Continued Success of Novoheart to Receive R&D Grants: Innovation Technology Fund for Developing Smart Cardiac Screening Technologies
- Grant will fund advanced R&D and incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to accelerate drug development using Novoheart’s bio-engineered human heart chambers and tissues
- The resulting advancements expected to increase scale and capabilities of Novoheart’s MyHeart™ Platform and expand commercialization opportunities for Novoheart’s market-leading technologies
VANCOUVER, BC – January 7, 2020 – Novoheart (“Novoheart” or the “Company”) (TSXV: NVH; FWB: 3NH), a global stem cell biotechnology company, is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary Novoheart Limited has been awarded a further grant from the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of Hong Kong SAR Government. Combined with a cash rebate scheme and funding for hiring R&D talent, the Company is expected to receive a total of over HK$10 million ($1.67 million CAD) in grant awards from the ITC over the next 2 years. This is the third major R&D matching grant that the ITC has awarded Novoheart in recognition of the company’s pioneering work involving its award-winning MyHeart™ Platform of bioengineered human heart tissues, making the total awarded grant to over $22 million HKD ($3.7 million CAD).
The new grant will fund research to further enhance the drug screening capabilities of its proprietary human ventricular Cardiac Organoid Chamber (also known as ‘human heart-in-a-jar’) and human ventricular Cardiac Anisotropic Sheet (hvCAS). Moreover, building on Novoheart’s proprietary machine learning platform, a holistic artificial intelligence (AI) approach with enhanced multiplexed machine learning technology will also be developed to integrate data from multiple MyHeartTM assays as a “smart system”. The system will weigh the unique strengths of each assay to maximize Novoheart’s ability to automate screening and drug classification and thereby accelerate the pursuit of safer and better drugs.
Novoheart aims to revolutionize drug discovery with its proprietary MyHeartTM Platform and is the only company in the world offering the unique hvCAS and ‘human heart-in-a-jar’ assays that can model the human heart in the laboratory and provide high-accuracy drug screening platforms for drug developers worldwide. The new ITC grant will support the development of the automated next generation of these human heart assays, with further enhanced throughput, accuracy and sensitivity in screening drugs for toxic or therapeutic effects on the heart. The platform has been designed to help drug developers increase their confidence in the selection and investment of candidate drugs that are most likely to succeed in clinical trials.
“Novoheart is delighted to receive this latest round of grant funding from the ITC – a great recognition of our work throughout the past years. We are grateful for the continued support as we advance towards our goal of revolutionizing drug discovery and improving the lives of patients around the world,” said Novoheart Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Kevin Costa.
NOVOHEART RETAINS MARKET-MAKING SERVICES
Novoheart has, subject to regulatory approval, retained Venture Liquidity Providers Inc. (“VLP”) to perform market-making service to assist in maintaining an orderly trading market for the common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares”). VLP will buy and sell the Common Shares through the facilities of the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSX-V”) to maintain an orderly trading market and/or provide liquidity in the Common Shares.
The market-making service will be undertaken by VLP through a registered broker, W.D. Latimer Co. Ltd., in compliance with the applicable policies of the TSX-V and other applicable laws. For its services, Novoheart has agreed to pay VLP $5,000 CAD per month for a period of 12 months. The agreement may be terminated at any time by the corporation or VLP. The corporation and VLP act at arm's length, and VLP has no present interest, directly or indirectly, in the corporation or its securities. The finances and the shares required for the market-making service are provided by W.D. Latimer. The fee paid by the Company to VLP is for services only.
VLP is a specialized consulting firm based in Toronto providing a variety of services focused on TSX-V-listed issuers.
Novoheart is a global stem cell biotechnology company pioneering an array of next-generation human heart tissue prototypes. It is the first company in the world to have engineered miniature living human heart pumps that can revolutionize drug discovery, helping to save time and money for developing new therapeutics. Also known as 'human heart-in-a-jar', Novoheart’s bio-artificial human heart constructs are created using state-of-the-art and proprietary stem cell and bioengineering approaches and are utilized by drug developers for accurate preclinical testing of the effectiveness and safety of new drugs, maximizing the successes in drug discovery whilst minimizing costs and harm caused to patients. With the recent acquisition of Xellera Therapeutics Limited for manufacturing Good Manufacturing Product (GMP)-grade clinical materials, Novoheart is now developing gene- and cell-based therapies as well as next-generation therapeutics for cardiac repair or regeneration.
For further information, please contact:
Ronald Li, CEO
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Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this news release may involve forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that relate to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", and "intend", statements that an action or event "may", "might", "could", "should", or "will" be taken or occur, or other similar expressions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, statements about the expected size of the grant from ITC, the use proceeds from such grant, the resulting advancements and the expectation that such advancements will increase scale and capabilities of Novoheart’s MyHeart Platform and expand commercialization opportunities, Novoheart’s aim to revolutionize drug discovery with its MyHeart Platform and future purchases and sales of the Company’s shares by VLP are forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the risks identified in under the heading “Risk Factors” in Novoheart’s annual information form for the year ended June 30, 2019 or other reports and filings with the TSX Venture Exchange and applicable Canadian securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are made based on management's beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.