Truro-based Performance Genomics Inc. (PGI) is developing technology to improve the health, longevity and productivity of livestock.
With investment from the province, the company plans to further develop its innovation and take it to the marketplace.
"PGI's technology has the potential to reduce costs and improve profitably for farmers around the world," said Lenore Zann, MLA for Truro-Bible Hill, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele. "This investment is a perfect fit with the innovation and competitiveness priorities of our jobsHere plan to grow the economy."
PGI secured a $250,000 equity investment from Innovacorp, Nova Scotia's early stage venture capital organization. The investment is part of financing that includes $50,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Productivity and Business Skills Program, and up to $133,000 from the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program.
"Performance Genomics is working through innovation to create jobs, growth and prosperity in Nova Scotia, and the government of Canada is fully behind these efforts," said MP Scott Armstrong, on behalf of Minister of State for ACOA Rob Moore.
"This investment will help us reach our goal of entering the marketplace in 2015," said Michael Dennis, CEO of PGI. "Working with our university and industry partners, we plan to complete the development of our first product for cattle, and to explore additional applications for our technology."
PGI identifies genes that control reproductive performance in mammals. It is developing genomics tests to predict how long livestock will stay fertile, which farmers can use for selective breeding. The company is focusing on dairy cows, but the technology can be used for other animals.
PGI was spun out of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in the late 1990s. The technology is based on more than two decades of research on mice and the company is collaborating with researchers at Dalhousie University and has partnered with a global animal health firm for the livestock market.
The three-person PGI team is based at the Perennia Innovation Centre in Truro.
"PGI is striving to solve a real problem impacting farmers in Nova Scotia and beyond," said Stephen Duff, president and CEO of Innovacorp. "The company has clearly established a near-term path to market now, and we're pleased to be part of their growth story."
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Truro, Nova Scotia, September 6, 2013