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COVID-19 spotlight

Canada’s research and scientific communities have been mobilized to slow — and eventually stop — the spread of the COVID-19 infection. A member of the Global Research Collaboration and Infectious Disease Preparedness consortium, Canada helps facilitate the international rapid response to infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID-19.

 

Hotspots:

Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Halifax

Early successes:

Vancouver-based AbCellera has built the world’s leading technology for antibody discovery and is at the forefront of developing antibody-based drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19.

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto is launching the Institute for Pandemics, which will study how pandemics arise and how to mitigate their effects on health systems and economies.

Ottawa-based Auscul Sciences Canada developed a touchless stethoscope system that allows physicians and nurses battling COVID19 to listen to patients’ hearts and lungs from outside their rooms.

Toronto’s Theralase Technologies, in collaboration with the University of Manitoba, is researching the development of a coronavirus vaccine and therapeutic to be further evaluated in animal and then human clinical testing in 2021.

Dr. Magdy Younes (Cerebra Health/University of Manitoba) designed and built the Winnipeg Ventilator, which was used as the basis for commercial ventilators deployed in tens of thousands of ICUs globally during the 1990s and 2000s. The Winnipeg Ventilator has been chosen by NGen Canada as part of the Government of Canada's response to the COVID-19 crisis. NGen funding is enabling broadly distributed manufacturing of ventilators based on the original Winnipeg Ventilator model.

EnvisionSQ, headquartered in Guelph, just outside of Toronto, has joined the war on COVID-19, transforming its smog-destroying traffic barrier technology into virus-crushing bulwarks. The startup’s NanoClean product is a self-sterilizing coating that kills bacteria on contact and can remain potent for up to a year.

Sona Nanotech, a nanotechnology life sciences firm based in Halifax, is developing a rapid, point-of-care COVID-19 antigen test.