Life Sciences and Health Technologies in Québec

The “go to” place for your next biotechnology ventures is Québec! If you wonder why, DalCor Pharmaceuticals, which recently announced a major financing to advance its dal-GenE study, is a good example. This company exemplifies the potential of this world-renowned and long-time biotechnology and pharmaceutical cluster.

Montréal International, one of the most dynamic economic development agencies in North America, has summarized the major draws of Greater Montréal for biotechnology. This certainly explains how DalCor came to be, including the scientific foundation upon which it was built. Here is Québec’s recipe for success:
  • Expertise across numerous indications from discovery to clinical work to commercialization
    DalCor is founded on a discovery from the Montreal Heart Institute, the flagship of cardiovascular (CV) medicine in Quebec and a recognized research leader in Canada and around the world, as well as a true spearhead in cutting-edge CV medicine. For clinical research, it works with 2,500 clinical sites in 20 countries on 4 continents;
  • Excellence and focus in precision medicine
    Within DalCor, this is demonstrated by the discovery of the involvement of the ADCY9 gene in altering CV events, through a retrospective study; 
  • Unique “out-of-the-box” mindset that triggers meaningful innovation, often going against the grain
    In DalCor’s case, undertaking the challenge CETP inhibitors after several clinical trials were halted, is a good example;
  • Venture capital firms, playing a leading role in building companies from the ground up
    Sanderling Ventures, that has presence in Québec as it received sizeable LP commitments for their most fund, was instrumental in this capacity; 
  • Availability of capital in the province that is able to support venture opportunities
    DalCor was successful in raising 50 % in Québec out of the overall US$150 million announcement. 
At the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, we pride ourselves in announcements like DalCor’s financing. We also consider that this is an additional example of a broader booming of the biotechnology industry in Canada. enGene (Québec) and Zymeworks (British Colombia) are other great examples. These milestones demonstrate that our organisation is a stalwart of the biotechnology industry in Québec with tentacles embracing Canada, US and Europe.

The Fonds’ first investment in biotechnology was BioChem Pharma in the late 1980’s. The company was bought by Shire for several billion dollars in 2000. We haven’t stopped investing since then. As a matter of fact, the Fonds has so far committed more 1 billion dollars in the Life Sciences sector. We are a patient and deep-pocketed investor who earned excellent returns, particularly beating the US NVCA industry returns. In some instances Fonds has invested more than $100M in a single company throughout its lifespan.

We have a long history of strategically sound biotechnology investments that have provided excellent returns while benefiting to the Québec economy, which is part of our mandate. We invest directly in companies in order to constantly manage a portfolio of 12+ investments and are instrumental in providing these companies access to additional capital. For instance, we have been and will continue to be a major “Fund of Funds” investor in Life Sciences*.

So what are your next projects in biotechnology?

Talent & Excellence

  • 42 000 jobs, ranking Greater Montréal 7th among North American metropolitan areas in terms of jobs density
  • 456 companies (Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, CRO, CMO, Health Technologies, Natural Health)
  • 12 000 researchers
  • 11 university institutions with over 27 000 students 
  • A dynamic and interconnected ecosystem supported by the Montreal inVivo cluster

Worldwide renowned cutting-edge infrastructures and research centres

  • Two recent new state-of-the-art mega teaching hospitals (McGill University Health Centre and Centre Hospitalier de l’université de Montréal)

Attractive environment for companies

  • The most competitive operating costs of North America’s 20 largest metropolitan areas
  • Corporate tax advantages
  • Tailor-made incentives (R&D tax credits, training, tax holiday for foreign researchers and experts, etc.)

Available Capital

  • 8 funds since 2011
  • 2 evergreen funds (Fonds de solidarité FTQ & BDC)
  • Large project financing

Collaborative environment at local and international levels
to accelerate discovery and development

Some examples:
  • Québec consortium dedicated to the development of innovative tools and technologies (CQDM)
  • Québec – Clinical Research Organization in Cancer (Q-CROC)
  • Consortium for Industrial Research and Innovation in Medical Technology (MEDTEQ)
  • NÉOMED Institute (transforming early scientific innovations into business partnership opportunities)

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ wishes to thank Montréal International for its collaboration in the production of this document. * Being a development capital fund, all of our investments must meet eligibility criteria

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