Canada is a Rising Power in Life Science Innovation

15 Feb

By Lucy Parkinson, Director of Research, LSN

RESI is headed to MaRS in Toronto for the third time. Our annual visits to the city have allowed LSN to take the pulse of Canadian life science, and we have seen Canada go from strength to strength over the years and attract an increasing amount of investment interest. Taking a look at a sample of startup data from the LSN Company Platform, we can examine life science trends in Canada.

While every region of Canada is home to some life science startup activity, the main hubs are in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Let’s see how the different verticals within life science and health innovation are represented in those three hubs. From our sample, we took a look at early stage therapeutic companies (Preclinical through Phase II), development-stage medical technology companies, and all digital health companies.

While biotech activity is occurring throughout Canada, we see a concentration of digital health and medtech activity in Ontario. The city of Toronto is home to several major research universities and institutions, and innovation has grown up around this research hub.

Looking more closely at those early stage biotech assets, we find that Canada’s drug development startups have developed a strong base of preclinical assets and many of those assets have moved through to Phase I and Phase II.

Much like in other regions, oncology is the dominant area of research, but Canada is also home to a wealth of biotech development in neurology, infectious diseases, dermatology, and other fields.

It’s little wonder that investors are starting to look north of the border for life science deals. Taking a look into the LSN Investor Platform, we find that LSN tracks over 700 investors who will consider an investment opportunity in Canada. Over 80% of those investors are located outside of Canada! We anticipate that from those investment firms, over 300 investment staff will be in attendance at the upcoming RESI on MaRS event. As novel life science technology becomes an increasingly global marketplace, LSN encounters more investors who have a global rather than a regional mindset when it comes to finding high quality assets, and with so much research being generated by top institutions, Canada is well placed to take advantage of that trend.

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