Next Great Big Ideas Blog/Following the Data: AdMare BioInnovation’s Gordon McCauley on Canadian Life Sciences Ecosystems

Following the Data: AdMare BioInnovation’s Gordon McCauley on Canadian Life Sciences Ecosystems

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

This week Jim speaks with Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of AdMare Bioinnovations, about his early career in politics to helping build Canada's life sciences sector.

Despite all of the success AdMare Bioinnovations has achieved, Gordon still sees areas for improvement that would put Canada on the fast-track to becoming a leader in the global life sciences community.

“Canadian life science is leading the world. We have this extraordinary research enterprise in this country that punches well above its weight on any metric you want to apply to it. We have outstanding research; we have decent venture capital. We have strong components throughout the ecosystem. And yet we still don't have sustainable industry... [we are] the only advanced pharma market in the world without a research based domestic anchor company.”​

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Episode Outline:

[00:00 - 02:33]
Introduction.
[02:34 – 11:19] Gordon’s formative years growing up in Vancouver and Toronto.
[11:20 – 19:08] Working for David Peterson, Premier of Ontario.

“…when you have a fight between your head and your gut, listen to your gut...”

​[30:32 – 35:32] The inception of AdMare BioInnovations.
​[27:35 – 30:26]
The benefits of serving on a Board of Directors.
​[22:09 - 27:34]
Raising capital in the life sciences with polite persistence.
[19:09 – 22:08] At the front door of Queen’s Park looking in instead of looking out.

“We set out deliberately to say, how do we build a pan-Canadian enterprise that can really get to a point of scale that has the capacity to attract the kind of scientific expertise and business expertise that is necessary.”

[35:33 – 38:37] On Canada’s capacity to lead in life sciences.

“Canadian life science is leading the world. We have this extraordinary research enterprise in this country that punches well above its weight on any metric you want to apply to it. And yet we still don't have the sustainable industry.”

[38:38 – 46:10] Investing in the life sciences sector.
[46:11 - 49:56] The challenges and joys of running AdMare.
[49:57 – 55:46] Gordon McCauley on resilience.
[55:47 – 1:01:22] The importance of anchor companies in Canadian Life Sciences.
[01:01:23 – 1:03:10] Gordon McCauley on his Next Great Big Idea.

“...what you want to do if you want to succeed in this business is follow the data. Be absolutely committed to following the data to wherever it takes you.”

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Join us as Jim Wilson speaks with leaders, innovators and disruptors in the Canadian life sciences.

​Hear about their journeys, their wins and losses, and what they have learned along the way.

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