The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is lending a total of $1.7 million to three Halifax biotech companies: ClearDynamic, AGADA Biosciences and NovaResp Technologies.

ClearDynamic is taking home the lion’s share of the funding, $948,750, to assess the feasibility of its system to treat joint pain by injecting tiny particles of glass into a patient’s bloodstream.

The technology is similar in premise to one of co-founder and Dalhousie University biomedical engineer Daniel Boyd’s other businesses, ABK Biomedical, which in December raised US$30 million to fund clinical trials of injectable “microspheres” designed to treat some types of cancer.

“(ACOA’s) assistance has enabled us to attract much needed foreign direct investment to Nova Scotia, it has helped us to accelerate our development plans, and to partner with leading physicians around the world,” said Boyd in a statement.

AGADA, meanwhile, is getting $500,000 for a new laboratory in the Brewery Market Building near the Halifax waterfront. The funds will also help to purchase equipment and hire six recent university graduates.

Founded by geneticists Eric Hoffman and Kanneboyina Nagaraju in 2013, AGADA is a service company that conducts research for drug development and runs clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies.

And NovaResp is borrowing $250,000 to hire a consultant to help speed up the design and regulatory approval process for its system to treat sleep apnea.

Founded by Dalhousie University PhD graduate Hamed Hanafi, NovaResp is developing software to use data from CPAP machines to predict when a sleep apnea patient will stop breathing and pre-emptively provide air to their lungs, preventing the apnea event. Conventional treatments provide air only after the patient has stopped breathing, which causes many patients to suffer discomfort.