P.E.I.-led bioscience partnership wins major federal funding

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 12, 2016

Dr. Russ Kerr, right, CEO of Nautilus Biosciences and chairman of the Prince Edward Island BioAlliance board, and Rory Francis, executive director of the P.E.I. BioAlliance, are pictured in ths Guardian file photo.

©Guardian photo by Heather Taweel

The federal government announced today in Charlottetown a $14 million contribution to establish Natural Products Canada Inc.

That is a new national centre for commercialization and research that will speed up the commercialization of new products and technologies derived from natural products.

Natural Products Canada will be led from P.E.I. and include key partners under the P.E.I. Bioalliance umbrella of companies.

The money will be spread over five years and will help companies such as Delivra get products to market and conduct expensive clinical trials.

Delivra currently produces the LivRelief brand which treats pain and nerve pain. It also does cosmetic products for varicose vein treatment and wound healing and is in the process of developing new natural products for the North American market.

“Natural Products Canada will align the existing expertise of universities, scientific research organizations, small- and medium-sized enterprises, multi-nationals, the investor community and government partners in accelerating time to market for promising early stage technologies,’’ said Rory Francis, executive director of the P.E.I. BioAlliance.

Dr. Russ Kerr, CEO of Nautilus Bioscience Canada and chairman of the bioalliance board, said with applications in personal care products, cosmetics, natural health products, veterinary health and nutrition, agricultural and food products and environmental remediation, the market for more sustainably-produced, natural product chemistry-based ingredients is growing very quickly.

Kerr is also a Canada Research Chair at UPEI.

More later and in Saturday's print and e-editions of The Guardian