MaRS Innovation logoTORONTO, April 22, 2013 MaRS Innovation, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, today announced the formation of a strategic partnership with Pfizer Inc. to advance early-stage technologies related to human health in therapeutics and diagnostics.

Through this collaboration, MaRS Innovation and Pfizer will jointly identify investment opportunities emerging from well-validated scientific research discoveries within MaRS Innovation’s 16 member institutions, including the University of Toronto and its nine affiliated teaching hospitals.

Dr. Raphael Hofstein

Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president & CEO, MaRS Innovation.

“There’s growing consensus that transferring technologies from the university lab bench and into the market requires unique public-private partnerships,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation. “Partnering with MaRS Innovation gives Pfizer access to Toronto’s robust innovation pipeline and a close look at emerging IP from Canada. It signals both the strength and attractiveness of our commercialization model and Toronto-based research technologies to global industry players.”

“Our government is committed to making Ontario the best place to translate great ideas into innovative products that will gain demand around the world,” said the Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation. “Today’s announcement from MaRS Innovation is an exciting collaboration with Pfizer that will both advance healthcare technologies for Ontarians and help to strengthen our economy.”

Pfizer will provide funding over a three-year period to support promising individual projects based on their due diligence, which will be leveraged with financial support from MaRS Innovation. Together, it is intended to accelerate the development and validation of healthcare technologies within a highly innovative academic cluster in Canada.

“We are excited by this partnership with MaRS Innovation and look forward to working collaboratively to help advance promising healthcare technologies,” said Uwe Schoenbeck, chief scientific officer, External R&D Innovation at Pfizer.

The partnership’s shared vision for transformative technologies will benefit the health of Canadians and others around the world. “Forming this partnership also builds on MaRS Innovation’s recent success in securing $15 million in funding from the Networks of Centres of Excellence,” said Hofstein. “Pfizer is a significant global player in delivering healthcare technologies in Canada and worldwide; our projects will benefit from their understanding of the marketplace and help us achieve our goal of jointly developing long-term, mutually-beneficial technological solutions to many challenging health problems.”

About MaRS Innovation

MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for Ontario’s exceptional discovery pipeline from 16 leading academic institutions. As a single-entry point to member-based activity of $1 billion in annual research and development, MI is a gateway for investors and licensees to access technology assets. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its 16 member institutions, MI is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities. MI’s portfolio includes the most promising assets from its members’ pipeline, which it advances into global markets through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation.

By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications manager.