On behalf of the BIOTECanada Board of Directors we are proud to celebrate 25 years as an industry association.
Our theme ‘Remember when. Imagine how’ will conjure nostalgia, recognizing how far the industry has come in a short period of time. By engaging the “imagenenation” while setting inspirational targets for our community to rally behind.
As part of the 25th anniversary we will promote the value of the association with our industry colleagues, and members.
In 2012 we will continue to promote innovation as our lifeblood unleashing an array of invented, developed and commercialized Canadian products for the world to covet. BIOTECanada remains focused on ensuring Canada’s opportunity to emerge as a defined global leader.
Let’s celebrate together.
Keeping Canada Competitive
BIOTECanada is celebrating 25 years as an industry association. These milestones remind us to reflect on how much the industry has accomplished. From global changes come opportunities. Our membership, with some 250 biotech companies working in all sectors, continues to grow every month. Moreover the work of our members is growing a competitive new economy built on an entrenched longevity of success. Every day I meet incredibly talented entrepreneurs who are pushing boundaries, developing useful products, and helping us with the solutions to some of our world’s largest challenges. And yes, we are seeing money being made in biotech.
Even with the increasing knowledge and competition in our industry globally, Canadian companies are focused on growth and even executing exit strategies to create wealth for the investor. In the first 2 months of 2012 we’ve seen over $2 billion in deals. Companies joining forces such as Enobia and Alexion in Montreal, Xenon in Vancouver collaborating with Genentech, and YM Biosciences raising funds through an IPO in Toronto. The driving forces we are seeing for company growth include technologies or products with the high potential for clinical development; products well positioned for large partnerships, products with public interest and with growing unmet medical needs that are highly attractive to the markets for financing.
We are showcasing these successes to our government and guiding them to achieve more. If Canada wants to compete and modernize its economy a strong portfolio of public policy tools must be in place. The success of research depends on access to capital and creating the environment for investment. Investors build industries not governments; governments enable investors.
Last fall’s Research and Development Expert Panel Report outlined the need for a simpler more streamlined program, aimed at lessening the level of abuse from perceived applicants or their agents. Our association was pleased to see the panel confirm the need for funding for commercialization and risk capital, and the call to simplify the SR&ED tax credit. We have been on the record on how best to improve the existing SR&ED to remove some of the administrative burden, grow the value equation for investment into all Canadian-based operations and ultimately realize the levels of capital our industry requires to keep building here. However, we have voiced serious concerns about limiting the current SR&ED program to only including labour costs. In order to compensate for such a change, the new refundable SR&ED rate would have to be dramatically increased.
Canadian biotech companies continue to impress upon our elected officials the value and success of our industry and the increased benefits of investing in home grown innovations.