Chemical engineer is heavy on water

Shail Joshi has a thing for the water in Collingwood. As a chemical engineer, he should  know. “The water  filtration system here is better than in the city,” he explains. “We have some of the best water in the whole world.”

Joshi is a technical salesperson with Isowater® Corporation, a clean technology company and a leading global supplier of heavy water. “We specialize in deuterium oxide ,” explains Joshi. “Our products are in demand across a range of high tech and life sciences industries, from fiber optics and semiconductors to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics.”

Joshi came to Isowater® in 2018 after completing a BASc in Chemical Engineering at Ottawa U, where he took part in numerous coops, including one at Tianjin University, China. There he researched active pharmaceutical ingredient enhancement through crystallization.

Joshi now crisscrosses the globe with Isowater®, working with customers in far-flung locations to find the perfect formulations for their needs. “I like the travel,” affirms Joshi. “I  appreciate the ability to work with professionals from different companies around the  world. It’s horizon-broadening. But I like it very much here, too. I’m getting into skiing. Also canoeing, kayaking and hiking. I love the Bay. I like the surrounding farmland as well, which I think is important to maintain as this area grows.”

Like many millennials, Joshi finds value in working for a company that does good things. “I appreciated Isowater’s® determination to innovate, its technology and evolving processes,” he says. “These things are all critical to clean tech development.”

A focus on clean tech is nothing new for Joshi. His capstone project involved the research of a completely carbon neutral, emissions-free process that derives ethyl acetate and hydrogen from ethanol. He also drives a plug-in hybrid.

“I was really happy that Isowater® was able to accommodate the car,” he says. “They created an electric fueling station right near the front of the building on a porous green pathway. It forms part of the lawn. I think it’s important to support progressive technology on a personal level, too.”

What’s next for Joshi? “I’m just enjoying South Georgian Bay. I go skiing and rock climbing with colleagues. I work for a cool company. I’m exploring the area. Life is good.”

Heavy water, lightbulb idea

Aug 15, 2018 1:00 PM by: Erika Engel

A Collingwood-based science and technology company hopes to encourage more youth into STEM industries.

Science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM as its now referred to – is seeing a big push from related industry as the demand for those expertise increases.

In Collingwood, The Isowater® Corporation is one such company in the industry hoping to inspire future employees while they are still in high school.

In addition to being a top co-op employer in Simcoe County, Isowater® has developed its own annual STEM awards, which are given to high school students in the county who demonstrate excellence in one or more of the STEM fields.

Kennedy Westlake is working as a co-op intern at The Isowater® Corporation, a Collingwood-based company in the business of delivering heavy water to private industry. They are also heavy on inspiring young people toward careers in the STEM industries.

“There’s a science gap here and we want to fill that gap,” said Lisa Stuart, vice president of sales and marketing for Isowater®. She and her husband Andrew Stuart started the company in 2009.

Before launching Isowater®, Andrew Stuart was one of the world’s leading hydrogen experts. When he heard then Prime Minister Stephen Harper announce the privatization of Canada’s nuclear power industry, he had an idea.

There’s a product used to cool nuclear reactors called heavy water. It’s a product that isn’t much different from “light” water (or regular water) other than it contains deuterium oxide in high concentration. It’s naturally occurring and can be extracted from a regular water source.

Heavy water is not irradiated, it can be used to cool nuclear reactors, but is not part of the nuclear power generation process outside of its cooling effects.

The Canadian government has a surplus store of it, and is now allowing private industry access.

The Isowater® Company in Collingwood sells Canada’s heavy water for various uses in the scientific community.

According to Isowater®, deuterium isotopes have possible applications pharmaceutical, diagnostics,hydrology, fibre optics, semiconductors and scientific research and manufacturing.

Early trials using heavy water to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs show positive results in reducingside effects due to the slower absorption rate of heavy water over regular water.
At Isowater®, there are two science streams including engineering/research and development and laboratory science. There are also several employees involved in shipping and receiving the product.

The Collingwood location doesn’t store large quantities of heavy water, it’s a central shipping location for the product.

“We could be based anywhere, but we want to be based here because we love it here,” said Lisa. She and her husband enjoy the outdoor activities and were glad to raise their children in Collingwood.

Both children participated in science fairs – of which Lisa is a big proponent – and both went into STEM industry programs – one for material engineering and one for chemical engineering.

“They did science fairs and it changed their life,” said Lisa, adding she’s glad for the teachers who put forth extra initiative and encourage their students to participate in science fairs. “It’s a lot for teachers to take on as extracurriculars, but it’s an amazing opportunity to grow and learn through the science fair process.”

As the world’s first private company selling and distributing heavy water to the private industry, The Isowater® Company hopes to inspire young STEM-minded students to be innovative and understand the limitless possibilities in the industry. Lisa said they will be expanding the awards program and are experimenting with youth outreach programs in local community centres, the details of which are still under wraps. Isowater® tries to provide a non-traditional coop experience for as many youth as possible.

“Geeks love us,” she said.Secondary or post-secondary students interested in co-op opportunities at Isowater® Company can find more information here.

The Isowater® Corporation is located in a new building on Sandford Fleming Drive in Collingwood.


Isowater® Corporation: “Connecting Nuclear Products to Non-Nuclear Markets”

The Canadian nuclear industry has long been a world leader in research and technology development, from manufacturing novel reactors to globally exporting items such as radioisotopes and deuterium oxide. This progress in technology is causing industries around the world in all sectors to be disrupted, including those related to the use of deuterium oxide. “We’re connecting a traditional nuclear product to non-nuclear markets”, Andrew Stuart, President and CEO of Isowater® said.

AVP-786: Progress in the Use of Deuterium in Alzheimer’s Treatment

In the continuing clinical trials, Avanir Pharmaceuticals’ drug, AVP-786, is showing the progress being made in the use of deuterium in medical science. Successes like this pharmaceutical will continue to drive forward product development centered around the unique properties of deuterium by the world’s drug developers via their innovative R&D. Furthermore, advancements like this in the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry are significantly improving the quality of patients lives.

Deuterium’s Role in the Future of Medicine

The global pharmaceutical industry has been advanced significantly by Vertex [NASDAQ: VRTX] and their potential improvement for the treatment of cystic fibrosis via the use of a novel deuterated drug CTP-656. Vertex’s stock increased a record amount, boosting their market cap by 8 billion USD with shares up 24% after the company shared their data from clinical studies of triple combinations of drug treatments.

For more information on where to buy deuterium oxide, please click the link.

First Deuterated Drug, Austedo (deutrabenazine) by Teva approved by FDA

Isowater® is pleased to see this precedent setting FDA approval in place for Austedo  by Teva. It has had the developmental name of SD-809. As it is for the treatment of chorea, which is associated with Huntington’s disease, it offers an improved product to reduce the random involuntary twisting movements that accompany people with Huntington’s.  This new deuterated drug will be able to help the quality of daily life for those who currently suffer. Isowater® looks forward to a new chapter of drug development and continuing to secure the long-term deuterium supply chain to pharmaceutical firms to create as well as improve pharmaceuticals and importantly the quality of life for others. For more information on how to buy heavy water click here.

Deuterium use in Life Science Applications Highlighted in Specialty Chemicals Magazine

Deuterium oxide is being used in key pharmaceutical applications as reported by Dr. Sarah Harding of Specialty Chemicals Magazine in their Pharmaceuticals section of the April 2017 magazine. With a focus on the variety of Life Sciences applications for deuterium oxide that are used to help patients, Isowater® plays a key role. Deuteration offers a way to improve even those drugs that already enjoy wide acceptance due to the critical nature of their primary effect, but which reduce patient’s quality of life due to adverse side effects. Isowater’s® focus is to ensure that the raw material for deuterated drugs – deuterium – is available and of high quality for the long term needs of the global pharmaceutical supply chain. Find out more on the deuterium atom structure click here. 

The Chemical and Engineering News – Deuterated Drugs & Isowater’s® Role

 The Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN), a publication of the American Chemical Society is a leading source of technical information for the Life Sciences industry. An article published in early July 2016 provides a summary of the world leading pharmaceutical companies now developing deuterated drugs.   Successful deuterated drugs have up to three ways they can enhance the efficacy of similar non-deuterated drugs. First deuterium reduces the rate at which the body can metabolize the medicine. Secondly due to deuterium’s stability enhancement, longer therapeutic life time may result. Thirdly, the longer the lifetime, the higher the potential to reduce the initial dosage level. Lower doses may lead to reduced side effects. Isowater® is supporting the use of deuterium in the pharmaceutical industry through developing strong supply chain products such as multiyear supply arrangements.

The Economist Magazine Reports on Deuterated Pharmaceuticals

The excitement and growth potential of deuterated pharmaceuticals is going main-stream as reported in the Economist magazine in their Medical Chemistry section (see link below). With the emphasis being “Drugs that live long will prosper”, the article nicely summarizes the outlook for deuterated pharmaceuticals. The ending sentence “…a basic fact: deuterated drugs will soon be widespread, and the result will be fewer pills to swallow” provides a key outlook that Isowater® shares. Isowater’s® focus is to ensure the raw material for deuterated drugs – deuterium – is available. Currently deuterium oxide (heavy water) is made for nuclear energy applications. Isowater’s® focus is to develop supply that is independent of the energy policies of a particular nation and targeted towards the non-nuclear industry applications such as pharmaceuticals, other life sciences, and high tech. Only through independent private sector supply will the growing non-nuclear deuterium dependent industries have a stable base to achieve profitable growth. For more informaion on where to buy heavy water click here.