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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

Collaboration is at the core of Canada’s pharmaceutical and biotech innovation — with clinicians, academia, startups, multinationals, government, research centres and contract research organizations coming together across Canada to develop and test new treatments for some of the world’s most pressing ailments.


Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, Québec City, Halifax

Top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world have a home in Canada:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Bayer
  • Gilead
  • GSK
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Merck
  • Novartis
  • Pfizer
  • Roche
  • Sanofi


Success stories:

Medicago, based in Québec City, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of new vaccines and therapeutic proteins and a world leader in the production of plant-based vaccines and antibodies.

Charlottetown’s BioVectra is an industry leader in microbial fermentation of both small and large molecules and offers contract development and manufacturing capacity in their scalable cGMP operations.

The Edmonton Protocol, developed at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, helps patients with type 1 diabetes to become insulin independent at an unprecedented 100% success rate.

Trudell Medical, in London, Ontario, is widely recognized as a global leader in the design and development of aerosol drug delivery devices and a force behind a new device that revolutionizes treatments for people with chronic lung disease.

Montréal’s ExcellThera is a clinical-stage cell and molecular medicine company, delivering molecules and bioengineering solutions to expand stem and immune cells for use in novel one-time therapies for patients with hematologic malignancies, as well as autoimmune and other diseases.

Leading research:

The Centre Québécois d'Innovation en Biotechnologie is an incubator and innovation hub dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurship and innovation in life sciences and biotechnology located in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montréal.

Researchers at the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton co-developed the world’s first oral antiviral treatment for hepatitis B.