UBC is at the heart of Canada's fastest-growing life sciences sector.

Whether it’s educating next-generation talent, translating discoveries into new treatments, or launching ambitious biotech companies, the UBC community is playing a critical role in positioning BC — and Canada — as a global hub for biomedical innovation.

UBC Spin-off Companies

UBC spin-off companies are helping drive the rapid growth of Canada's biomedical sector — creating jobs, growing the economy and improving health outcomes for Canadians. 

A rich line of more than 120 life sciences companies based on UBC research discoveries, and other companies led by UBC researchers and graduates, have played a critical role in the emergence and ongoing vitality of BC’s biomedical and biotech industry. 

Spin-off companies such as Acuitas TherapeuticsAbCellera and Precision Nanosystems came to national and global attention in the response to COVID-19. They follow a long line of companies such as QLTLipex Biomembranesthe Canadian Lipsome CompanyID BiomedicalInflazyme Pharmaceuticals and Neuromed Technologies that formed in the 1980s and 1990s. This paved the way for UBC bio-innovation spin-off companies from the 2000s onwards, including OncoGenex TechnologiesInimex PharmaceuticalsAquinox PharmaceuticalsAugurex Life SciencesvIDA TherapeuticsBoreal GenomicsEssa PharmaCurvafixAspect BiosytemsProMIS NeuroScienceSepset BiosciencesAlpha-9 TheranosticsAvivo, Gandeeva Therapeutics and many more.

In addition to establishing companies based on UBC research, our faculty have also been involved in founding biotech companies such as Notch Therapeutics and  STEMCELL Technologies.

Biomedical Innovation in BC

Collaboration is sparking biomedical innovation across British Columbia. Bolstered by the convergence of academia, private sector firms and public institutions, we’re leading the country in building an extraordinary biomanufacturing pipeline where the entire process — from research to clinical translation and commercialization — can happen efficiently in one place.

BC’s life sciences sector is underpinned by a strong and collaborative public health system, leading universities and colleges, and provincial entities like Michael Smith Health Research BC, GenomeBC and health research institutes across the province. This vibrant community is propelling the growth of BC’s life sciences sector — one that mounted a globally-recognized response to COVID-19 and is now poised to respond to future health threats. 

Fueling Biomedical Innovation in Canada

  1. Dr. Peter Zandstra and two colleagues in a scientific lab

    The Ripple Effect of Entrepreneurship

    UBC's Dr. Peter Zandstra received the first ever Scientific Entrepreneurship Award through Life Sciences BC. Dr. Zandstra is the founding Director of UBC's SBME, former Director of MSL and has founded a number of biotechnology companies.

    Learn more

  2. snapcyte

    AI cell analytics app aims to supercharge biotechnology research

    Transformative technology developed at the Vancouver Prostate Centre is putting cell analytics into the hands of scientists around the globe. The technology — an artificial intelligence-driven smartphone app called SnapCyte — produces data for cell growth medical research faster and at a fraction of the cost compared to current technology.

    Learn more

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