To coincide with our presence at the 2016 BIO International Convention (BIO) from June 6-9, 2016, MaRS Innovation launched a video explaining our role in Canada's innovation ecosystem: backing big…
Partners for JLABS @ Toronto include Janssen Inc., MaRS Innovation and seven of MI’s 15 member institutions
TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2015 — The Ontario Government, University of Toronto, and MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) today announced a collaboration with Janssen Inc. to launch the successful Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS incubator model in Toronto.
This announcement has been covered in the Toronto Star, Metro News Canada, Sing Tao Daily, OurWindsor.ca, FierceBiotech, BioCentury, MedCity News, BioSpace, Biotechnology Focus, Lab Product News, ChinaNews.com, Pan European Networks, Economic Development Blog, BetaKit, Torontoist, and TechVibes.
The new facility, called JLABS @ Toronto, will open in spring of 2016 at MaRS Discovery District and will support start-ups with lab space, programs, and potential investment partners as they work to build important, successful early-stage companies.
“The arrival of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS model to MaRS’ West Tower reinforces Ontario’s position as one of the world’s leading life sciences clusters,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. “JLABS @ Toronto will support researchers and entrepreneurs across the province and accelerate the development of Ontario companies while connecting Toronto to potential Johnson & Johnson collaborators and investors.”
“Research and innovation are fundamental to the mission of the University of Toronto,” said Dr. Meric S. Gertler, President, University of Toronto. “We host a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem featuring nine campus-led accelerators under the umbrella of our Banting & Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The addition of JLABS to this ecosystem will further propel the creation of new companies and new jobs, and ultimately new healthcare solutions that will benefit individuals and our society for years to come.”
“Toronto is home to a vibrant and prolific healthcare and life sciences community led by academic hospitals, world-class research institutions, top scientists, and a strong start-up ecosystem. For these reasons, Toronto is a natural choice for our first international expansion of JLABS,” said Melinda Richter, Head of JLABS. “The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has long been active within the Toronto Ontario community, forming many important collaborations. Today we are pleased to begin an even deeper relationship with this important community. Our new location, within a University of Toronto site, close to our hospital collaborators, and neighbouring the financial centre of Canada, will deliver great opportunities and impact for emerging biomedical technology entrepreneurs.”
TORONTO (July 9, 2015) — Xagenic, a molecular diagnostics company developing the lab-free Xagenic X1™ platform for point-of-care use, today announced that it has raised $15 million (CAD). Each of the company’s Series B investors has participated in this financing, including Domain Associates, CTI Life Sciences, BDC Capital and the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation.
In June, Xagenic also announced it has acquired exclusive rights to a mutation detection technology with potential applications to liquid biopsy testing. The electrochemical clamp assay technology was developed by University of Toronto Professor and Xagenic Founder (now CTO) Dr. Shana Kelley. Genome Web covered the news in June and July 2015.
“This investment round is a testament to the faith our existing investors have in the power of the Xagenic X1™ platform and the promise of our enzyme-free approach to molecular diagnostics,” said Timothy I. Still, Xagenic’s CEO. “This funding will accelerate our development efforts in bringing our point-of-care diagnostic platform to market.”
Xagenic’s rapid, lab-free, molecular diagnostic system affords a large market opportunity created by a significant, unmet medical need for point-of-care diagnostic solutions. Because of its highly scalable, consumables-driven business model, Xagenic is well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity with a differentiated product offering and unique menu strategy.
TORONTO, ON (April 23, 2015) — Life Sciences Ontario (LSO) applauds the government’s continued commitment to supporting life sciences through the Ontario Health Innovation Council and its accompanying $20 million innovation fund, programs to support job creation for Ontario’s highly educated young workforce and a new approach to providing the venture capital needed to support the commercialization of technologies and growth of companies in the life sciences sector.
Specifically, LSO notes the following commitments from the 2015 budget that will help drive innovation in Ontario:
- Endorsing the Ontario Health Innovation Council report, which will establish a $20 million Health Technology Innovation Fund and appoint a chief innovation strategist to act on the report’s recommendations.
- Funding the TalentEdge Program, which provides internships for graduate and postgraduate students and is integral to boosting campus-linked industrial research while developing and commercializing the innovative ideas of young researchers.
- Committing $23.5 million over five years to help establish the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation Centre at Baycrest Health Sciences, a world leader in cognitive neuroscience, and $25 million over five years to support the recently established Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM).
If you work in the life sciences in Ontario, your wages are approximately 26.5 per cent higher than those of the provincial average. On the other hand, if you’re a recent science graduate, you’re facing a challenging unemployment rate of 18.9 per cent.
These are only two of the data points described in the Life Sciences Ontario (LSO) Sector Report 2015, which is the first of its kind to provide well-defined data that clearly measure and report on the sector’s benchmarking and its economic contributions. It also gives policymakers evidence-based data to benchmark Ontario’s performance, such as approximately 83,000 highly skilled workers, against other North American jurisdictions.
MaRS Innovation is a member of the LSO, which has also published an infographic summarizing the 2015 sector report’s findings. This announcement was covered in BetaKit.
“In the past, making accurate comparisons was virtually impossible due to inconsistencies in both data and methodologies,” says Jason Field, LSO’s president and CEO. “As the voice for the life sciences community, it’s our role to research and publish a report that would substantially quantify and articulate the sector’s impact. We want to help Ontario’s life sciences sector reach its full economic and social potential, which will benefit all Ontarians. Producing a sector report to establish a baseline and help inform policy decisions is a key milestone in that process.”
Some of the report’s highlights include:
- Ontario’s Life Sciences generates approximately $40 billion in annual revenues.
- That revenue translates to approximately $38.5 billion in total contributions to Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- The life sciences employ approximately 83,000 highly-skilled workers at more than 5,600 establishments in Ontario.
- Ontario’s sector ranks among the top clusters in North America (top ten by employment and top three by establishments).
- The sector’s job growth outpaced the provincial average by nearly 10 per cent between 2001 and 2013, showing resilience during the 2008 economic downturn.
Every six weeks, MaRS Innovation’s marketing and communications manager writes a guest post for the MaRS Discovery District blog profiling MI’s activities or one of our start-up companies. You can read the original post on the MaRS blog.
Nearly 14,000 delegates—representing over 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centres and related organizations across the United States and more than 60 countries—attended the 2013 BIO International Convention from April 22 to 26, 2013.
The event drew biotechnologists, pharmaceutical industry executives and life sciences researchers, along with sector-based organizations and associations, to Chicago.
According to a press release issued by the conference organizers, BIO 2013 offered “a record number of partnering meetings and panel sessions on the latest science, policy issues and business opportunities and challenges facing the biotechnology industry.”