Cape Breton-based Company Poised to be Biomedical Technology Leader

Oct 28, 2011

Imaging technology developed by Mabou-based Halifax Biomedical is generating international attention and creating demand in the global medical market.

Halifax Biomedical

The company's Halifax Dynamic SR Suite is the world's first stereo photogrammetric imaging system and is capable of generating 30 high resolution stereo images per second. It allows surgeons to monitor changes in artificial joint replacements and detect implant failure. The technology provides early intervention in the recovery process, which improves the lives of patients.

Halifax Biomedical Inc. has secured a $3-million equity investment to continue reaching new international markets. Nova Scotia Business Inc.'s equity arm, NSBI Venture Capital, is investing $2 million and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation is investing $1 million.

"Halifax Biomedical is an innovative company that competes on a global level, and has chosen Nova Scotia as the right place to grow and expand," said Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. "We are proud to be supporting a company in our own backyard that is striving to create opportunities for employment in the province."

The company's niche technology focuses on monitoring total hip replacements, knee replacements and spinal fusion operations.

"We are pleased to partner with the province and Halifax Biomedical Inc. to ensure that this local company has the support it needs to succeed," said Senator Michael MacDonald, on behalf of Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "Our investment in small and medium-sized businesses is key to strengthening the economy and creating jobs."

"We are proof that advanced technology businesses can thrive in rural Nova Scotia and export products and services around the globe," says Chad Munro, president and CEO of Halifax Biomedical. "We have seen incredible success so far. With this investment, we will build on those successes and share them with the community of Mabou. We appreciate how welcoming this community has been to our company and our staff as we assist our clients to improve the lives of their patients."

Halifax Biomedical plans to focus on assessments for orthopaedic patients.

"We are investing in a home-grown company based in rural Nova Scotia that has the potential to become a world leader in medical diagnostic and product devices," said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. "The company is creating highly skilled job opportunities that will keep new graduates in the province and attract innovative minds to Nova Scotia."

The company's technology, roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis or RSA, is a stereo X-ray exam with two simultaneous X-rays taken from different angles.

"RSA will become increasingly important as a surveillance tool in arthroplasty, especially with respect to the introduction of new technologies," said Dr. Michael Dunbar, director of orthopedic research, Dalhousie University. "With RSA measurements we gain information that will ultimately help surgeons make better treatment decisions. Chad Munro and the team at HBI have been an important partner in this initiative and will continue to play an international leadership role."

Halifax Biomedical has gained significant interest from surgeons in major centres in Canada, the United States and Europe.

"We believe that Halifax Biomedical's integrated RSA package incorporates all the required developments, and provides solutions that are suitable for both busy clinical orthopaedic departments and orthopaedic research institutions," said Dr. Paddy Ashcroft, head of RSA research, University of Aberdeen. "For many years we have been convinced that RSA is the best means of assessing how well fractures are healing and the effects of new interventions to speed up healing." 

In the United States, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimates that hip replacement, knee replacement and spinal fusion procedures account for more than one million surgeries each year. That number is likely to grow since, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, hip and knee procedures increased by 59 per cent and 140 per cent, respectively, between 1996-97 and 2006-07.

Halifax Biomedical Inc. manufactures cutting-edge stereo x-ray equipment, implantable x-ray markers and provides stereo x-ray measurement services. For more information, visit www.halifaxbiomedical.com.