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Life Sciences Ontario hosts Minister Navdeep Bains and Mayor Bonnie Crombie in roundtable on opportunities and challenges facing Canada’s life sciences sector

Toronto, ON – On September 10th, 2018, Life Sciences Ontario hosted a roundtable discussion with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, along with key industry partners from the life sciences sector.

The session, held at JLABS in MaRS, was led by Dr. Jason Field, President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario; it was attended on behalf of industry by Chris Halyk, President of Janssen; Susan Marlin, President and CEO of Clinical Trials Ontario; Ed Dybka, CEO of NeuroCor; and Dr. Michael Scott, SVP of Product Development at BlueRock Therapeutics.

Industry partners presented to the Minister on the ecosystem linkages across the life sciences sector, the challenges and opportunities facing the industry, and how small- and medium-sized businesses can b

e supported to scale up in Canada. Mayor Crombie also brought an important economic development perspective, articulating how the jobs created in this sector have helped build prosperity for cities, including Mississauga, which is home to a large concentration of life sciences companies.

Further strengthening the relationship between the federal government and Ontario

’s life sciences sector will be crucial to addressing many key challenges, such as investment into research and development, modernizing intellectual property laws, access to capital, scalability for our companies, and Canadian talent retention. All of these are important elements that must be addressed in order to harness the economic opportunity presented by the life sciences sector.

“Minister Bains and Mayor Crombie provided an important opportunity to share data about the enormous economic potential of our sector, and articulate the challenges we must address to capture this potential,” said Dr. Field. “It’s crucial for the private sector and all levels of government to work together to address these issues—they are truly the key to our future economic and social prosperity.”

The life sciences sector in Canada has tremendous potential to become a key driver for our economy. As of August 2018, the combined market capitalization of only two US biotech companies, Amgen and Gilead, is US $238 billion, while the entire Canadian mining sector (1,200+ companies on the TSX/TSXV) was US $231 billion.

Ontario’s life sciences sector generates annual revenues of $40.5 billion while contributing $21.6 billion directly to the province’s GDP. Employing approximately 83,000 highly skilled workers at more than 5,600 companies, the sector ranks among North America’s top clusters. Wages in the life sciences sector are 26.5 per cent higher than the provincial average, with the sector’s job growth outpacing the provincial average by nearly 10 per cent between 2001 and 2013. Life Sciences Ontario estimates the sector’s total economic contribution to be as high as $38.5 billion in GDP and more than 167,000 jobs when accounting for its direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts.


Melissa Hughes
Director, Marketing & Communications

About Life Sciences Ontario (LSO)

Life Sciences Ontario is a member-funded, not-for-profit organization with a legacy of more than 25 years advancing the success of Ontario’s life sciences sector. LSO collaborates with governments, academia, industry, and other life science organizations in Ontario and across Canada to promote and encourage commercial success throughout the sector. The organization provides a wide range of networking and educational events, and operates a mentorship program that is helping to develop highly-skilled talent and build new business opportunities for the life sciences sector. LSO is an effective conduit for delivering policy options to governments, and is dedicated to promoting Ontario’s life sciences sector internationally.