Hamilton’s Innovation Factory awards $80,000 to local companies in annual pitch competition

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Published March 25, 2021 at 10:06 am

Hamilton’s Innovation Factory awards $80,000 to local companies in annual pitch competition

Hamilton’s Innovation Factory awarded local companies a total of $80,000 and “in-kind” prizes for their pitches in the eighth annual Synapse Life Science Competition.

ToeFX beat out Synmedix and Pharmassess Diagnostics for the top prize of $38,000, an in-kind legal package from Ridout & Maybee LLP, and a one-year membership with Life Sciences Ontario and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Started by two scientists, ToeFX—which operates out of Innovation Factory—uses a photodisinfection product called ClearToe Therapy Light to kill toenail fungus.

To put it simply, the technology uses light to kill the bacteria.

It’s currently the only photodisinfection product approved by Health Canada for clearance of toenail fungus.

“The ToeFX team is delighted and proud to have been selected as the winner of the Synapse Life Science Competition 2021,” said wrote Dr. Monika Yazdanian, CEO of ToeFX.

“This recognition will propel us forward as we strive to become the global standard of care for the treatment of onychomycosis (toenail fungus) and help patients in Canada and around the world live a life without fungal infection. We are grateful for the incredible support from the Hamilton life sciences ecosystem – the Innovation Factory team, the Synapse judges and mentors and The Forge at McMaster University. Thank you!”

ToeFX was founded in 2016 by Dr Irit Van-Ham, a formulation chemist and toxicologist.

Runner up, Synmedix, received $15,000 in in-kind prizes. The biotechnology company was founded on McMaster University technology. It commercializes a novel platform that dramatically enhances the effectiveness of antibiotics.

PharmAssess Diagnostics came in third place receiving an in-kind prize package. The company, which operated out of the Innovation Factory, produces tools that allow pharmacists to streamline operations and reduce administrative burdens.

Finalists in the competition and formed teams with post-secondary students, the industry’s future professionals. Together, these teams participated in three months of intensive training, where they produced commercialization plans for their ventures and prepared for the showcase.

ToeFX was named the grand prize winner, taking home a prize of $38,000 in cash, an in-kind legal package from Ridout & Maybee LLP, and a one-year membership with Life Sciences Ontario and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Synmedix took second place receiving $15,000 in cash, an in-kind legal prize from Gowling WLG as well as a one-year membership with Life Sciences Ontario and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, Pathlogix won the “Quick Pitch” prize of $2,500 cash.

Nine Ontario life science innovators were selected for the final stage of the competition—forming teams with post-secondary students. Together, these teams participated in three months of training, where they produced commercialization plans for their ventures and prepared for the showcase.

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