Exploring Vancouver’s Rising Stars in Canadian Biotech Startup Industry

January 3, 2024

Biotechnology is continually shaping the future of diverse industries from healthcare to agriculture, and environmental conservation. The true north is host to an array of promising biotech startups that are bringing forth cutting-edge innovations whilst fostering an impressive economic growth in their precincts. This article spotlights some compelling Vancouver-based startups, embarking on quests to revolutionize their respective fields since their inception in 2020. These startups are redefining the limits of biotechnology and propelling Canada’s clout in the global biotech arena.

Vancouver, often recognized as a prominent hub of biotech companies, is home to ventures striving to make significant advancements in assorted biotech sectors. These startups have not only attracted notable investments but also fostered partnerships with established firms and research institutions, fueling their endeavors and trajectories. Moreover, they contribute to the economy by generating employment and bringing notable industrial innovations.

In this expedition, which entails resilient curiosity, steadfast determination and relentless ambition, we showcase a selection of compelling startups. Each one is operating adamantly in Vancouver and steadily making its mark in the rapidly evolving global biotech landscape.

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

Using lipid nanoparticles, NanoVation Therapeutics ensures safe and efficient delivery of nucleic acid tissues, a vital step in many biotech applications. Their technology has the potential to transform methods used in drug delivery.

HAVN Life Sciences

Established by the visionary Alexzander Samuelsson, HAVN Life Sciences is crafting innovative therapies to support central nervous system health and augment mental capabilities. They are leveraging the potential of psychedelic compounds to develop new health products and APIs.

Rakovina Therapeutics

Founders Jeffrey Bacha and Mads Daugaard are driving Rakovina Therapeutics’ mission to develop new cancer treatments based on their proprietary DNA-damage response technologies, looking to seek marketing approval for new cancer therapeutics from international regulatory agencies.

Levitee Labs

Co-founded by Kelly Abbott, Levitee Labs is transforming mental health and addiction treatments by integrating psychedelic medicines and therapies. Their strategy focuses on leveraging complementary integrative wellness assets through a disciplined M&A regimen.


Steered by Charlie Kang and John Bial, Capsigen is engineering novel AAV capsids to deliver gene therapies for difficult-to-treat diseases. Their proprietary messenger RNA screening platform holds potential to bring transformative solutions.

Tersa Earth

Founded by Vikramaditya Yadav, Tersa Earth is a ground-breaking startup in the biotech industry with a minimalist public profile, suggesting innovative projects in the works.

BugSeq Bioinformatics

Established by Josh Chorlton and Sam Chorlton, BugSeq Bioinformatics is leveraging advanced sequencing technologies to overhaul infectious disease testing and pathogen surveillance. By profiling myriad microorganisms and markers of antimicrobial resistance from specimens, BugSeq is propelling the broad adoption of sequencing to enhance health.

Albert Labs

Albert Labs is a pharmaceutical drug development company focusing on obtaining regulatory approval for active compounds in the treatment of mental health. They leverage advanced culture technology, natural extraction, and comprehensive regulatory strategies to accelerate the development of mental health drugs.Their goal is to deliver effective medicines swiftly and safely to patients who suffer with mental health concerns.

Platform Life Sciences

Platform Life Sciences is redefining clinical trials by providing speed and global partnerships for evaluating life-saving therapeutics. The company can scale rapidly by mobilizing their partners to implement clinical trials with the most advanced methodologies and data infrastructure.

Pan-Biome Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Co-founded by Gordon Eberwein and Poul Sorensen, Pan-Biome Pharmaceuticals is focused on longevity and a healthier life span. Their natural-product-based small molecules have shown promising results in preclinical studies by significantly extending lifespan and effectively combating diseases like C. difficile and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).

As these startups forge their path in Canada’s bustling biotech sector, their groundbreaking innovations will not only pave the way for a healthier future, but also serve as a beacon for aspiring biotech entrepreneurs across Vancouver and the world.

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