developing a product that stands to benefit patients in Canada and around the world,” said Cameron Piron, president and co-founder, Synaptive Medical Inc.
“Dr. Brown and his team in Halifax have a strong track record of developing world-leading medical technologies that will provide benefits to patients by enabling precision guided treatments for complex conditions that impact both quality and quantity of life. Conavi Medical and Synaptive Medical are examples of Canadian scale-up companies that are demonstrating how Canada is evolving from a primary consumer of medical technologies, to an emerging provider of advanced solutions for patients and healthcare providers around the world,” said Dr. Brian Courtney, executive chairman, Conavi Medical Inc., Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, University of Toronto and Clinician-Scientist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
ACOA’s innovation programming, which includes the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) and the Business Development Program (BDP), is designed to help bring to market new products, technologies and services that will improve the competitiveness and productivity of the Atlantic economy. In 2016, the Government of Canada, through ACOA’s AIF, invested more than $35 million in 16 innovation and R&D projects in the Atlantic region.