Financial Post highlights Scientus Pharma as a Canadian Innovator
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The kind of company that a serious commitment to ideas creates looks like Toronto-based Scientus Pharma, which is close to securing a patent on a new process for extracting the active ingredients from cannabis. The company’s founders benefited from spending time at the MaRS Discovery District, an incubator for technology upstarts. The early research benefited from government grants. The company now employs about 30 people and has a new production facility in Whitby, Ont.
Har Grover, the chief executive, said in an interview that the company’s success will be depend on the extent to which its patented extraction process becomes the industry standard. (Scientus says its method ensures a consistent level of active ingredient in capsules and oils, a problem the cannabis industry hasn’t yet solved.) That will require taking advantage of the lead Canada achieved by legalizing recreational pot, and lobbying governments to apply the same standards to the marijuana industry that they demand of medicine and food.
“Canadian companies need to be aggressive about maintaining leadership,” Grover said.
Aggressiveness isn’t a trait for which this country is known, at least away from the hockey rink. We will need to be, because companies such as Scientus Pharma will be going up against international behemoths that long ago figured out that their most valuable assets were their ideas, and that the best way to protect that wealth was to set the rules by which everyone would play. Canada might have gained more access to the North American market for Canadian margarine, but the U.S. successfully extended patent protection for its pharmaceutical industry.