Feature

Five NB Biotech Companies Making Waves

In a time of exciting new gadgets and the latest must-have app, it can be easy to overlook the slightly less flashy biosciences.

But with companies popping up and growing in New Brunswick and doing things like testing our drinking water and helping local farms operation more efficiently, the province is quickly becoming a hotbed for innovative biotech.

Here are a few biotech companies who are going places fast:

SomaDetect
soma

Nicholas Clermont and Bethany Deshpande

SomaDetect’s mission is to help dairy farmers produce the highest quality milk possible. Their technology provides real-time assessment of milk quality and herd health indicator to farmers and is automated through online tools and analytics. This technology is meant to help dairy farmers identify sick cows before disease is visible to the human eye and increase fat production to maximize profits.

SomaDetect has been working with organizations such as the Pond-Deshpande Centre, Ignite Fredericton, BioNB and Planet Hatch for support and to get connected with the dairy business. Their next steps are to connect with dairy farmers interested in testing the SomaDetect system in their farms. They are also seeking seed capital to be able to set up five initial systems and then make improvements to existing hardware and software to be able to offer it more widely.

Chinova Bioworks
CTO Emanuel Dinis, CEO Natasha Dhayagude and COO David Brown (Image: https://twitter.com/ChinovaB)

CTO Emanuel Dinis, CEO Natasha Dhayagude and COO David Brown (Image: https://twitter.com/ChinovaB)

Chinova is developing a safe, natural and effective antimicrobial agent using natural fungal derived chitosan to enhance the shelf-life of super premium juices. The core technology comes from New Brunswick’s Mycodev Group, the majority shareholder of Chinova Bioworks.

Chinova recently finished up a term at the IndieBio accelerator in Ireland where they had access to world class mentors and scientists to help them grow. The company is currently working with two early adopters, both of whom are multi-national beverage producers, to test samples of their product. Their next step will be a focus on raising a round of early seed stage investment so they can optimize their product.

WEnTech
300

WEnTech CEO Amir Akbari

WEnTech is a startup engineering and software company specializing in the bio-based cleantech sector. This sector includes the use of biomass coming from agriculture, forest, marine, industry and municipal waste for the production of bio products, energy (electricity and heat) and liquid fuels for transportation and heating purposes. WEnTech provides customers with a fast and comprehensive analysis of bio-based projects considering a large number of complex technical, environmental and financial parameters. Their software (W-SAS) prioritises the client’s needs and provides an evaluation in a timely manner.

The company is interacting with early adopter clients and finalizing details and have initiated a number of potential projects with prospective clients. WEnTech is seeking to raise seed funding for the full development of their product and expand W-SAS to a fully commercial product.

LuminUltra
LuminUltra CEO Pat Whalen

LuminUltra CEO Pat Whalen

LuminUltra provides a microbiological control test that gives on-the-spot results in five minutes. The test is used in drinking water, wastewater, oil and gas and manufacturing sectors.

LuminUltra has been in the business of water testing since 2003 and has seen steady growth since then. Research and development is key to their business, with 20 per cent of their sales going back into R&D to improve products and develop new solutions to keep ahead of competition. The company continues to employ engineers, scientists, computer scientists, business majors and technologists.

Sylvar

Sylvar provides biorational products that offer environmentally safe and efficacious products for Integrated Pest Management Programs in Canada and in forestry in the US. The company’s focus is the production and commercialization of baculovirus products and pheromone based insect monitoring products. They aim to put their products at the disposal of the end-user to facilitate healthy crops, forests and environment.

With 10 years under its belt, Sylvar is continuing to develop more products while expanding distribution channels. In the future they plan to work with partners to develop new products for widespread insect pests and products that promote healthy plant growth.