Launching with $25 million in industry partnerships, Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation is on track to transform health innovation in Alberta.


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Below is the press release for our official launch


EDMONTON, AB, July 30, 2019 – Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) incorporated as a not-for-profit institute in November 2018, launching out of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. With one goal in mind – to transform the pharmaceutical and biotech landscape in Alberta and Canada by filling the gaps in the drug development system that currently stifle investment and economic diversification – API has seen tremendous success. In its quiet phase over the past 8 months, API attracted over $25 million in industry investment to Alberta from over 19 companies in areas ranging from early stage drug development to phase II and III clinical trials for areas such as local SMES, large multinational pharmaceutical companies, the cannabis industry, and more.

To achieve its goal, API works to attract and facilitate industry research while training post-doctoral fellow and graduate students on real world projects through its network model with the University of Alberta and Mitacs—a federal granting organization—to support more than 100 internships over the next 5 years. The Mitacs partnership—valued at $6M—expands the impact of the $25M in industry funded research that API has already attracted. “It’s a game changer for students and post-doctoral researchers,” says API CEO, Andrew MacIsaac. “Finding meaningful opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry used to mean moving to San Diego or Boston. Now careers can be launched here in Edmonton, working at the cutting edge of the pharmaceutical industry with global players.”

API is also bringing back investment that had previously left Canada. One of Edmonton’s biggest names in biotech, Robert Foster, founder of Isotechnika, has signed a significant partnership with API through Hepion Pharmaceuticals, his current New Jersey-based company. “We’re thrilled by the environment created by this partnership through API,” says Foster. “We’re able to access world-class infrastructure and talent to support our work developing therapeutic drugs for the treatment of liver disease.”

API doesn’t only aim to help established companies. At the core of its mission, API also works to support successful commercialization of university research. “Previously, medical researchers who made discoveries within our post-secondary institutions were forced to utilize contract research organizations outside of Canada to gain the specific pharmaceutical science and regulatory expertise needed for them to enter into the complex and arduous process of drug development. In most cases, they were unable to afford such services, and if they could, they would remain a virtual company with little investment staying in the province,” says MacIsaac. “Under API’s model, they can do it in Alberta for less, while training the team who can take the company forward locally as they gain investment.” Currently, API is working to connect itself within the existing commercialization frameworks of the province, working to support startups and provide them with the niche expertise they need prior to and during their time with incubators and accelerators such as TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary.

For more information or to request a media kit, please contact:

Jerry Zhang | | 780-716-8319