The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: FedDev Ontario

FedDev Ontario is Feeding $45 million Through NRC-IRAP to Support SMB Innovation

During a visit to Sernova (TSXV: SVA) today, Gary Goodyear* announced that $45 million of FedDev Ontario money will be deployed through the NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

IRAP has been a relatively effective vehicle for funding life science companies and has taken a prominent role since having been allocated $200 million in the 2009 federal budget. In 2010, NRC-IRAP has funded companies directly, including Isotechnika, Critical Outcome Technologies and Covalon (among others) and indirectly through the Health Technology Exchange (HTX).

Sernova press-released the announcement today, noting that they received $486,000 from NRC-IRAP in the 2009-2010 cycle; but it was unclear whether that funding was part of the FedDev allocation or whether FedDev-IRAP funds were forthcoming in the 2010-2011 cycle.

* Yes, Gary Goodyear is now the Minister of State for FedDev Ontario.

Bookmark and Share

Biotech Trends Update — Commercialization by Foundations: New Initiatives from ALS Organizations, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

As part of our Biotech Trends series, we’ve been following the increasing commercialization activity shown by non-profits (although they’ve been having as hard a time succeeding as everyone else).  Two recent stories highlight the important role foundations are playing in this market environment.

  1. JDRF Canada – FedDev Ontario Clinical Research CollaborationThe Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Canada is partnering with the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to fund a clinical trial network for diabetes research. FedDev Ontario is committing $20 million and JDRF is committing $10 million. JDRF will collaborate with Southern Ontario universities and research institutions to work on:
    • Speeding advances in cures and therapies for diabetes and its complications;
    • Positioning Southern Ontario as an international hub for translational research; and
    • Attracting the best international scientists and institutions to Ontario.
  2. ALS Foundations-Academia-Industry Project. Three philanthropic organizations (The Angel Fund, The ALS Therapy Alliance and Project ALS) are financing a new collaboration between Dr. Robert Brown and RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII). Dr. Brown will study the use of RXi’s self-delivering rxRNA™ (sd-rxRNA™) compounds as a potential treatment for ALS in a SOD1-overexpressing mouse model.

Each takes a novel approach:

  • JDRF Canada, by collaborating directly with the government and by focusing on clinical activity; and
  • the ALS project by allowing each party to perform in its specialty — academics on research, corporations on commercialization and the philanthropies on fundraising.

My bottom line:

In a stubbornly difficult financing environment, funding sources other than VCs step up because they derive non-financial (or at least indirect financial) benefits from their investments: corporate VCs get access to future partnership prospects; governments stimulate job growth; and charitable foundations are committed to finding cures and treatments.  These two projects are perfect examples of the work-arounds that committed participants can produce.

Bookmark and Share

$50 million to BDC for Ontario Tech Investments, Will “Collaborate” With Ontario Venture Capital Fund

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is providing $50 million to BDC: $35 million for direct investments in “early-stage firms in Southern Ontario” and $15 million for LP investments in VC funds “focused on Ontario-based opportunities.”

Rather than relying [entirely?] on internal BDC resources, “as part of its decision-making process, the BDC will collaborate with the Ontario Venture Capital Fund.” 

Interesting, the $35 million of new BDC direct investment money will be almost double the OVCF direct investment money, since the OVCF is down to under $19 million for direct investments.

H/T to TechFinance.ca via @startupnorth, @markmcqueen.

Bookmark and Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 129 other followers