The executive team of Halifax-based Adaptiiv, fresh with a recent round of financing, is attending an international radiotherapy conference in Barcelona this week to announce a new distribution partnership.

Formerly known as 3DBolus, Adaptiiv is a company that has been gaining notice in Halifax biotech circles for a couple of years, even though it just released its first public statement this week. The company has developed software that works with 3D printers to produce a personalized bolus — a plastic fitting used in radiation therapy.

Adaptiiv has launched three different products, booked sales in six countries and raised almost $3 million in equity funding. Last week Adaptiiv announced it had signed a distribution agreement with Iowa-based CIVCO Radiotherapy, which will give it sales representatives in all main districts of North America.

“This is a special company,” CEO Peter Hickey said in an interview Tuesday before jetting off to the Estro Conference in Spain. “When I was first approached by the team I initially thought, ‘This isn’t for me,’ because I was in IT. But the team, especially (board member) Bruce Ross, kept driving home the point that this is a software play. It was one of those cases where I fell in love with the company.”

Hickey is best known in the community as a serial entrepreneur in the IT space, most recently for being the CEO of Oris4, which shut down two years ago. In Adaptiiv, he’s teamed up with James Robar, chief of medical physics at the Nova Scotia Health Authority and director of medical physics graduate programs at Dalhousie University, and serial tech entrepreneur Alex Dunphy.

What Adaptiiv does is revolutionize the use of a bolus in radiation therapy. A bolus is a piece of plastic placed over the cancerous area, assuming the tumours are close to or in the skin. The radiation hits the bolus, builds up and then is transferred into the tumour.

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There can be no air pockets between the bolus and the skin, which complicates matters given that every body is unique. Hospitals using the Adaptiiv product buy a system that includes 3D printers with special filaments, so unique boluses customized to each patient can be printed within seconds. They can be reused as the patient receives repeated radiation dosages. Or if the patient’s body shape changes over the course of multiple treatments, the medical staff can print off another bolus quickly.

The company has received its CE Mark certification, meaning it can sell into several countries including members of the European Union. It already has clients in the U.K., Ireland, Israel, Australia and Canada. It has applied for its 510k approval in the U.S. and Hickey said it hopes to receive approval “soon.”

Adaptiiv recently closed a round of funding which included investment from Alexander Capital in New York, an investment boutique that makes direct investments and rounds up angel investors to back companies. Hickey said Adaptiiv has now raised almost $3 million and is planning a larger raise once it receives its 510k approval.

Adaptiiv has three products in the market, including one that helps to prevent healthy organs from being damaged during radiation therapy. With nine employees (soon to be 12), the company continues to develop new products.

“We have a pipeline with some really great innovation,” said Hickey. “That’s what we are. We’re a Nova Scotian-based innovation company that’s producing solutions to problems that people haven’t solved yet.”

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  • Steven C Wyer

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