For several years, going to BioFinance was about as much fun as listening to a Leonard Cohen album.
Now, however, we’re starting to see smiling faces. We’re not out of the woods yet by any means and it’s definitely too early for swagger, but a number of indicators give cause for optimism.
In general, the companies presenting had their act together and had a more credible view of what it will take to develop their products than we saw in previous years. MaRS client companies Fluorinov Pharma, Induce Biologics, Receptor Therapeutics and Segasist all gave credible and persuasive presentations.
Furthermore, the pipeline for the next generation of Canadian life sciences start-ups looks rosy. The technologies highlighted in the MaRS Innovation Early Stage Technology Showcase were nothing short of amazing! Almost every case was novel, addressed major markets and had strong proof of concept. Xagenic (POC diagnostics for infectious disease), Dr. Gang Zheng (nanocarriers and porphysomes) and Dr. Andrei Yudin (cyclic peptides) in particular look set for great things.
And as if that were not enough, David Schechner (Canaccord Genuity) stated that he thought we were on the verge of another biotech bubble!
Coming back to Earth for a moment, there were some issues that will need to be addressed if we are going to capture the full value of Canada’s biotech potential:
These notwithstanding, please enjoy this precious moment. We ARE going to do it!