Local Biotechnology Company Expands Into New North American Markets

Jul 3, 2007

Market expansion and new jobs are on the horizon for a Halifax-based biotechnology company.
Origin BioMed Inc. produces over-the-counter drugs for pain relief, skin and lip care and supplement products. Origin is a leading manufacturer of over-the-counter diabetic neuropathy support products in North America. Its leading topical drug, Neuragen, relieves the chronic pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, a result of the breakdown of nerves. Neuropathy affects half of all diabetics.
The Halifax-based company is taking its innovative products to new North American markets with the support of investing partners, including Nova Scotia Business Inc.
Origin has received a total of $3.8 million in financing through a partnership led by Calgary-based venture capital firm Avrio Ventures. As part of the total financing, NSBI Venture Capital has invested $1 million.
"It is a pleasure to have NSBI and Avrio Venures as growth partners in our company," said Robert Cervelli, president and CEO, Origin Biomed Inc. "They understand the demands required of a high-technology company to capture a dominant position in its marketplace."
"Origin is addressing real consumer needs and demands through plant-based medicines and botanical drugs," said Aki Georgacacos, general partner at Avrio Ventures. "With its strong team, proprietary product line, and brand presence, the company is in a great position to capitalize on the tremendous growth and opportunity in the market for neuropathic pain relief."
The company currently has 12 employees and is projecting to add 10 new full-time positions within the next two-and-a-half years.
"Origin BioMed has huge potential for growth," said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. "NSBI Venture Capital is partnering with investors like Avrio Ventures to support local business. Biotechnology companies like Origin BioMed are part of the growth in Nova Scotia's knowledge-based economy."
"The province is proud to support the expansion of such an innovative local company," said Richard Hurlburt, Minster of Economic Development. "Origin BioMed is an industry leader and a testament to Nova Scotia's ability to compete and succeed in today's global economy."
Origin BioMed Inc., Halifax, Canada, is an innovative biotechnology company currently expanding the markets for its exclusive pain relief, diabetic, skin and lip care products.   
Avrio Ventures is a venture capital firm that supports the development of Canadian commercialization and growth stage industrial bioproducts, nutraceutical ingredients and food technology companies into world-class organizations. 
Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia's private sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps businesses in Nova Scotia meet growth potential through advisory, export development and financial services.
NSBI Venture Capital is a mid- to late-stage investor focusing on Nova Scotia businesses in five key sectors: information and communications technology; defence and aerospace; energy; advanced manufacturing; and life sciences.

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