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MaRS Innovation

$29.9 million for 2008-17
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MaRS Innovation

Toronto, Ontario

President and CEO
Rafi Hofstein Rafi Hofstein

Board chair
Barry McLellan Barry McLellan
President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Harnessing innovations from Canada's largest research cluster

Toronto’s research community receives more than $1 billion in annual funding. Like similar hubs around the world, it has struggled to transform brilliant research inventions into successful startups and innovative technologies. That changed in 2008, when the University of Toronto, its affiliated research institutions and other academic research institutions joined forces to bundle their collective intellectual property into a single commercialization platform. This unique commercialization model is converting great science into commercially viable products and services. It acts as a bridge to take important inventions across the historical chasm of seed-stage funding and development, while creating jobs and making a significant contribution to Canada’s economic outlook and the quality of life of Canadians and others around the world.

Among the results

  • MI has assessed more than 1,500 technology disclosures spanning the health care, ICT and physical sciences sectors, and has launched 60 companies, of which 52 are growing in Canada.
  • MI co-directs the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program, which has launched 28 ICT startups from the university’s software research community since its creation in 2012.
  • Founded in partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children and MI, ScarX Therapeutics discovers and develops innovative treatments for dermal scarring. The company received approval from Health Canada to begin a Phase I clinical trial of its nefopam cream, the first-of-its-kind topical treatment developed to significantly reduce surgical scarring.
  • Encycle Therapeutics is a drug discovery company that exploits a novel process to generate a new class of therapeutics called nacellins, which can act on protein targets in the body that are inaccessible to conventional drugs.  The company has collaborated with multiple pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Merck, and has secured nearly $11 million in funding to date from various entities, including Takeda Ventures and MI.

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