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July 6, 2022

The Health Innovation Roundup, sponsored by Health Cities, is written and published weekly by Taproot Edmonton to bring you the latest news and events in research, technology, companies and people changing health for the better in Edmonton.

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Here are some highlights from this week’s Health Innovation Roundup:



  • Alberta Enterprise Corporation and its partners invested $1 billion in Alberta technology companies in 2021, the organization announced as it released its annual report. “Alberta Enterprise plays a critical role in attracting strategic capital to help Alberta’s most promising technology companies to scale and compete internationally,” said Mike Wilson, CEO of DrugBank, one of 65 startups that Alberta Enterprise has invested in. “We’ve raised more than $9 million in seed funding for our Edmonton-based future of medicine company which uses AI-powered technologies to enable better decision-making by medical researchers, healthcare providers and regulators. Today, we serve more than 12 million users in 24 countries.”
  • Precision health diagnostics company Nanostics released positive data from a study of its ClarityDX Prostate test, which aims to improve the accuracy of detecting clinically significant prostate cancer in men who have elevated levels of PSA. Using ClarityDX Prostate as a reflex test rather than a PSA test alone “could have resulted in 37% fewer unnecessary biopsies,” says the release.
  • Medisca has acquired the DIFFUSIMAX and DIFFUSIMAX liposomal bases as well as all intellectual property assets of Maxima Pharmaceuticals. “Striking this partnership with Medisca will create new possibilities for DIFFUSIMAX by tapping into the inherent commercialization strengths of Medisca, while creating an opportunity for us to dedicate full efforts toward our passion in R&D, manufacturing, and consultative work,” Dr. Kerry Siminoski, president of Maxima Pharmaceuticals said in a news release. Both products will continue to be manufactured in Edmonton.
  • Tenecteplase (TNK), a clot-busting drug used in patients suffering heart attacks, is safe and effective for those in the midst of acute ischemic stroke, say University of Alberta researchers with the Edmonton Stroke Program, who are involved in Canada’s largest stroke clinical trial, reports Folio.
  • Patients in smaller communities across Alberta have been able to participate in that trial thanks to REB Exchange, a collaboration between Alberta Innovates, UAlberta, the University of Calgary, and Huron Consulting. “By improving access to high-end research, we are improving access to health care,” said Bijoy Menon, the co-principal investigator with the AcT trial.
  • The Health Innovation Hub newsletter includes a Q&A with Scott McKay of TRICCA Technologies, which “brings metabolite research technology to the masses.”
  • Pharmacists could play a bigger role in providing sexual and reproductive health-care services, says a University of Alberta study. Many pharmacists administer contraceptives and human papillomavirus vaccinations, but they could do more with training and a coordinated effort.
  • Alberta Innovates is seeking a senior business partner in health system transformation, driving health research programs and services and contributing to the growth of a digital health industry.
  • A team from Health Cities learned how tech is helping to train the next generation of clinicians on a tour of the Centre for Advanced Medical Simulation (CAMS) at NAIT.


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