Life Sciences

Recognized for high-quality life sciences and health care solutions, Canada is home to a large pool of highly skilled life sciences professionals with a broad range of expertise. Canada offers an innovative environment for life sciences companies, with first-rate academic institutions, wide-reaching research networks, numerous partnership opportunities and low costs.

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Bringing a global pharmaceutical development site to Roche Canada is a testament to our skilled and talented workforce and offers tremendous opportunities to solidify [Canada’s] reputation as a global research hub.

Ronnie Miller, President and CEO, Hoffman-La Roche Ltd

Sub-sector share of Canadian life-sciences GDP

Sub-sector share of Canadian life-sciences GDP - Graph
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Sub-sector share of Canadian life-sciences GDP
Medical Devices 14%
Medical Laboratories 14%
R&D 31%
Pharmaceuticals 41%

Source: Statistics Canada, 2020

Pharmaceuticals in Canada

Home to the world’s ten largest biopharmaceutical companies, the Canadian pharmaceutical market offers numerous benefits to investors. Canada’s commercially oriented research network takes innovation from lab to market; joint investment opportunities in research allow for R&D result optimization; and the responsive and efficient regulatory environment facilitates business operations.

Medtech in Canada

Canada is one of the largest markets in the world for medical devices. Canada’s strengths in the medtech sector include medical and diagnostic imaging, cardiovascular devices, and assistive and rehabilitative devices. As the country shifts its focus towards emerging medical devices, technologies such as robotic surgery, surgical simulation, mobile health and wearables are expected to experience significant growth.

Clinical trials in Canada

Canada captures 5% of the world's clinical trials, ranking ninth globally. The country’s multicultural population, world-renown research clinicians, leading education system and publicly funded health-care system make it an ideal testing ground for life sciences.

Investing in life sciences in Canada

Talent

Canada has one of the world’s best-educated talent pools. With nearly 58% of Canadians aged 25–64 having graduated from post-secondary institutions, Canada has the highest educated workforce in the OECD. Of those graduates, over 4.8 million hold a degree from a STEM or health care program, making Canada a prime destination for life sciences companies.

In addition to ranking 4th globally for the availability of scientists and engineers, Canada’s Global Skills Strategy allows employers to bring in highly skilled talent from abroad in as little as two weeks. You’ll find the talent you’re looking for here.

Incentives

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program provides income-tax credits and refunds for expenditures on eligible R&D activity in Canada.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funds infrastructure to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development. Funding programs include the Major Science Initiatives Fund (MSI).

Genome Canada provides large-scale investments that develop new technologies, connect the public sector with private industry and create solutions to problems of national interest, including health.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is a funding agency composed of 13 institutes that collaborate with partners and researchers to support innovations that improve health and strengthen health care systems.

The Canada Brain Research Fund (CRF) is a public-private partnership that provides funding for Canadian brain science research.

You’re in good company

Recent Investment Announcements

Jan2020

Piramal

Piramal Pharma Solutions, a pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation and subsidiary of India-based Piramal Group, will invest $18.94 million to expand its facility in Aurora, Ontario. The company will build a new 975 sq m state-of-the-art wing dedicated to manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients. 

Apr2019

Fujifilm

Fujifilm Canada Inc. announced the establishment of a new Medical Systems Division. The sales structure of the new division is expected to greatly expand the commercialization of Fujifilm state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging systems and make available the latest technologies to hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers in Canada.  Fujifilm plans to introduce a large portfolio of diagnostic imaging systems to the Canadian market in the future.

Sep2018

Varian Medical Systems

US-based radiotherapy equipment specialist Varian Medical Systems announced the creation of a Montréal Centre of Innovation. The centre will focus on research and development of new health informatics technologies to expand Varian’s cancer care capabilities. 

May2018

Siemens

Siemens Healthineers, which provides medical solutions and operates as a subsidiary of Germany-based Siemens,  is expanding its epoc blood analysis system manufacturing facility in Ottawa, Ontario. The project is expected to add 465 sq.m to the facility and is due for completion by June 2021.

Apr2018

Sanofi

Sanofi is investing $500 million for the construction of a new state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility at the Sanofi Pasteur Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. The investment bolsters the company's Canadian operations and its commitment to advancing public health around the world. Upon completion in 2021, the new building will also be equipped to produce the antigens used in the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines. 

Feb2018

Jubilant Life Sciences

Jubilant Life Sciences announced an investment of $100 million to expand its medical device manufacturing facility in Kirkland, Québec. 

Feb2018

Delmar Chemicals

Delmar Chemicals, which specializes in customized high-quality active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) development and manufacturing, is expanding its operations and opening a centre of excellence for the production of APIs. The company will invest $45 million to expand its facility in LaSalle, Québec, creating 25 jobs in the next three years.