Canadian health science companies define a new generation of innovation on the world stage
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Last week, 43 of the most promising companies in the Canadian health science industry came together at the OBIO Niagara Investment Summit, where they showcased their innovations to over 40 investors from across North America and Japan to pave the path to the investments needed to fully commercialize products.
Innovations featured new technologies and therapies in medical devices, diagnostics, clinical decision support, digital health, and therapeutic treatments, covering areas ranging from cancer, mental illness, diabetes, bone fractures, Alzheimer’s disease and more.
“The summit brought together top Canadian health science companies and gave them the opportunity to engage one-on-one with potential investors from across North America and Japan,” said Gail Garland, President and CEO of OBIO. “Our plan is to give these world class technologies the opportunity to grow and scale as the companies establish new relationships with and receive feedback from investors.”
This year, some of the breakthrough companies who presented at the summit included:
With over 2 million patients around the world suffering from kidney failure, Qidni Labs is working to develop a wearable and portable device that will give patients more freedom. Qidni Labs was able to receive mentorship through OBIO prior to the summit.
“This can be a lifechanging technology for so many people,” says Morteza Ahmadi, PhD, founder and CEO of Qidni Labs. “OBIO gave us the skills we needed to present our ground-breaking tech to investors, a few of which we are currently in talks with.”
Currently, dialysis requires patients go to a hospital three times a week for four-hour long treatments to filter their blood and costs approximately $82,000 a year per patient. Ahmadi says the technology will potentially cost up to 40 per cent less than dialysis and that Qidni Labs are aiming to have their first product commercially available in 2023.
Kisoji Biotechnology, a Montreal-based company with ties to the University Health Network in Toronto, are working to develop next-generation antibodies with unique anti-cancer mechanisms that have the ability to treat a wide range of cancers. The company came back again in 2020 for their third year at the summit.
“The summit was a great way to expose our company to specialized industry investors,” says David Young, MD, Founder and CEO of Kisoji. “It provided the opportunity for us to push forward to the next step with clinical trials, while maintaining close relationships with attendees – something that is difficult to do at larger conferences.”
Dr. Young was previously the CEO of Arius Research before being sold to Roche, the world’s largest biotechnology company. From there, Young took his learnings and created Kisoji, pioneering an entirely novel class of antibodies which targets multiple components in difficult-to-treat cancers, unlike previous antibodies which can only target one thing at a time. Clinical trials of the technology are planned for 2021.
Aspect Biosystems is a Vancouver-based biotech company which has developed a way to 3D print living human tissue. The company’s first application of its platform technology focused on developing tissues for drug discovery and development, but it has now expanded to developing tissue for use in transplantation with an initial focus on pancreatic tissue for Type 1 diabetics and meniscus tissue in the knees.
“Our primary goal at the OBIO Investment Summit was to strengthen our relationships with investors and partners,” says Tamer Mohamed, president and CEO of Aspect Biosystems. “We were able to do so with both Canadian and global investors in a close gathering, while also making new connections with industry leaders in biotech.”
In addition to its internal programs focused on regenerative medicine, Aspect Biosystems engages global biotech leaders through strategic co-development partnerships focused on different applications of its platform technology. Last year, the company announced partnerships with GlaxoSmithKline and Merck focused on anticancer drug development as well as an expanded partnership with JSR Corporation focused on liver tissue development. Aspect also works with research institutions by enabling access to its technology and then advancing the most commercially and clinically impactful applications developed on its platform. Last year, the company announced platform placements at institutions including the National Research Council of Canada, UCLA, and McMaster University.
OBIO’s 2020 Niagara Investment Summit was held over three days in Niagara-on-the-Lake and created hundreds of introductions between attending companies and global investors. For more information on the innovative companies who attended, visit: https://www.obioinvestmentsummit.com/company-logos
OBIO®, founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit, membership-based innovation organization engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of human health technologies positioning Canada as a leader in the international marketplace. OBIO advances this goal through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia, the health system and government.
Source: Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization