Canada’s Emerging Biotech Startups: Homegrown Innovations Transforming The Industry

January 2, 2024

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Canada has laid down a robust foundation for startups, particularly in the biotechnology sector. Established since 2020, these startups are leveraging emerging trends such as psychedelics for mental health, nanotechnology for drug delivery, AI in drug development, and more, generating cutting-edge solutions in health care and life science. With their innovative formulations, these budding companies serve as driving forces setting trajectory for future biotechnological advancements.

Let’s traverse across Canada, from the hustle and bustle of Toronto to the beautiful coastline of Vancouver, exploring some of these exciting biotech startups. These companies, launched in 2020 or later, are untangling complex scientific challenges with their innovative products and services. Notably, all these startups are proudly Canadian and offer promising solutions for local and global markets.

In this article, we will focus on Canadian startups that have been illuminating the biotechnology landscape since their inception in 2020 and beyond. Their ambitious endeavors speak volumes about the thriving biotech sector’s potential to pivot industries and make a worldwide impact.

Awakn Life Sciences

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Awakn Life Sciences was founded by Anthony Tennyson and Jonathan Held. The company specializes in the development of psychedelic medicine for addiction treatment. With an expert team of scientists and psychologists, Awakn is leading the way in innovative therapies.

Avivo Biomedical

Operating as a preclinical-stage company, Avivo Biomedical was founded by Peter Rahfeld and colleagues at the University of British Columbia and has assembled an experienced leadership team. The startup is developing enzymes that convert the cell surface antigens that determine a person’s blood group to group O, effectively creating a universal donor type. You can connect with them on their Linkedin page.

NanoVation Therapeutics

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, NanoVation Therapeutics provides technologies utilizing lipid nanoparticles for the safe and efficient delivery of nucleic acid tissues.

HAVN Life Sciences

Founded by Alexzander Samuelsson, HAVN Life Sciences is a Vancouver-based company working on psychedelic compounds’ extraction for innovating therapies and health products.

Rakovina Therapeutics

Rakovina Therapeutics, established by Jeffrey Bacha and Mads Daugaard in Vancouver, targets the development of new cancer treatments from novel DNA-damage response technologies.


PharmaTher Holdings Ltd, a Toronto-based company founded by Fabio Chianelli, seeks to leverage psychedelics in treating mental illness, neurological, and pain disorders.

Deep Biologics

Deep Biologics, founded by Dea Shahinas and Shraddha Dubey in Toronto, uses AI-based methods to resolve bottlenecks in developing specific biologics for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.

Levitee Labs

Levitee Labs, established by Kelly Abbott in Vancouver, is becoming a leader in the integrative wellness space, focusing on transforming mental health and addiction treatments with psychedelic medicines.


Based in Toronto, Neurolytixs was founded by Adrian Uthay, Douglas Fraser, and Peter George with a focus on healthcare and biotechnology.

Saguaro Technologies

Saguaro, a Quebec-based company, offers new drug discovery technologies to help fight human disease, aiming to provide more predictive data for clinical trial results.

Spartan Finance

Founded by Sajjad Abbas and Shakeel-Abbas Hussein, Spartan Finance, based in Toronto, offers a comprehensive dashboard for biotech research and an online university for courses explaining everything from the drug approval process to how drugs work.

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