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From a Canadian industry perspective BIO 2016 in San Francisco was a major success. The new Canada pavilion was opened and provided a home base for the over eight hundred and sixty Canadian delegates in attendance (the largest international delegation of the BIO convention).  

Importantly, BIOTECanada was able to welcome a significant number of key political representatives including:
  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (Canada)
  • The Honourable Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade (Alberta)
  • The Honourable Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy (Quebec)
  • His Worship Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City
  • His Worship Marc Demers, Mayor of Laval
  • Her Worship Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga
  • His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton
On Tuesday morning, BIOTECanada hosted an industry roundtable which brought Minister Bains together with over fifty industry leaders representing the entire spectrum of the Canadian biotech ecosystem. The roundtable provided an important and timely opportunity for the Minister and industry leaders to discuss discuss Canada's biotech sector and the role the federal Innovation Agenda can play in driving its global competitiveness.

For 2016, a significant coordination of efforts involving all provincial partners and BIOTECanada led to the evolution of the Canada pavilion. The new Canada pavilion provided delegates with improved formal meeting space, a concierge desk, the Sanofi Ice House for informal meetings and recharging stations. All told, the new pavilion became a central gathering place which improved the BIO experience for many member companies.

Through the BIOTECanada cost saving initiative, more than 50 small and medium sized companies were able to take advantage of significant savings, including registration and passes to the business partnering forum. 

BIOTECanada greatly appreciates the partnership from the Government of Ontario, Government of Quebec, Atlantic Canada Bio-Industries Alliance (PEI BioAlliance, BioNova, BioNB, and NATI), Life Sciences Ontario, Ag-West Bio, BioAlberta, Government of Manitoba, Genome Canada, National Research Council and Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh.

Also a special thank you to Sergeant Derek McDonald and Constable Melanie Brunet of the RCMP for providing the true Canadian experience throughout the day.


BIOTECanada Innovation Roundtable

Political Engagement with Minister Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development


BIOTECanada welcomed the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and more than 50 national executives to a roundtable discussion exploring the biotechnology ecosystem in Canada. The Minister, accompanied by the Deputy Minister, John Knubley and Mayor Bonnie Crombie of Mississauga, heard real life examples of how the start up to commercialization cycles of biotechnology product development are impacted by the global competition for idea’s. With representation from Newfoundland to British Columbia, industry representatives showcased the dynamic of what the ecosystem of innovation represents to Canadians from the food they eat to the health care they access. 
The Innovation Roundtable meeting presented an important and timely opportunity for industry leaders to meet with the Minister and share their perspectives regarding the opportunities the sector presents, with an emphasis on how the Minister’s Innovation Agenda initiative can help attract investment and support the sector’s growth. The objective of the meeting was to provide the Minister with a sense of the scope and depth of the Canadian biotechnology industry ecosystem and the types of jobs it provides; underscore the significant global opportunity the industry represents; and identify ways in which the Federal Innovation Agenda can support the sector’s ability to attract investment and be a global biotechnology leader.
Roundtable participants highlighted the collaborative nature of how commercialization is driven by global partnerships. Industry leaders also spoke to the goal and opportunity to establish anchor biotechnology companies in Canada. Additionally, being able to ensure Canada has the skills for establishing those anchor companies, both with skilled Canadians and with international expertise welcomed into the country to build the companies. 
Minister Bains has been tasked with developing a national innovation strategy in time for the 2017 federal budget. At the meeting he outlined his goal of consulting broadly, searching for the best practices and opportunities to help build the new economy in Canada.  He spoke directly on the issue of attracting investment and ensuring a marketplace for new products can be accessed in Canada and throughout the world.
Minister Bains has asked BIOTECanada to report on the BIO 2016 convention to him in terms of Canadian outcomes and opportunities identified for growing the industry in Canada. BIOTECanada is asking member companies to advise of outcomes derived from BIO to be included in our report, which will be provided to the Minister in early July. Please forward any information you would like to have included in the report to Cate McCready

photo credit Sean Pedruco

Federal and Provincial Ministers Open Canada Pavilion as Largest International Delegation Gathers


Uniquely Canadian concept goes global – September 26 – October 2, 2016

AusBio, BIO, BIOTECanada and EuropaBio joined Canadian officials in launching Global Biotech Week initiative. By joining in on the Global Biotech Week festivities organizations and companies will be raising awareness of the industry and its global potential among policymakers, policy influencers and the general public more broadly.

BIOTECanada is leading a week of programming in collaboration with international partners including BIO, EuropaBio, AusBio to coordinate initiatives to showcase the industry and its global significance. In this context, Global Biotech Week will provide an important and timely opportunity to showcase the interconnected biotech ecosystem and its key players. To learn how you can get involved contact Nadine Lunt.

Back row (l-r) - Nathalie Moll, Secretary General EuropaBio, Dr. Anna Lavelle, CEO AusBio, Lila Feisee, VP of International Affairs BIO.
Front row (l-r) - Andrew Casey, President and CEO BIOTECanada, Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister Anglade (Quebec), and Minister Bilous (Alberta)

photo credit Sean Pedruco

From l-r - Marc Demers (Mayor of Laval), Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City, Minister Bains, Misister Anglade, Bonnie Crombie (Mayor of Mississauga), Don Iveson (Mayor of Edmonton) and Minister Bilous (Alberta)

Investor Summit Competiton

Coast to Coast Winner Phoenix Molecular Designs, gains a coveted presentation spot during BIOTECanada’s Investor Summit in February 2017

Canada's biotech industry displayed diversity in front of provincial politicians and delegations encouraging regional pride while highlighting the true engine of the industry's future. The presenting companies represent the forefront of game changing biotech, brought to you by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Thanks to all presenting companies: KMT Hepatech, 3D Signatures, MB, Sepset Bioscience, BC, Phoenix Molecular Designs, BC, Soricimed Biopharma, NB, Immune Biosolutions, QC, Designed Biologics, ON, iTP Biomedica, ON.

Special thanks to the Judging Panel including: Shemaine Tilley (CTI Life Sciences), Steven Xanthoudakis (Merck Canada), Cédric Bisson (Teralys Capital), Natalie Dakers (Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator), Dion Madsen (Business Development Bank of Canada), Ali Tehrani (Zymeworks), and John Norman (Gowling WLG).

Gold Leaf Awards Honour Canadian Biotech Excellence

BIOTECanada is pleased to announce the 2016 winners in two BIOTECanada Gold Leaf Award categories- Emerging Company of the Year (Health) and Biotech Company of the Year
  • Northern Biologics – Emerging Health Company of the Year
  • Zymeworks Inc. – Biotech Company of the Year

From l-r: Minister Bains, Stefan Larson (Northern Biologics), Andrew Casey (BIOTECanada)
photo credit Sean Pedruco

The Gold Leaf Awards annually celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship within the Canadian biotech industry across all industry categories including health, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology.
Northern Biologics and Zymeworks are truly representative of the Canadian biotech ecosystem functioning at its best. Both started out as small companies that were at their hearts simply an innovative idea. Through a combination of strong entrepreneurship, early stage angel and venture capital investments and later through pharma partners both have now grown to become true Canadian biotech companies with very bright futures. BIOTECanada congratulates the companies, their leadership and the scientific teams on successfully reaching key milestones. BIOTECanada looks forward to celebrating their future success.

From l-r: Minister Bains, Ali Tehrani (Zymeworks), Andrew Casey (BIOTECanada)
photo credit Sean Pedruco

Canada's top science student recognized at BIO International   
Convention. Sanofi BioGenius Winner Iveta Demirova from New Westminster Secondary School in British Columbia won first place, chosen for her research project exploring the development of a novel HIV-1 therapy. The future of biotech in Canada, an inspiring young innovator with Minister Bains.

photo credit Sean Pedruco

Sanofi Ice House - Home Away From Home

Delegates were able to relax and recharge in the Sanofi Ice House. 
Playing centre ice to Canada's pavilion, the Ice House allowed a natural gathering area for those doing business with Canadian companies. Thanks to member company sponsor Sanofi. 


Innovative Targeting Solutions to Collaborate with Merck

From l-r: Andrew Casey (BIOTECanada), Minister Bains, Chirfi Guindo (Merck), Dr. Paul Kang (Innovative Targeting Solutions)
photo credit Sean Pedruco

The announced collaboration is an example of the Canadian biotech ecosystem in action. Innovative Targeting Solutions presented at the BIOTECanada Investor Summit (Whistler 2012). The Summit brings together senior leaders representing all facets of the health biotechnology ecosystem including representatives from large pharma investment and business development, venture capital and early stage biotech companies for tow and a half days of networking. Opportunities such as the Summit allow for relationship building, resulting in partnerships. Merck announced their securing of Innovative Targeting Solutions' proprietary HuTARG™ research platform to help identify and develop biologic therapeutic candidates directed towards targets that have historically been a challenge for biologic therapies. 

"We are delighted to establish a strategic collaboration with the biologics team at Merck to advance our innovative protein engineering platform," said Michael Gallo, Ph.D., President of Innovative Targeting Solutions Inc. "With Merck we will be able to fully leverage the HuTARG platform to discover novel antibodies with the potential to impact human health."

The HuTARG™ platform allows researchers to generate and engineer fully human antibodies. The technology underlying the platform is based upon the natural process of V(D)J recombination, employed by the human immune system to produce a diverse repertoire of antibodies.

"The incorporation of new technologies into our biologics discovery function is a key element of our biologics strategy to advance candidates with the potential to provide meaningful benefit to patients," said Yuan Xu, senior vice president Biologics and Vaccines, Merck Research Laboratories. "We look forward to working with ITS in this collaboration." 

Under the terms of the agreement, ITS will be eligible for payments associated with the achievement of specified milestones as well as tiered royalty payments on sales of any products. The total potential value of this agreement is approximately US$150M.

Thank you to our BIO2016 Sponsors

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