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In Canada, it is common to see layers of support for life sciences companies up to and including the incubator stage, right before commercialization occurs.

But support drops off drastically when companies are ready to commercialize and take their most significant risks and leaps. It takes capital and multiple fundraising rounds to set up a facility, finalize regulatory approval, hire talent, secure contracts and get to the first revenue dollar.

A new Alberta not-for-profit organization, Biohubx, was founded by entrepreneurial thinkers who clearly saw this support gap in the life sciences ecosystem. Working with industry partners, Biohubx leverages public funding to help young companies de-risk their journey to commercialization.

Biohubx has decoded a formula that allows its members to commercialize in shortened timelines and with less capital

With turn-key facilities, technical services and an extensive network of industry experts and technical resources, Biohubx is creating optimal conditions for emerging life sciences companies to get to market.

The Cutting-edge facility
In 2021, Biohubx launched HUB 1, a biosafety level two facility, with $1.5M funding from PrairiesCan to renovate and secure key laboratory infrastructure. Through a partnership with DynaLIFE Medical Labs, this facility offers lab and office space to young companies, making it possible to commercialize much sooner than if they had to find and develop their own facility. HUB 1 outperformed expectations by reaching 100 percent capacity within four months of launch, demonstrating the demand for this type of support in the life sciences sector.

“Biohubx and the facilities created have been key to Syantra’s growth, ensuring that the company we started in Calgary will be able to stay put and create jobs here at home. We need more of this across Alberta.” — Bob Shepherd, Biohubx cofounder and CEO of Syantra Inc.

Rapid Validation Program
In addition to offering critical commercial space, Biohubx provides technical services for small and medium enterprises to develop and test novel products and technologies. These services include developing operating protocols that conform to regulatory standards. A scientific committee is available to consult on methodologies and experimental design. Users can also access a quality management professional to assist with quality management system implementation to meet broad regulatory standards.

“Being a fast-moving small company, we appreciated that the Biohubx staff went the extra mile to help us find the materials and expertise we needed to keep our development on schedule and completed to a high standard.” — Management of GLC Medical Inc

The Network
With a growing network of regional and international support organizations, post-secondary institutions, and incubators that member companies can leverage for business development, Biohubx has become a critical component of Alberta’s growing life science ecosystem. Member companies can expand their markets through collaboration agreements in Europe and Asia with on-the-ground help.

Biohubx recently launched the North American Soft-Landing Program to help international companies enter the North American market in a way that reduces risk. From providing a corporate address and getting assistance establishing clinical trials to accessing space in one of Biohubx’s hubs, the North American Soft-Landing Program offers a tailored and practical approach to entering this vast market in a strategically advantageous way.

Future Hubs
Biohubx is working on launching new hubs to meet the infrastructure needs of maturing companies graduating from incubators across Canada and its international network. Future hubs will encompass innovation centres for new clinical solutions and biomanufacturing capacity.

Biohubx connects the dots in the ecosystem to create practical solutions for companies, clinicians and patients. As a trusted not-for-profit, it leads conversations and opens new avenues of commercial potential for companies in Alberta.

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