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AVAC backs launch of natural health company Afinix Life Sciences

Edmonton, Alberta-based natural health company Afinix Life Sciences Inc. has been launched with a $1.5 million investment from Canadian early-stage venture capital firm AVAC. The company, which has been supported by Canadian and locally-based research and innovation organizations and industrial incubators, has created a brand called Afinity, which is focused on developing and bringing premium, evidence-based natural health products to market.

PRESS RELEASE

High hopes for Canada’s newest natural health company, Afinix Life Sciences Inc.

Afinix Life Company launches Afinity with unprecedented funding, scientific support

EDMONTON, Sept. 10, 2013 /CNW/ – Canada’s newest natural health company launched today at a crowded event at Edmonton Research Park. Afinix Life Sciences Inc.’s founder, Dr. Jacqueline Shan, presented details behind the new company, its products and commitment to life science innovation and commercialization.

Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta Deputy Premier and Dr. Rob Rennie, AVAC Chair, presented and showed support for the company’s launch. Stephen Mandel, Edmonton Mayor, sent congratulations on behalf of the city of Edmonton, noting that Afinix’s commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of individuals contributes to making Edmonton a city that can truly compete on a global scale. James Rajotte, MP for Edmonton – Leduc, sent best wishes on behalf of the Government of Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Rajotte expressed the government’s interest in fostering innovation and supporting advanced research and technology for the prosperity of Canadians.

Afinix is proud to launch Afinity, which is focused on developing and bringing premium, evidence-based natural health products to market. The founder and chief scientist, Dr. Shan, is a noted Canadian entrepreneur and accomplished scientist. She was co-founder and chief scientific officer of Afexa Life Sciences Inc., makers of the highly acclaimed and market-leading COLD-FX®, which was also headquartered in Edmonton.

“I am proud to introduce an innovative natural health company focused on providing consumers with trusted, premium-quality products,” said Dr. Shan. “Through our commitment to research and development, we are creating safe and effective products that address the unique and growing health needs of Canadians in the areas of arthritic, cognitive and cardiovascular health.”

Bridging business and science
The launch of Afinix was made possible largely through a $1,500,000 investment from AVAC Ltd., a private Alberta company that invests in promising early-stage Alberta companies.

“We are very pleased to announce our investment into Afinix and Dr. Shan,” said Dr. Michael Raymont, President and CEO of AVAC Ltd. “As demonstrated by her recent venture with COLD-FX®, we have the highest confidence and expectation for even greater success this time round.”

Afinix has received funding and technical advice from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to help advance its research and commercialization effort. NRC-IRAP has had a long working relationship with Dr. Shan and met with her at an early stage to help formulate strategic plans. The extensive reach of NRC-IRAP also helped Afinix access strong internal and external technical supports.

Afinix is also developing novel natural health products in the areas of women’s health, men’s health and fatigue. Recently, Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Agri-Processing Product and Market Development Grant Program approved a grant to Afinix to support the development and commercialization of these future products. GF2 provides programs and services to achieve an innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-products industry and is a major contributor to the well-being of Canadians.

From lab to market
Afinix has also benefited from a number of research and innovation organizations and industrial incubators through service programs at TEC Edmonton, the National Institute of Nanotechnology, and Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures. These services have been vital in supporting Afinix’s mission to develop premium-grade natural health products aimed at the active aging population.

“We applaud Dr. Shan’s efforts in choosing to establish this new life science company in Alberta. Dr. Shan is a recognized leader in an industry sector that will play an important role in the future economic diversification of the province,” said Amanda Stadel, acting president, BioAlberta. “As the not-for-profit industry association, representing Alberta’s growing life science sectors, we are proud to support Dr. Shan. She has demonstrated success in moving innovative science through to a commercialized product in her new endeavor.”

With strong support, Afinix is utilizing cutting edge research and methodologies to study and validate its proprietary natural health formulations.

“We utilize advanced research tools such as molecular pharmacology, metabolomics and genomics. Collectively we call this Afinity Technology. This technology is aimed at understanding how naturally derived compounds act in the human body,” says Dr. Shan. “Ultimately, this method allows us to develop safe and effective natural health products for consumers”.

Afinix is proud to introduce to the Canadian market a new line, four premium natural health products, each designed for a specific health condition. “Not all Omega-3 based products are created equally and it is important for consumers to know what to look for to manage their conditions,” added Dr. Shan.

These are just the first of several categories of naturally based products that Afinix will develop and launch. The company plans to expand into various other health categories for men, women and fatigue.

About Afinix
Afinix Life Sciences Inc. is a company based in Edmonton, Alberta that researches, develops and brings to market condition-specific natural-based therapeutics that help support healthy and active lifestyles. Afinix is not just in the business of making products but pioneering science that brings evidence-based natural health products to the forefront under the Afinity brand.

Contact: Nic Canning, 647-457-4972, nic.canning@smithcom.ca

About AVAC
AVAC Ltd. is a private Alberta-based investment company working in partnership with government and the private sector. AVAC invests in promising early-stage commercial ventures in value-added agri-business, information and communications technologies, life sciences, and other industrial technology sectors. To date, AVAC has invested $127 Million directly in over 120 companies with 61 companies reaching commercial revenue.

Contact: Wendy Lam, Sr. Investment Manager, 780-485-2411, www.avacltd.com

BioAlberta
www.bioalberta.com

SOURCE Afinix Life Sciences Inc.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.