TORONTO (February 13, 2017): QD Solar, a Canadian technology company created by MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto, announced today the closing of a C$2.5M Series A funding led…
MaRS Innovation was highlighted in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) newsletter on Wednesday, June 22. The article is titled, "MaRS Innovation revolutionizes approach to commercialization, " and discusses…
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…
MaRS Innovation’s “model solves the two weakest points in tech transfer: the lack of dealflow and the ability to match public funding,” writes Thierry Heles in, “MaRS Innovation: A Unique Model for Tech Transfer,” for Global University Venturing.
This feature was also covered in Techopia.
The article, which includes an interview with Dr. Rafi Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation, was published September 14, 2015.
Here’s an excerpt exploring the range of MI’s portfolio and Hofstein’s strategy for addressing technologies emerging in new areas:
In the beginning, Mars received primarily discoveries in the medical sector, but the balance has since shifted to 60% medically-oriented research and 40% for other areas. The medically-oriented discoveries, Hofstein elaborated, are a diverse set of technologies and include everything from drug development and molecular diagnostics to medical devices and healthcare IT.
The remaining 40% meanwhile cover “a smörgåsbord all the way from alternative energies and solar energy, and water reclamation to all sorts of mobile apps”.
MaRS Innovation today announced that Johnson & Johnson Innovation has expanded its collaboration with MaRS Innovation to identify and advance early-stage technologies of interest.
The announcement was made in advance of the 2015 BIO Convention, which takes place from June 15 to 18 in Philadelphia, PA. MaRS Innovation is participating as part of the Ontario delegation and will have kiosk space in the Ontario pavilion (#615).
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and MaRS Innovation announced their research partnership to advance three technologies focused on improving cardiac surgery outcomes, developing a blood test for depression, and identifying a diagnostic metabolite for both gestational and type 2 diabetes patients. The projects’ principal investigators are researchers from the University Health Network (Peter Munk Cardiac Centre), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (with Indoc Research) and the University of Toronto.
“Johnson & Johnson Innovation is an excellent partner that understands exactly the kind of technology pipeline MaRS Innovation represents,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO. “Renewing their longstanding relationship signals the value they see in this partnership with MaRS Innovation, our members and researchers within our network.”
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.
Company’s collaborative partnership with IRICoR, Université de Montréal and MaRS Innovation, funded by Merck Canada, to advance macrocycle drug
TORONTO and MONTREAL, Nov. 10, 2014 — Encycle Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology start-up founded by Dr. Andrei Yudin of the University of Toronto in partnership with MaRS Innovation, is developing its lead orally-bioavailable macrocycle drug to target integrin a4b7, which is involved in the inflammatory process in a number of diseases, most notably for inflammatory bowel disease.
Read this release in French.
To support and advance this molecule, Encycle Therapeutics is collaboratively partnering with the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer — Commercialization of Research (IRICoR), the Université de Montréal (UdeM) and MaRS Innovation. The partnership builds on the Merck Canada Inc. $4 million public-private funding partnership, announced at BIO in April 2013, to develop collaborative research projects with three Canadian academic commercialization centres, including MaRS Innovation and IRICoR.
“We are pleased to help support this important research collaboration that is made possible through the Quebec-Ontario corridor project in an emerging technology area. IRICoR, MaRS Innovation and Encycle have clearly leveraged their respective strengths to accelerate the discovery of novel therapeutics. As a research-focused company committed to early stage private-public partnering, we believe that such interactions will continue to fuel innovation in the life science sector in Canada,” said Mr. Chirfi Guindo, president and managing director, Merck Canada Inc.
The agreement brings a significant investment to fund Encycle Therapeutics’ development work, giving IRICoR an equity position and expanding MaRS Innovation’s equity stake. Cumulatively, Encycle Therapeutics has secured more than $2.5 million to advance its drug development platform.
UTEST among the four U of T entrepreneurship programs to be funded through Ontario’s CLA program
The funding is part of the Campus-Linked Accelerator Program (CLA), announced today by Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
“Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is a key component of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, through programs that help transfer their ideas and skills to the marketplace while creating rewarding careers,” said Minister Moridi. “By partnering with colleges and universities to support entrepreneurship, we are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”
With this funding, U of T will continue to build on its long track record of success in this area by expanding the entrepreneurship opportunities it offers to students, primarily through its four principal accelerators: The Creative Destruction Lab (Rotman School of Management), The Hatchery (Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering), The Impact Centre (Faculty of Arts & Science), and UTEST (The Innovation and Partnerships Office, produced in partnership with MaRS Innovation).
The CLA program provides critical funding that enhances the support U of T and MaRS Innovation offer to our current UTEST companies,” said Kurtis Scissons, co-director of UTEST. “It also allows UTEST to expand to work with a greater number of student entrepreneurs in computer software, and is a catalyst for other UT CLA’s to combine their entrepreneurship efforts in a synergistic, complimentary way.”
Biotechnology Focus, a compendium of the Canadian life sciences industry, has published a guest column by MaRS Innovation President & CEO, Dr. Raphael Hofstein.
The article explores the role life sciences assets, financing and talented management–the three Ms–must play in revitalizing Canada’s biotechnology sector:
At the close of the 20th century, Canada was perceived as a key contributor to the success of the global biotech voyage.
You know what happened next: the mechanisms to fund early ventures collapsed together with the collapse of the Canadian venture capital industry Finding suitable investment for early-stage technologies became incredibly challenging. Facing a dearth of opportunity, talented management sailed for other harbors.
It’s satisfying that on the eve of the 2014 BIO Convention, some indicators suggest to me that we are witnessing a rebound. But to accelerate our pace while holding this bearing, Canada needs to address certain strategic elements.
At MaRS Innovation, we call them the three Ms: merchandize, management and money.
TORONTO, ON (May 2, 2014) – MaRS Innovation congratulates the government’s deepened commitment to support the life sciences through research and innovation funding. In particular, the new $30 million Life Sciences Seed Venture Capital Fund will create a partnership between the Province of Ontario, the private sector and hospital foundations to finance Ontario-based life sciences companies.
“As co-designers of this venture capital fund and one of its many champions, MaRS Innovation welcomes this news,” says Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein, president and CEO. “We look forward to the strong collaborations it will foster with our colleagues in the Government of Ontario, private industry and the hospital community.”
“By their nature and the need for regulation, life sciences companies take considerable time to mature products and their underlying technologies. Expanding the funding available during this critical stage through this unique public-private partnership will give more Ontario start-ups emerging with disruptive technologies from the province’s academic institutions the financing they need to succeed and thrive,” says Hofstein.