Velocity companies responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
At the moment, a total of 11 Velocity companies are working on solutions to address various challenges we confront today due to the arrival of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in late 2019.
We have a mix of new startups that joined our most recent Stage 1 cohort and scaling Velocity companies that are applying their technologies and expertise to defeat COVID-19.
We’re able to publicly highlight the following selected eight companies.
Materials for N95 masks
Arylla is retooling their production line to create printable filtration media for N95 masks. The company is working with manufacturing partners across Ontario to create a domestic supply chain capable of delivering 4 million masks per month to frontline healthcare workers.
Avro Life Science
Smart COVID-19 therapeutic delivery
Avro Life Science is looking to use the company’s expertise in transdermal formulation to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 more effectively in the coming months.
Upon identification of a suitable therapeutic candidate (e.g., Remdesivir), the company will develop a passive transdermal patch program that can be feasibly prototyped and trialed in time for the 2nd and 3rd waves of COVID-19 and for prophylactic use. Success could mean an improved access to targeted therapy, an expansion of home/isolation therapy (vs. therapies and treatments that may require IV administration, for instance), and a further reduction of the spread over time.
Intelligent medical supplies delivery
DG-OD provides an AI-driven medical supplies (including dangerous goods) delivery platform. The technology will enable supply chain and logistics management professionals to gain full visibility and predict how best to transport critical goods, thereby addressing the apparent supply chain shortcomings exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Life Sciences Key Technologies
Point-of-care test kits for COVID-19
Life Sciences Key Technologies (LSK) is developing a portable device that can provide ‘pop-up’ diagnostic lab capacity essentially anywhere it is needed. LSK’s goal is to boost COVID-19 testing capacity with devices that each can run 1,200 patient tests per day.
Stem cell manufacturing technology
Membio is fine-tuning its cell manufacturing technology that can be applied to enable rapid, cost-effective scaling up of a high-quality COVID-19 vaccine.
Rapid detection & identification of pathogens
Π∩ϟ (Pi&Power) has recently been admitted to the Velocity Incubator program. The company is working on developing RF waveform-based sensor technology to rapidly detect and identify pathogens.
At-home test kit for COVID-19
Serapis is developing an at-home test kit for COVID-19 as an answer to the current pandemic. The company has had incredible support from the Kitchener-Waterloo tech community, pooling talent and resources from the community to achieve what normally takes months in the medical space within a week.
The SeraLamp kit contains the latest in RNA detection technology into an at-home, single-use unit. Prototypes can currently detect novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) at levels comparable to existing lab tests. They are looking for additional support to continue the development of the product and begin manufacturing.
DNA-based vaccine for COVID-19
Theraphage has partnered with innovative researchers from the University of Waterloo and is currently working to develop a COVID-19 therapeutic vaccine that can be administered intranasally. The vaccine, termed ‘synthetic infection’ or ‘synfection’ mimics the route of an actual infection but is safe in humans and cannot propagate. Developmental stages will take some months, and the company is very confident that this vaccine has great potential as both a therapeutic and a prophylactic vaccine and are working diligently to expedite its development.
“When complete, our DNA-based vaccine will be administered non-invasively as a nasal spray that delivers nanomedicine engineered to immunize and decrease COVID-19 infections,” says Roderick Slavcev, Co-founder and CEO of Theraphage.”