Friday | September 2nd 2022


And just like that, it is September! What an eventful summer it has been, with so many exciting events taking place within our sector. We know that it can be a challenge for life sciences and biotech companies to commercialize their innovations - and some of those hurdles are noted in this recent BetaKit story. With this in mind, there are a number of exciting events this fall that support growth, innovation and commercialization that we want to ensure are on your radar:

·      2022 Invest in BC presented by Lumira Ventures will return for a seventh year this November, with applications open until September 14th. Life science organizations in the discovery, development, or commercialization stage of business can apply online for the two-day event on November 2nd and 3rd, 2022.

·      VANTEC Open Network 2022 is back with in-person events at SFU VentureLabs starting on September 7th. Find the full schedule here.

·      Innovation and Translational Research Awards 2023 are now accepting applications. These awards fund innovative research that will have an impact on patient care at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) or Providence Health Care (PHC), provide savings for the health system at VCH or PHC, and/or create medical devices and/or commercial opportunities from pre-existing research outcomes. Register by October 24th.


Member News


CQDM welcomes John Delaney and Jennifer Hamilton as new members of its Scientific Advisory Board. We’d also like to welcome our newest member: Omega Laboratories. Omega is a global leader in specialty drugs of abuse testing, rapid alcohol testing, software solutions for clinical and forensic operations and laboratory licensing opportunities designed to meet the unique needs and demands of programs and organizations around the world. Congratulations also to VoxCell BioInnovation for being selected by Sustainable Development Technology Canada as one of 16 companies to receive seed funding to enhance Canadian health.


Genome BC has launched a new project, in partnership with the BC Blueberry Council and working with a lead researcher from SFU, to use genomics to identify and develop a test for a new disease affecting blueberry plants - one of BC’s top agricultural exports - and causing a loss of yield and profitability. Arbor Biotechnologies, a biotech company discovering and developing the next generation of genetic medicines, announced a new agreement with Acuitas Therapeutics, allowing the companies to combine the optimized delivery of Acuitas’ highly validated LNP technology with Arbor’s differentiated, proprietary CRISPR gene editing technology designed for use in vivo in patients with rare liver diseases. And, a one-time provincial investment of $8.6 million in Mitacs Accelerate and Elevate internship programs will be used to give students in the fields of clean technology, life sciences, emergency, and advanced timber management opportunities to apply their research with innovative companies.


Finally, we want to highlight two upcoming LSBC events. Notably on September 22nd, we look forward to celebrating our 24th Annual Life Sciences BC Awards presented by Farris. Tickets for this highly-anticipated event sold out quickly, but we’re pleased to offer an Awards Networking and Viewing Reception for the first time! For tickets, or to join our Gala waitlist, register online. LSBC members and sponsors are invited to attend our AGM on September 15th! Register online to join us virtually or in person at the Fasken Vancouver Office for a continental breakfast reception before the event begins.


Until next week,


Wendy and the LSBC team


Evonik and Shell Reduce Heavy Duty Transport CO2e Emissions with Bio-LNG

Evonik and Shell are making inroads into defossilizing heavy duty road transport with Bio-LNG. Shell is supplying 100 tons of Bio-LNG made from agricultural waste to Evonik. It is equivalent to the average fuel consumption of three trucks in a year. Evonik passes on this volume of Bio-LNG from Shell to selected logistics partners. With this initiative, both companies want to promote the use of biomethane in heavy-duty transport as a fuel alternative that emits significantly less emissions and is already available. Bio-LNG can reduce CO2e emissions by approximately 86 percent compared to diesel and thus contribute to reaching the EU’s 2030 climate targets...READ MORE

Pfizer and BioNTech Granted FDA Emergency Use Authorization of Omicron BA.4/BA.5-Adapted Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine Booster for Ages 12 Years and Older

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that the U.S. FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of a 30-µg booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent (Original [15 µg] and Omicron BA.4/BA.5 [15 µg]) for individuals ages 12 years and older. An application for an Omicron-adapted bivalent vaccine for children 5 through 11 years of age is planned for submission to FDA in early October. The companies are working with the FDA to prepare an application for an Omicron-adapted bivalent vaccine in children 6 months through 4 years of age...READ MORE

UBC Team Developing Oral Insulin Tablet Sees Breakthrough Results

A team of University of British Columbia researchers working on developing oral insulin tablets as a replacement for daily insulin injections have made a game-changing discovery. Researchers have discovered that insulin from the latest version of their oral tablets is absorbed by rats in the same way that injected insulin is. “These exciting results show that we are on the right track in developing an insulin formulation that will no longer need to be injected before every meal, improving the quality of life, as well as mental health, of more than nine million Type 1 diabetics around the world.”...READ MORE

FDA Grants Priority Review to Efanesoctocog Alfa for People with Hemophilia A

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for priority review the Biologics License Application for efanesoctocog alfa (BIVV001) for the treatment of hemophilia A, a rare and life-threatening bleeding disorder. The target action date for the FDA decision is February 28, 2023. Sanofi and Sobi® collaborate on the development and commercialization of efanesoctocog alfa...READ MORE

AbbVie Showcases New Analyses and Real-World Data Across Multiple Immune-Mediated Skin Diseases at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) 2022 Congress

AbbVie announced it will present 23 abstracts at the 31st European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress, including a late-breaking oral presentation on long-term efficacy and safety data of SKYRIZI® (risankizumab) in psoriatic arthritis and real-world data from MEASURE-AD to assess the multidimensional burden of atopic dermatitis. This research demonstrates AbbVie’s commitment to deepening the understanding of immune-mediated skin diseases by investing in...READ MORE

New Amgen Data at Esc 2022 Show Long-Term Ldl-C Lowering with Repatha® (Evolocumab) was Well-Tolerated for More than 8 Years

Amgen presented new compelling data from the Phase 3 FOURIER open label extension studies of Repatha® (evolocumab) in adults with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) during the Aug. 29 late-breaking Hot Line Session of the European Society of Cardiology Annual Meeting being held in Barcelona, Spain, and online. These data were simultaneously published in Circulation. Repatha is the first and only proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitor (PCSK9i) to date to show long-term clinical outcomes in patients with ASCVD for up to 8.4 years...READ MORE

Merck to Present New Data at ESMO 2022 Congress from Its Broad Oncology Portfolio and Promising Pipeline, Demonstrating Commitment to Improving Long-Term Survival in Multiple Types of Cancer

Merck announced that research spanning 16 different cancer types will be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2022 in Paris, France from Sept. 9-13. The breadth of data showcases the continued impact of Merck’s portfolio of oncology medicines and the potential of Merck’s innovative oncology pipeline...READ MORE

Arbor Biotechnologies Enters into Agreement with Acuitas Therapeutics for Lipid Nanoparticle Delivery System for Use in Rare Liver Diseases 

Arbor Biotechnologies, a biotechnology company discovering and developing the next generation of genetic medicines, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Acuitas Therapeutics, a leader in the development of lipid nanoparticles (LNP) As part of the agreement, the companies will combine the optimized delivery of Acuitas’ highly validated LNP technology with Arbor’s differentiated, proprietary CRISPR gene editing technology designed for use in vivo in patients with rare liver diseases...READ MORE

The Leverage Network Receives $150,000 Donation from Deloitte Health Equity Institute to Help Advance Black Leadership in Health Care C-suite and Governance Roles 

A $150,000 gift from the Deloitte* Health Equity Institute will support The Leverage Network’s efforts to help prepare Black leaders to lead healthcare organizations through a post-pandemic era and seek greater diversity, equity and inclusion in operational decision-making. The Leverage Network’s mission is to promote the advancement of Black representation in the C-suite and on governing boards. TLN will use the funds to expand its Healthcare Executive Leadership and Continued Learning and Development (Bridge) programs to drive systems change by creating a pipeline for equitable representation of Blacks in governance and senior leadership roles within the health ecosystem....READ MORE

Researchers Look for Source of Disease Afflicting BC Blueberry Plants 

Loaded full of vitamins and minerals, rich in antioxidants, and bursting with flavour, blueberries are an icon of summertime in British Columbia. Families flock to farm gates and U-picks to bring home baskets of blueberry bounty destined for pies, jams, salads and taste buds. Like all food producers, BC’s blueberry farmers routinely deal with various pests and pathogens that damage plants and affect crop yields. Recently, the blueberry scorch virus has become the scourge of the industry, causing a loss of yield and profitability. Farmers can test sick plants to determine whether the blueberry scorch virus, or other known viruses, are to blame...READ MORE


UVic BioInnovation Hub to Enhance Collaboration in BC’s Life Sciences Sector

A new front-door to the University of Victoria opens this week to advance health and life sciences innovation, in partnership with Vancouver Island Life Sciences. The UVic BioInnovation Hub is a collaborative workspace in Saanich where entrepreneurs and life sciences organizations can connect with UVic researchers, access equipment and tools, share resources, showcase new technologies, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Located in the Saanich Plaza retail mall (across from Uptown, above Soccerworld and adjacent to Save-on-Foods) the Hub provides short-term incubator space for early-stage start-ups and hot desk capacity during its operating hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday...READ MORE

VANTEC Open Network 2022

Featuring short 90-second pitches from local entrepreneurs – some of whose promising ventures are backed by local accelerators and incubators. We plan to be back in-person at VentureLabs downtown with the option to present via Zoom and watch the live stream. This event will take place on September 7th, 2022 from 3:30 - 6:30 PDT. In-person networking between investors, founders and community members. We will serve complimentary beverages and appetizers. Online participants can meet in a number of dedicated breakout rooms...READ MORE

CQDM Nominates John Delaney and Jennifer Hamilton as Scientific Advisory Board Members

CQDM is very pleased to announce the nomination of John Delaney and Jennifer Hamilton as members of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is a key committee for CQDM as it provides strategic guidance regarding biopharmaceutical innovation and oversees the selection of projects funded by CQDM. John Delaney is an active retiree sitting on multiple Boards. He led Amgen’s Biologic Discovery division, responsible for identifying large molecule therapeutic candidates, including the discovery of fully human antibody therapeutics, in collaboration with all Amgen Therapeutic Areas, using the company’s proprietary platform technology...READ MORE

Government of B.C. Announces New Funding for Mitacs

Student researchers are seeking the newest innovations to make life better for British Columbians in fields such as clean technology and emergency management. Government encourages these efforts by supporting more than 1,700 research internships to help students prepare for and thrive in the high-demand jobs of tomorrow. “I know that students can be more successful when they have real-world opportunities to apply their learning. These opportunities are also vital to building and strengthening B.C.’s economy,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training...READ MORE


Director of Production

This position would oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and technology transfers at Vancouver Laboratories(VAN). Ensures departmental operations meet business requirements, operational budgets and that all processes are compliant with safety and cGMP rules defined by SOPs of the Business Division Nutrition and Care, Business Line Health Care and Vancouver Laboratories as well as guidance from recognized global regulatory bodies. Establishes the best use of staff and equipment to meet production and project goals. Determines the strategic direction of the manufacturing department, setting the plan for processes and manages interdepartmental relationships to increase efficiency and profitability. Responsible for determining CAPEX investment prioritization for manufacturing at Vancouver Laboratories. Directs personnel activities of the manufacturing department of Vancouver Laboratories, which includes hiring, training and monitoring of personal performance. Manages communications of manufacturing-related topics to customers, regulatory agencies, and senior management.


Research Associate Biologics

Abdera Therapeutics Inc. is a precision oncology company developing next-generation targeted radiation therapies- one of the most cutting-edge and highly promising areas of drug development. The company is built on a proprietary modular technology platform optimized for the delivery of radioisotopes to selectively destroy tumor cells while sparing healthy cells. Abdera is using this platform to enable the rapid development of a broad range of safe and efficacious therapies serving cancer patients with limited treatment options.

Abdera Therapeutics is growing rapidly and seeking key new team members who thrive at the cutting-edge of innovation. Come join us and be a part of the ground-breaking team set to unlock the power of targeted radiotherapy.


R&D Operations Senior Associate

You’ve earned your degree. How will you use that achievement to reach your goals? Do more with the knowledge you’ve worked hard to acquire and the passion you already have. At Amgen, our shared mission—to serve patients—drives all that we do. It is key to our becoming one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, reaching over 10 million patients worldwide. Become the professional you are meant to be in this meaningful role. Responsibilities include: supporting departmental and site lab operations including, site transformation, and continuous improvement initiatives, execution of site/laboratory strategic planning​ and transformation, and Serve as project manager on cross functional, cross site committees with representatives from scientific functions, R&D Operations, and other Amgen areas.


New Member Welcome

Abdera Therapeutics Inc. is a precision oncology company developing next-generation targeted radiation therapies- one of the most cutting-edge and highly promising areas of drug development. The company is built on a proprietary modular technology platform optimized for the delivery of radioisotopes to selectively destroy tumor cells while sparing healthy cells. Abdera is using this platform to enable the rapid development of a broad range of safe and efficacious therapies serving cancer patients with limited treatment options.

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Member Spotlight

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Their purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. They do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to their medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 42,700 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. For more information, visit, Twitter, or YouTube.

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