Improving Global Health, one Breakthrough at a Time
Innovative lifesaving treatment protocols, pharmaceutical drug therapies and medical devices developed here contribute to Canada’s place as a world leader in health sciences. From creating the world’s first pacemaker to discovering stem cells used in lifesaving therapies, to combatting some of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, Canadian researchers forge a path toward a healthier world. Canada’s leadership in digital technology and robotics, is helping to change patient care through future-focused advancements in everything from medtech to medical manufacturing.
The world’s second-highest number of bio-tech companies are concentrated in Canada. The 10th largest market for pharmaceutical sales, it is Canada’s infrastructure, talent and ready access to key markets that helps draw the world’s largest Life Sciences companies here including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Gilead, Novartis, Johnson-Johnson and others conducting research, running clinical trials and manufacturing new drugs here. Canada is home to North America’s second largest life science corridor. With hot spots for cancer research, radiation therapies, regenerative treatments, brain and vascular health from coast to coast, multinational organizations recognize that life-changing advancements in patient care are happening here.
Canada’s Key Life Sciences Centres
Learn more about Canada’s Life Sciences sector
Economic Impact of Life Sciences in Canada
$15.5 Billion Annual Revenue: Pharma
$918.2 Million Total R&D by Patentees
4,258 Life Sciences & BioPharma Businesses
In 2019, Innovate Canada was hosted in Toronto and featured Canada’s leading centres of excellence in Life Sciences. Download our case study to learn how this signature event helped attract international investment to Canada.
Canadian Success Stories
The University of Saskatchewanʼs Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization–International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) was the first to develop a swine model for the study of Zika virus infection.
Robert Burrell, a University of Alberta engineering professor, invented Acticoat, a nanotech silver-coated wound dressing that creates an optimal antimicrobial environment and is remarkably effective with burn patients.
During the 1980s, McGill University grad and renowned chemist Dr. Bernard Belleau discovered an anti-AIDS molecule that ultimately led to the commercialization of 3TC with Montréal company Biochem Pharma. Today, 3TC is included in most HIV drug treatments.
Toronto-based eSight has created the only clinically validated electronic eyeglasses that restore functional sight to the visually impaired.
Abbott Point of Care has pioneered portable handheld technology for rapid blood analysis. A boon in multiple scenarios—emergency care, operating rooms, hospital bedside or physician office—the i-STAT System delivers lab-quality results within minutes.
Chelation Partners, Halifax, is testing a new chemical compound that acts like a magnet to break down the defences of antibiotic-resistant superbugs by depriving them of iron. With the help of researchers at Dalhousie and Cape Breton Universities, the iron-binding polymer, named DIBI, is now in clinical trials.
Edmonton’s success in health innovation is the result of a number of interrelated strengths at work. With an intellectual edge, an ecosystem ripe for growth and strong partnerships in place, Edmonton is a leader in health innovation.
Edmonton, Health City
As the largest combined Life Sciences sector in Canada, employing more than 36,000 people in areas such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, meetings benefit from the conversations that are happening in ʽCanada’s Downtown.
Tara Gordon, VP, Sales & Service, Business Events Toronto
When it comes to R&D, the competition is global. We have to make a business case to headquarters for each project to explain why we should invest in North America instead of a fast-growing emerging economy. What gives our new clinical research centre its advantage is the fact that Greater Montréal has a one-of-a-kind Life Sciences ecosystem.
Frédéric Fasano, CEO, Servier Canada
With access to some of the world’s best researchers, universities and government labs such as Dalhousie and The Brain Repair Centre, Halifax continues to make significant investment in research and development specifically in the areas of neuroscience, marine biotech, biochemistry and biomedical engineering. This, and our reputation for being exceptional hosts of major conferences, makes Halifax an ideal location to bring a conference focused on Life Sciences.
Michelle Brenton, VP, Sales, Discover Halifax
HERE'S HOW WE CAN HELP YOU GET PLANNING
The team at Destination Canada Business Events helps global organizations meet with purpose in Canada. Contact our team for:
- Specific information regarding Canada's sector expertise
- Recommendations on destinations based on their sector strengths
- Introductions to industry leaders, academia, and economic development agencies
- Recommendations of expert speakers to augment events
- Assistance in sourcing RFPs for conference placement