Record year of investments, breakthroughs and start-up activity in Canada’s life science industry track to global growth and strengths of the region
BOSTON – June 8, 2021 – On the heels of an unprecedented year for the life sciences industry globally, Canada is sending its largest international delegation to the 2021 BIO Digital International Convention. Covid-19 has put this industry in the spotlight and Canada has risen to the occasion with key breakthroughs including cell therapy advances, antibody development and artificial intelligence use for drug discovery. Investment from both the government and public/private sector coupled with a robust biotech ecosystem and initiatives to create a welcoming regulatory environment have led to Canada’s rapid rise as one of the world’s most thriving regions for life science companies. The companies participating at BIO Digital’s Canadian Pavilion demonstrate the rich heritage Canada has in this industry as well as the strength and diversity of the country’s life science ecosystem.
2020 proved to be a hugely significant year both in terms of life saving innovation and economic recovery and that momentum has continued in 2021. The strong foundation and tools already in place in Canada allowed industry innovators to go above and beyond in tackling the challenge of COVID-19 over the last year. This was evidenced by successes in research, vaccine development and therapeutics, as well as supporting technologies in digital health such as remote patient care. The increasing momentum of the Canadian ecosystem was made possible by record public and private support, with the Canadian government making several strategic investments including $59.2 million to the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), as well as promising COVID-focused advances from Canadian companies such as AbCellera, Edesa Biotech, VBI Vaccines, Precision NanoSystems (PNI), VIDO InterVac, Medicago, and IMV Inc. In fact, the three largest biotech IPOs in Canadian history occurred in 2020 with Fusion, Repare, and Abcellera all going public, resulting in a collective market capitalization of $6.7 Billion CAD.