BioMed Propulsion Program
This program, which is under the responsibility of the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation, is administered by Investissement Québec.
The primary objective of this program is to provide financial support for Québec life-sciences companies with strong growth potential to help them commercialize the results of their research while encouraging private investors to contribute actively.
More specifically, the program’s goals are as follows:
- Improve access to funding for companies in the life-sciences industry
- Encourage the viability and growth of companies with high growth potential
- Support product development
- Help maintain and create long-term, high-quality jobs
- Spur R&D investments for biotechnology companies
- Boost investment to support commercialization efforts by medical technology companies
For-profit companies in the life-sciences industry qualify if their head office (where business decisions are made) and most jobs are in Québec.
More specifically, the BioMed Propulsion program is designed for companies active in the following sectors:
- Human or animal health biotechnology : companies that are primarily engaged in R&D and incur expenses primarily for R&D. These companies develop or manage intellectual property associated with a product, platform or process related to human or animal health. Human health companies must have at least one product in the clinical trial stage. Animal health companies must at least have obtained certification from a regulatory agency.
- Medical technology : companies whose primary activities are designing, developing, manufacturing and commercializing medical devices, which are defined in Canada as any instrument, apparatus, contrivance or article that is manufactured or sold for use in:
- diagnosing, treating, mitigating or preventing a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals;
- restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in human beings or animals or the functioning of any part of their bodies.
The company must at least have obtained certification from a regulatory agency.
- Companies supplying specialized but substitutable products for local markets such as medical, dental, ophthalmic, prosthetic and clinical laboratories;
- Distribution companies or companies engaged solely in activities related to the commercialization of medical devices;
- Information technology and communication companies in the health field that cater solely to consumers.
In the course of a financing operation, the company must obtain one or more new private investments in the form of equity stakes or any other form of financing totalling three times the amount of the financial assistance requested. Under no circumstances may investments other than equity stakes exceed the amount of financial assistance requested.
The company must supply a due diligence review conducted by the private investors. If it fails to do so, a due diligence review may be conducted by an external consultant at the company’s expense.
Financial assistance takes the form of an equity loan.
The amount of the financial assistance is subject to the following minimum and maximum thresholds:
- $2.5 million to $10 million for biotechnology companies
- $0.5 million to $10 million For medical technology companies
- The maximum financing term is 10 years.
- It is possible to obtain a deferral on capital repayment.
- Disbursement of the loan may not occur faster than disbursements by the private investors.
- The capital will be repaid on a yearly basis at a rate equal to at least 25% of the funds generated by commercial operations.
- The loan will bear interest at Investissement Québec’s prime rate.
- The company will be required to pay a premium in the form of stock or unit options and calculated as 15% of the amount of the loan in order to offset risks.
- Securities on the company’s assets will be required.
For any project funded under this program, the company will be required to pay a management fee.