eNUVIO Inc. – 15 September
eNUVIO Inc. is a bio-microfabrication company that develops and manufactures a range of cutting-edge lab-on-a-chip microfluidic and microfabricated research devices to facilitate and accelerate scientific discovery and drug development. By expanding the scientific toolbox, eNUVIO aims to accelerate the research and development of novel and effective therapeutics to treat human disease. Their core technology is a proprietary microfabrication method that enables the formation of complex structures and shapes within biocompatible materials with micrometer resolution. Such complex patterns would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible, to fabricate using standard microfabrication methods.
eNUVIO operates its own Class 100 cleanroom and cell culture facility in Montreal, Quebec. Their unique devices enable scientists to harness the potential of emerging stem cell and 3D cell culture technologies (e.g. “mini-brains”) for the development of next-generation in vitro disease models that are fully scalable and compatible with existing high-throughput drug screening infrastructure. Most of their products cater to the fields of neurology and neuroscience, including specific devices for the study of neurodegenerative (e.g. ALS, multiple sclerosis), neuromuscular (e.g SBMA), and skeletal muscle (e.g. muscular dystrophy) disorders.
Several of eNUVIO’s drug screening products are unique in the market, and consequently do not have any direct competition. Of the products that do have competition, eNUVIO’s products have the advantage that they have been carefully designed with the scientist in mind and are easier to use. For example, eNUVIO’s products are shipped ready-to-use and therefore do not need to be prepared by their clients before employing them in their experiments. Additionally, eNUVIO’s devices can be used to perform twice the number of experiments per unit device, effectively cutting the unitary experiment cost in half compared to their competitors’ offerings.
eNUVIO has an ongoing partnership with the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU) of McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute. They also have academic customers in over 13 countries that include leading academic research institutes such as the University of Toronto, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, The Jackson Laboratory, Institute for Neurosciences in Montpellier, KU Leuven, University of Edinburgh, and the Shanghai International Medical Center.
eNUVIO was named one of the 5 top Lab-On-A-Chip startups by Startups Insights and is a Fondation Montreal laureate.
eNUVIO’s biggest hurdle to overcome in the following year is commercialization and marketing – getting their company known within the private pharmaceutical industry, which includes contract research organizations (CROs), biotechs, and pharmaceutical companies.
eNUVIO is operated by its three co-founders: Hugo McGuire (CEO), Élise Faure (COO), and Mark Aurousseau (CTO). Each has obtained a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in science. They first met as graduate students in 2010, working together on an interdisciplinary collaboration between two university science labs in Montreal. At that time, it was obvious that they shared a strong interest for research tool and method development. After finishing their degrees, this shared passion drove them together again to form eNUVIO in 2016.
Although their expertise is largely centered on the technology and scientific application of the products, their years of training at world-class institutions have provided them with excellent communication, resource management, and problem-solving skills. As one of the first life science startups to be accepted into the Centech propulsion program, the co-founders have benefited from intense training in entrepreneurship, access to a wide business network, as well as the resources that come with being a part of an excellent startup accelerator such as Centech.
After moving on from the Centech accelerator, eNUVIO received investment from angel investors, as well as financial support from Canada Economic Development, the National Research Council IRAP program, the first patent program from the Quebec Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, and the venture capital fund Front Row Ventures.
In pursuit of fulfilling their vision to facilitate and accelerate scientific discovery, eNUVIO is looking to raise $1.2M CAD in 2021 that is to be allocated for commercialization and business development purposes. This includes hiring a business development team and sales representatives, as well as increasing their visibility abroad.
Most of eNUVIO’s products are disposed of after being used in a single scientific experiment. As such, eNUVIO’s business model is based in upon the recurrent sales of consumables.
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