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The Canadian Business Journal
the University Health Network, Ontario Cancer
Institute at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre,
PolyTherics, Charles River, Southern Research
Institute, etc. As a result, it doesn’t have a
monthly burn rate. “We are a virtual company
in the sense that we are efficiently using our
cash and focusing on external support with best
in class contractors,” Potts says. “It’s a really
efficient model. It allows us to manage our
resources well, and it provides a little bit greater
comfort for our investors as well.”
The company works with some of the best
medical professionals in the field. For example,
Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, a renowned medi-
cal oncologist and oncology drug developer
who has conducted national clinical trials with
more than 200 new antineoplastic and biologic
agents, approached the company and offered
to be its principal investigator for upcoming
clinical trials. Potts says Dr. Von Hoff called the
company’s cancer treatment method the most
rational approach to treating cancer he has seen
in a long time.
Canada Lags Behind in
Life Science Investments
Alpha Cancer’s targeted cancer treatments
seem destined for success, but biopharmaceuti-
cal companies in Canada face many obstacles.
Canada has one of the richest and most robust
scientific communities in the world, but Potts
says the Canadian government and institutional
investors have not invested enough time and
money in the industry. “If you take the market
value of all the TSX-listed mining companies in
Canada, basically they would match the market
valuation of just two biotechnology companies
in the United States,” Potts explains. “If you take
four biotechnology companies in the United
States that didn’t exist 25 years ago, the market
value of those companies, now, is bigger than
all the big six Canadian banks as well as ManuLife
and Sun Life combined.”
“It’s extremely frustrating for anyone who
has been in the industry for any length of time.
It’s an area that is deserving of attention and
institutional funding and it’s an area that can
clearly reward investors very well,” Potts says.
“There are opportunities for huge returns, as well
as great opportunities for Canada to lead in this
knowledge-based industry.”
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