The Importance of Collaboration

This past weekend, the 2015 BIOTECanada Investor Summit was held in Whistler, bringing together innovators and investors from across Canada. This summit presented an opportunity to connect and explore investment and partnership opportunities within the Canadian biotech industry. The importance of collaboration in propelling the biopharmaceutical industry forward toward new safe and effective medicines is never clearer than at summits like these.

With the importance of partnership still top of mind, we wanted to take a look at three exciting research investments happening in Canada:

  • The TVM Life Science Ventures VII, a partnership between the venture capital firm TVM Capital Life Science and Lilly, looks to finance innovation by supporting project focused companies in reaching clinical proof of concept efficiently and cost effectively. This major investment in the life sciences ecosystem in Canada aims to streamline the discovery process in order to meet major unmet medical needs.
  • A competition by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program resulted in four new networks receiving funding and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term. One of the competition winners, BioCanRx, will receive $25 million over the next five years to support collaborative research aimed at fast-tracking the most promising discoveries in the fight against cancer.
  • Recently, Grand Challenges Canada, an initiative by the Government of Canada to fund innovators in low- and middle-income countries, announced an investment of up to $3.1 million in innovations designed to save and improve the lives of women and children in India. Among the projects that will receive funding is the ‘Aina device,’ a mobile blood monitoring device that plugs into a smartphone and enables the testing of six basic blood parameters.


The development and discovery of new medicines and therapies represents a crucial piece of the puzzle in sustaining and improving global health. Here in Canada, our innovation ecosystem is strong and collaboration only serves to strengthen it further. When multiple stakeholders come together, we can create something bigger than our individual parts that has the potential to surpass the achievements of the past and make life better for millions of people worldwide.