Recently, life science companies have faced serious challenges
raising financing. While overall venture capital financing in
Canada is on the rise compared to past years (though still nowhere
near the amounts seen in the early 2000s), life science start-ups
are not experiencing the same increase. According to the Industry
Canada "Venture Capital Monitor", investment in life
sciences companies totalled $40 million during the third quarter of
2013, a decrease of about 56% compared to the same period in
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies face unique challenges in
their pursuit of funding. Life science projects are considered
high-risk with historically low returns on investments. Longer
development timelines, including lengthy clinical trials for drugs,
means investors have to wait much longer to realize returns. The
result is that access to capital remains a challenge for life
sciences projects. As PwC's "Canadian Life Sciences
Industry Forecast 2013" suggests, Canadian organizations will
be looking more and more to partnerships and licensing strategies
to fill this funding gap, with the need for capital now exceeding
$1 billion to achieve further growth.
As pharmaceutical companies face impending expiration of patents
for successful drugs, which creates a need for new drugs to bring
to market, many are re-strategizing. Rather than focus on in-house
research and development, many pharmaceutical companies are looking
to farm out the risk of drug development by partnering with, or
investing in, early-stage life sciences companies.
Life science companies have also been looking for other ways to
attract investment capital, namely by working with research centres
that connect innovative and promising academic research with the
commercialization capabilities of the private sector.
The NEOMED Institute, a biopharma non-profit research centre
launched in Québec in November 2012 is the result of
collaboration between AstraZeneca Canada, Pfizer Canada and the
Québec Government. According to the institute's website,
its primary aim is to help "translate early stage innovations
into solid partnership opportunities." Its founders made a
commitment to invest $100 million over a five year period.
In 2013, MaRS Innovation and Pfizer also joined forces to
identify investment opportunities, within its member institutions
and affiliated teaching hospitals, emerging from promising
scientific research discoveries and advance early-stage
technologies in the therapeutics and diagnostics fields of human
Finally, the University of British Columbia "Centre for
Drug Research and Development" (CDRD) provides resources to
assist researchers to advance early-stage drug candidates and
bridge the commercialization gap that often exists.
The Canadian government has also recently taken action after a
report it commissioned revealed that companies were struggling to
find additional funding beyond an initial financing of a few
million dollars. In 2013, the Canadian government launched the
Venture Capital Action Plan ("VCAP"), which includes an
allocation of $400 million in venture capital support, by
establishing new funds while also recapitalizing larger funds.
Further to this commitment, in September 2013, the government
announced its intent to make a total of $50 million in commitments
to four existing venture capital funds – two of which focus
on life sciences.
Though times have been tough in terms of raising capital for
early stage life science ventures, new programs and strategies can
help to ensure that Canada remains a strong presence on the global
Effective September 1, 2016, the Disposition of Surplus Real Property Regulation to the Ontario Education Act was amended with the intention to reduce barriers to the formation of health and community hubs in Ontario.
This appeal relates to two generic drug submissions for two different products: exemestane and infliximab. Both submissions cross-referenced the submission of another generic company that had received a Notice of Compliance.
Two recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada directly affect Quebec's farm businesses by confirming La Financière Agricole du Québec's discretion in the administration of the farm income stabilization program...
On October 6, 2016, the Ontario Legislature reintroduced the Patients First Act, 2016 as Bill 41. Bill 41 is very similar to its predecessor, Bill 210, which was introduced in June 2016, but makes some important changes to the previous bill.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).