Canada's Global Life Sciences Venture: Expertise and collaboration to lead the world
Gordon C. McCauley
President and CEO
adMare BioInnovations

In Canada, we are exceptional at producing innovative research and notably so in terms of health research. Canada is a powerhouse in the area of science. With less than 0.5 percent of the world’s population, we produce 5 percent of the world’s research publications, and hold a citation rate among the top six nations globally; that is 43 percent higher than the global average.

And this is good news, because academic research is the spark that ignites innovation.

But a spark is both vital to, and dependent on, fuel to grow an ecosystem.

The Canadian life sciences ecosystem including life sciences companies, investors, research funders, global pharma, governments, support services, foundations, clinicians, and of course, patients, among others, is diverse and complex which makes it as rich with challenges as it is with potential.

adMare BioInnovations is a pan-Canadian enterprise with global reach, changing the landscape of the life sciences ecosystem from sea to sea. We do this by sourcing the most therapeutically and commercially promising research from leading academic and biotech partners to create new companies of scale, providing specialized expertise and infrastructure to help existing companies scale up and driving the growth of those companies into Canadian anchors by training the next generation of highly-qualified personnel.

Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. Current and future commercial opportunities are proactively identified and thoroughly assessed through a focused, systematic ‘foresighting’ and search and evaluation process managed by a dedicated, commercially-experienced internal adMare team.

So, what does this look like?

For academic researchers, sustainable partnerships advance discoveries, and transform them into validated investments and new companies. For Dr. Michael Riddell at York University, this meant a collaboration with Zucara Therapeutics – an adMare and TIAP spin-off company – to advance a pre-clinical drug therapy for the prevention of hypoglycemia in people with Type 1 diabetes.

For existing life sciences companies, adMare’s strategic collaboration offers the key to scaling up and creating anchor firms.

Zymeworks Inc. successfully commercialized a novel oncology-based platform, which became a key part of its pipeline and resulted in the creation Canada’s largest biologics company in 2016. Zymeworks’ ability to become a stand-alone company is built on a combination of their own proprietary work in bi-specific antibodies for cancer, and an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform spun-out of adMare (formerly known as CDRD) under Kairos Therapeutics.

And for promising young companies, the resources and support provided by adMare’s NEOMED Innovation Centre, a vibrant drug discovery hub in Montreal, hosts contract research organizations, biotech companies, and specialized commercialization support services and infrastructure. For 350 entrepreneurs/researchers working at 32 different organizations, access to the state-of-the-art facility is currently providing sophisticated and specialized laboratories and equipment, but also access to an environment that is stimulating and collaborative. An example of the impact: six of the most recent companies welcomed to the Centre expanded from a collective total of only 16 full-time employees, to providing highly-skilled and highly-paid employment to more than 285 people.

Perhaps most crucially though, to support and further drive the growth of life sciences companies into strong anchors for the industry requires highly qualified people. The adMare Academy offers training and development to meet the demand with undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive streams. The adMare Academy Executive Institute is supported with a $1 million contribution from Pfizer Canada and delivered in collaboration with the not-for-profit Centre for Creative Leadership, global training leaders who have been ranked among the world’s top five institutions for executive education by Bloomberg Businessweek and the Financial Times.

For investors, adMare is also a central source for new validated and de-risked healthcare product opportunities; and this is equally true for governments committed to maximizing the return on public investments.

adMare BioInnovations is unique in the world. We are a single-stop destination offering comprehensive commercialization resources that are supporting the growth of Canadian innovation and the life sciences ecosystem into global leadership positions.