In a detailed exploration of British Columbia’s burgeoning biotech sector, The Globe and Mail recently cast a spotlight on Vancouver’s emergence as a global pharmaceutical leader and the pivotal role UBC researchers and UBC spin-off companies are playing in driving the sector’s growth.

The article, B.C. biotech boom: Vancouver looks to join the global big leagues of modern medicine, written by innovation reporter Sean Silcoff, paints a vivid picture of a sector firmly at the global forefront, fuelled by a collaborative ecosystem of academics, research institutes, not-for-profits, public agencies and private sector firms — and with UBC at the centre of it all.

The story outlines how UBC’s research excellence and entrepreneurial spirit have been central in transforming the local biotech landscape over the course of several decades. It highlights the significant achievements and contributions of UBC researchers and biotech spin-offs, from early successes like QLT, to discoveries by Dr. Pieter Cullis that enabled COVID-19 vaccines, to a new group of forward-thinking spin-off companies that are shaping the future of medicine, including Acuitas TherapeuticsAbCelleraGandeeva TherapeuticsAlpha-9 OncologyAspect Biosystems and more.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail for the article, Dr. Dermot Kelleher, dean of the faculty of medicine and vice-president, health at UBC, spoke about UBC’s proud history of biomedical accomplishments and how the university is continuing to build upon that legacy by accelerating the research, development and testing of lifesaving drugs.

The story goes on to profile how a number of UBC researchers are fuelling a new wave of biomedical innovation that promises to catapult the sector to even greater heights, including the likes of Drs. Peter Zandstra, Sriram Subramaniam, Megan Levings, François Bénard, Poul Sorensen and others.

Learn more by reading the full article, which was published in The Globe and Mail on March 9, 2024, and featured on the front page of the print edition nationally.