A homegrown, innovative biomedical enterprise in rural Cape Breton is about to expand its operations, creating jobs and increasing export sales.
Halifax Biomedical Inc., headquartered in Mabou, Inverness Co., with a satellite office on Halifax, specializes in a medical imaging technique called Roentgen Stereophotogrammetric Analysis (RSA). The technology produces extremely precise 3-D X-ray measurements.
The company is building and testing the first RSA suite at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.
Nova Scotia is helping the company expand with a $900,000 loan from the Industrial Expansion Fund.
"The province is supporting the expansion of a company that has the potential to become a world leader in medical diagnostic devices," said Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Economic Development. "It is also an investment in the province's life sciences industry which now has more than 50 companies with close to 500 products competing in the global marketplace."
Halifax Biomedical is targeting the orthopedic sector because recent regulatory changes in Europe have fueled the demand for RSA clinical measurements. Over the next five years, the company is projecting sales will increase to $10 million, primarily from its dual X-ray imaging system. Employment will increase from nine to 65 with an average salary of $60,000. Direct tax benefits to the province will increase to about $2 million.
"This investment will enable our company to accelerate the introduction of our products and subsequently expand our related medical image analysis services," said Chad Munro, president of Halifax Biomedical. "The market response for our RSA products and services has far exceeded our initial expectations. I am very pleased with our initial successes and I look forward to building our company in Nova Scotia."
The expansion and commercialization project at Halifax Biomedical is valued at $3.3 million.
Halifax Biomedical is a main subcontractor for a research project at Capital District Health Authority. This project will develop a diagnostic tool that will provide orthopedic surgeons with information to better care for patients after an operation.
"Halifax is recognized internationally as a leader in clinical orthopaedic research," said Dr. Michael Dunbar, who leads the research project. "Halifax Biomedical is an important partner as we undertake the largest RSA study yet conducted."
With export sales approaching $200 million, Nova Scotia's life sciences industry is an important part of the province's growing knowledge economy. About 3,400 people work in the province's biotechnology and life sciences companies and research institutions.
The Industrial Expansion Fund is one method provincial government uses to support economic development in Nova scotia. It is key to helping industries involved in innovative research and technology, while contributing to a prosperous and sustainable business climate for Nova Scotia. The fund has considerable flexibility in the amount and type of funding it can provide.
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Halifax Biomedical Inc.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 3, 2008