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Hamilton Ecosystem:
                                                                  Responding to a

                                                                  COVID Crisis

                                                                  Hamilton was a key player in Ontario’s and
                                                                  Canada’s COVID-19 response, pitching
                                                                  in with prototyping and manufacturing of
                                                                  personal protective equipment (PPE), testing
                                                                  and vaccine development.
                                                                  The Centre of Excellence in Protective
                                                                  Equipment and Materials (CEPEM) at
                                                                  McMaster brought together scientists,
                                                                  engineers and clinicians to help Ontario-
                                                                  based companies shift production efforts to
                                                                  answer a critical shortage of PPE during the
                                                                  pandemic. Canada’s first and only research
                                                                  hub dedicated to PPE, CEPEM is also doing
                                                                  research into next-generation devices using
                                                                  new materials and coatings to improve
                                                                  performance and shelf life, while also
                                                                  exploring the use of sensors in PPE.
          A place of talent                                       The McMaster Molecular Medium (MMM)
                                                                  is a temperature-stable storage medium for
          Hamilton’s story is one of economic transformation,     viral samples developed by researchers from
          built on a foundation as a heavy manufacturing          the Disease Diagnostics and Development
          powerhouse to one encompassing strengths in life        (D3) group at St. Joseph’s Healthcare
                                                                  Hamilton. MMM inactivates the virus so it
          sciences, technology, education, transportation and     cannot replicate and potentially infect a lab
          the arts.                                               technician. It improves pandemic testing by
                                                                  keeping viruses viable for up to 14 days and
          Hamilton is at the heart of a health and life sciences   also allows for the ability to pool specimens,
          corridor that stretches from toronto to Buffalo and     boosting testing capacity and returning
          includes Canada’s largest pool of talent – nine million   results faster.
          people live within an hour’s drive. the city features   The MMM story underlines the power of
          a terrific quality of life, nestled within the natural   Hamilton’s life sciences ecosystem. The
          beauty of the niagara Escarpment and framed by          technology originated by researchers at St.
          more than a hundred waterfalls. a bustling restaurant   Joesph’s Healthcare was licensed to Bay Area
          and arts scene is anchored by SuperCrawl, a globally    Health Trust (BAHT). Through a partnership
          recognized musical festival that attracts 250,000       deal, MMM is now available for research
          people each September. it also ranked no. 2 on          use from Cedarlane Corporation, a leading
          Foreign Direct investment magazine’s list of mid-sized   Canadian research reagents supplier with
          americas City of the Future.                            customers in over 140 countries.
                                                                  “Profits come to all the players and there is
          Hamilton’s institutions graduate thousands in           a beautiful, symbiotic positive feedback loop
          engineering, life sciences, digital health and          that comes out it. Now, we want to see that
          medicine, many who stay in the city for its cultural    model replicated,” said Peter Kalra, CEO of
          offerings, natural and architectural beauty, and great   Bay Area Health Trust.
          quality of life.
                                                                  Other pandemic successes include packaging
                                                                  company Whitebird Inc.’s pivot to develop
          together, the university and college have 62,000        a suite of domestically manufactured PPE
          students enrolled, with more than 50 per cent           for Canadian care providers. McMaster’s
          representing StEm-related programs.                     start-up, Elarex Inc., is helping vaccine
                                                                  manufacturers reduce spoilage by developing
          this talent pool fuels the growth of made-in-Hamilton   a novel formulation that eliminates the need
          success stories, such as Fusion Pharmaceuticals,        for vaccines to be stored at extreme cold
          triumvira immunologics and Empirica therapeutics.       temperatures. Start-up FendX Technologies is
          access to high quality talent also convinced medical    securing a patent for an antimicrobial coating
          device giant Stryker to maintain its Canadian           that repels the adhesion of pathogens and
                                                                  inhibits their growth on surfaces.
          headquarters in Hamilton and to invest $100 million
          in a new facility to support its growth.
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