Emerging Company - Health

Award Description

The recipient of this award is a pre-commercialized company recognized for their potential. Through technology advances and business milestones, these companies will have contributed to the Canadian biotech landscape.

Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (2014)

Having had several of its preclinical programs partnered with premier companies like Genentech, Biogen, ZymoGenetics, and Medarex, privately-held Toronto-based Trillium Therapeutics was considered one of Canada’s most promising early-stage biotechnology companies. In 2012 the company commenced its first clinical trial demonstrating its ability to move a discovery into clinical trials. Although funding for private companies in Canada was difficult to come by Trillium was determined to build on its success and grow as a company. In early 2013 the company went public through a reverse merger with Stem Cell Therapeutics (SCT) and raised $3 million.

Now armed with Trillium’s most valuable preclinical immuno-oncology program a SIRPaFc fusion protein the merged company set out to gain recognition by the US market. As a result of a 6-month targeted effort in December 2013 SCT closed a $33 million financing largely from prominent US healthcare funds bringing its total 2013 fund raising to $36 million. In the months after financing the company expanded its workforce strengthened its Board of Directors with three seasoned US executives and graduated to the senior Toronto stock exchange. Raising $36 million to fund a preclinical program most of it from leading US specialist funds is a remarkable accomplishment by any company let alone by a small 12-person Canadian life science company with a valuation of less then $10 million.

Niclas Stiernholm (Trillium) receives award from Peter Brenders.

Past Award Recipients

2014 - Trillium Therapeutics
2013 - Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc.
2012 - Therapure Biopharma Inc.
2011 - Allon Therapeutics Inc.
2010 - iCo Therapeutics Inc.
2009 - Medicago Inc.
2008 - Xenon Pharmaceuticals
*2007 - Chemaphor Inc.
2006 - Rimon Therapeutics Ltd.
2005 - ImmunoVaccine Technologies Inc., Halifax, NS
2005 - Trillium Therapeutics Inc., Toronto, ON
2004 - Arc Pharmaceuticals Inc, Vancouver, BC
2004 - Clera Inc., Toronto, ON
2004 - Generex Biotechnology, Toronto, ON
2003 - GB Therapeutics (now CITA Neuropharma Inc.), Mississauga, ON
2003 - Zelos Therapeutics, Ottawa, ON
2003 - Zinc Therapeutics, Toronto, ON

*Prior to 2008, BIOTECanada's annual awards program was known as the National Biotechnology Awards with recognition for companies and this award was called "Promising Early Stage company(s) Recognition".


Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Boreal Genomics
Miraculins Inc.
Munc-Key Therapeutics
Neovasc Inc.
Qu Biologics
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Zymeworks Inc.

Partnership Program



Biogen Idec