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There are more pharmaceutical companies in Ontario than in any other Canadian province, including global companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur, and homegrown companies such as Apotex. Here you’ll find the talent, scientific excellence, reputable research partners and low costs to help you accelerate drug discovery and keep your pipeline full.
To understand the staying power and potential of the pharmaceutical industry in Ontario, you just need to look at the numbers and how they're trending. From strong to off-the-charts, the indicators are resoundingly positive.
Ontario is home to some 1,900 life sciences firms that employ over 61,500 people and generate around $39 billion in revenues annually. The pharmaceutical sector alone is responsible for $25 billion of those revenues and employs 27,500 people.
Looking for evidence of agile, innovative start-ups with promise? Solid mid-sizers with strong track records? Want proof that some of the world's biggest pharma players are prospering here, too? We've got them all – and the result is a dynamic cluster of life sciences firms whose collective reach spans the spectrum in terms of size, scope, maturity and focus.
There are more pharmaceutical companies in Ontario than in any other Canadian province.
Ontario companies export about $6.6 billion, or 79% of Canadian pharmaceutical goods, mainly to the U.S. – and they have access to the $20-trillion NAFTA marketplace which is also the world's largest health care market. Ontario's long history of high quality pharmaceutical manufacturing has attracted global companies such as GSK and Sanofi Pasteur and contributed to domestic success stories like Apotex and Therapure.
In 2015, the Ontario government, University of Toronto, and MaRS Discovery District announced they were collaborating with Janssen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Innovation to launch a JLABS incubator in Toronto. The new facility will support start-ups with lab space, programs and potential investment partners. Ontario is investing $19.4 million towards the incubator through the Strategic Partnerships Stream of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund to help strengthen the province's growing life sciences sector.
Toronto is the first city outside of the U.S. to host a JLABS incubator. "We are pleased to be collaborating with the Ontario government on this exciting initiative to support scientists and entrepreneurs who are working on new frontiers in science and medicine to transform healthcare. With a Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS site in Toronto, we deepen our relationship with the region's world-class healthcare and life sciences community and support start-up companies that will produce new treatments and new economic opportunities," said Dr. Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson.
We recently got to meet the J&J Innovation Team! Read about what we learned.
Ontario's scientific capabilities help translate research outcomes into innovative therapeutics quickly.
The media often report that the numbers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates are declining. That may be true elsewhere – but not in Ontario.
The strong research-based pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries and the presence of leading hospitals with globally-recognized clinical research capabilities made Ipsen's decision to establish its Canadian head office in Ontario an easy choice.
- Lyndal Walker, Country Manager, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Pharma firms in Ontario are successfully developing medical innovations that treat disease and improve the lives of patients.
When establishing or expanding your pharma company in Ontario, you will have no difficulty finding the workforce that can take your company to the next level and accelerate your drug discovery and development pipelines.
As the chart on the right shows, this concentration of scientists, technologists and technicians in Ontario comprises 18.5% of the life sciences workforce compared to Quebec (16.6%) and the rest of Canada (16.4%).
From production line staff to researchers, you will have ready access to educated, qualified employees.
The proof of Ontario's research talent is in the data. For example, the University of Toronto ranks second only to Harvard in research publications worldwide and is third in citations. The numbers of publications and citations by University of Toronto faculty in the science fields outrank those of not only the school's Canadian peers, but of most of the top 40 public and private Association of American Universities (AAU), including Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The chart below indicates the number of citations in the science fields by UofT faculty indexed by Thomson IncitesTM compared to the top 40 Public & Private AAU Institutions, and Canadian peers.
The chart below indicates the number of publications in the science fields by UofT faculty indexed by Thomson IncitesTM compared to the top 40 AAU Institutions, both Public and Private, and Canadian peers.
The open environment supporting collaboration between business and research in Ontario is the envy of innovators and entrepreneurs elsewhere. Here, life sciences firms can take advantage of more than a dozen research partnership programs and grants, including the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Idea-to-Innovation Grant, and other industry programs:
Learn more about other incentive programs and services offered by Ontario.
Ontario is keenly interested in the growth and prosperity of pharma firms here – so it initiates and feeds programs designed to increase success, including tax credits, research funding and expertise.
Ontario is known for its contributions in key research areas like cancer, neuroscience, stem cells, gene therapy and clinical trials. Major advances in potential treatments for diseases ranging from diabetes to cystic fibrosis to leukemia and early-onset Alzheimer's disease have all originated here thanks to a combination of private and public investment in innovation. Some of Canada's biggest life sciences R&D spenders have their Canadian headquarters in Ontario, including Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen and Apotex.
Ontario's comprehensive support for research and development builds capacity.
Major pharmaceutical and life sciences companies have been making sizable investments in their Ontario operations lately.
In November 2014, Baxter Corporation announced plans to build a new facility in Mississauga, Ontario for its Centralized Intravenous Admixing Pharmacy Service (CIVA). Triple the size of the current facility, the new Baxter CIVA Pharmacy Service will expand Baxter's ability to meet the needs of Canadian hospitals, clinics and other care facilities for ready-to-administer intravenous (IV) admixtures, including chemotherapy, high-alert medications and anti-infectives, enabling pharmacists to focus on more direct patient care and clinical activities.
Canada's pharma business costs are the lowest in the G7, according to KPMG's Competitive Alternatives 2016.
And what's good for business is good for Ontario. We know that lower costs mean:
That's why Canada offers the lowest pharmaceutical production, biomedical R&D and clinical trials administration costs among all G7 countries.
Also worth noting for their impact on the bottom line: health care costs in Ontario can be half what they are in the U.S.
Ontario's significant cost advantage over the U.S., diverse patient sets and a fast and streamlined ethics review process explain why over 3,200 clinical trials are taking place here at any given time.
All major teaching hospitals affiliated with surrounding universities in Ontario are involved in ground-breaking trials on local, national and international levels.
The world's top 10 pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials in Ontario: Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche, Pfizer, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Bayer Healthcare, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly. There are good reasons for this:
Ontario advantages like these help explain why more than 3,200 clinical trials are underway here.
The bottom line is that our cost advantages, diverse population and reduced administrative burden make it easier for pharma companies to conduct clinical trials here. This means your therapeutics and drug development will be market-ready faster, which is good for your bottom line.
Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) is an independent not-for-profit organization established by the Government of Ontario with a mandate to provide an approach to conducting multi-centre clinical trials in the province while maintaining the highest ethical standards for participant protection.
CTO has established the CTO Streamlined Research Ethics Review System, which will improve the speed and reduce the costs of Ontario's multi-centre clinical research by harmonizing processes and reducing the time and effort required to initiate research across multiple sites in Ontario.
CTO is achieving its mandate through three strategic pillars:
Visit ctontario.ca to learn more.
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All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted. Information is accurate at the time of publication.