DVS: Ontario biotech start-up
DVS: Game-changing Ontario biotechology

If you’re an entrepreneur in the biotech industry, you know that the path to success isn’t usually short, simple or clearly marked, especially here in Ontario.

Meet DVS Sciences, an Ontario-based biotech company. They’re one example of a success story in the making, despite these challenges.

They’ve developed a first-in-class mass cytometer instrument that can detect up to 100 biomarkers simultaneously in a single cell.  Just this month, a perspective on their recent article in Science called the technology a “game-changer” for biomedical sciences.  They also officially opened their new facility here in the GTA where they are manufacturing instruments being sold world-wide.

A 300-word blog can’t possibly describe the years of hard work, hardships, dedication and tenacity it took to get them where they are today, but here’s a glimpse at the path they took.

The founding team (Scott Tanner, Vladimir Baranov, Dmitry Bandura and Olga Ornatsky) conceived of a mass cytometer while at MDS Sciex (now AB SCIEX) and together left their industry roles to spin into the University of Toronto, a key move and partner along their path.  They set up truly multidisciplinary and valuable collaborations with leading biologists, chemists and engineers.  They also raised funds for research, technology development and commercialization from partners including the Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Health Technology Exchange, and Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute.

It exemplifies a comment at their facility opening: “It takes a village” sometimes to get where you want to go.  There are definitely challenges for biotech here in Ontario, but one thing we have is “a village” of collaborators, institutions, funders and partners that can help – just remember to bring the game-changing idea.

Helen Petropoulos

Helen Petropoulos is part of the Business Development team at the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI). She helps Ontario scientists and biotech companies bridge the gap between basic research and commercialization. She’s also worked in consulting and in the pharmaceutical industry as a postdoctoral fellow. See more…