Ontario Supports Health Sciences Sector in Thunder BayPublished on August 11, 2020
Funding will create new jobs and promote economic development
THUNDER BAY - The Ontario government is providing $845,566 to help two companies in Thunder Bay develop new products and technologies that will support the health sciences sector and create skilled worker jobs. The funding will be delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).
"Supporting the health sciences sector across Northern Ontario is an important part of our government's plan to create more jobs and economic development in the North," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "With these investments, we are supporting the growth of cutting-edge technology, while significantly enhancing patient care across Ontario and beyond."
Radialis Medical is receiving $434,000 in funding to develop and manufacture a Low-Dose Positron Emission Tomography (LD-PET) system, an advanced nuclear imaging system that detects breast cancer. The technology lowers the amount of radiation exposure to patients and technicians, while increasing the quality of images which can lead to earlier detection.
RegenMed is receiving $411,566 in funding to develop a new product called DermGen to help heal diabetic foot ulcers more efficiently, reducing the chance of complications that can cause damage to tissues and bone that may require amputation of a toe, foot or part of a leg. It can also be used to treat acute and chronic wounds, as well as burns. DermGen treats donated human tissue and reduces the risk of infections following skin grafts, while improving patient healing and recovery.
"After scientific discovery, but before commercial product launch, it can be difficult to find financing for Canadian innovations," said Michael Waterston, CEO, Radialis Medical. "The support programs from the Ontario government's Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation are tailored to help companies through the stages of medical technology development and validation. The combination of the fantastic science from Lakehead University and the support for local companies makes Thunder Bay a great location for Radialis to develop and manufacture our medical imaging system."
"We are very excited to bring this advanced technology to the field of wound care as it represents a significant advancement in wound care management," said David Stezenko, Executive Director, RegenMed. "One of the most impactful benefits of DermGENTM will be its low cost for Canadian clinicians. To date, Acellular Dermal Matrix is predominantly cost prohibitive for Canadian hospitals and this restricts our country's standard of care. This will soon change with the introduction of DermGENTM into the Canadian market, all while creating high skilled jobs here in Northwestern Ontario. We are thankful to the Ontario government for making this possible."
The NOHFC promotes economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects - big and small, rural and urban - that stimulate growth, job creation and skilled workforce development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $193 million in 1,386 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $748 million in investment and creating or sustaining 3,912 jobs.
The government is moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 3 of reopening, as the province implements its made-in-Ontario plan for renewal, growth and economic recovery. For a full list of regions that have entered Stage 3, as well as a list of restrictions that remain in place, please visit ontario.ca/reopen.