"canada life science"

Canada’s pharmaceutical industry is a key contributor to the global pharma market. Here are the top Canadian pharma stocks of 2021.

Click here to read the latest top Canadian pharma stocks article.

The Canadian pharmaceutical industry has positioned itself firmly on the global map thanks to advances in biotechnology and investments in medical research and development.

The life science sector is one of Canada’s key industries, and as a sub-sector the pharmaceutical industry represents 41 percent of Canada’s life science gross domestic product.

“Canada’s commercially oriented research network takes innovation from lab to market; joint investment opportunities in research allow for R&D result optimization; and the responsive and efficient regulatory environment facilitates business operations,” according to Invest in Canada.

In fact, the organization notes that 5 percent of the world’s clinical trials take place in Canada, making the country one of the 10 top medical research nations in the world.

Overall, the Canadian pharma sector is the 10th largest in the world and accounts for 2 percent of the global market. With a population that’s roughly 37.4 million, Canada’s pharmaceutical market share is profound, and the country is home to companies making moves.

Below, the Investing News Network profiles the top Canadian pharma stocks on the TSX and TSXV in terms of yearly performance. This top Canadian pharma stocks list below was compiled using TradingView’s stock screener, with all numbers current as of January 7, 2021. The pharma stocks on this list all had market caps between C$10 million and C$500 million at that time.

1. Medicenna Therapeutics (TSX:MDNA)

Market cap: US$261.16 million; current share price: US$5.74; yearly gain: 98.96 percent

Medicenna Therapeutics is an oncology-focused company working to develop treatments for a wide range of cancers. The pharma company’s lead drug candidate, MDNA55, is in a Phase 2b clinical trial to test its ability to treat resistant glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

MDNA55 has been granted orphan drug designation to treat gliomas by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by the European Medicines Agency. The FDA has also given MDNA55 fast-track designation to treat glionlastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare malignant brain tumor.

2. Appili Therapeutics (TSX:APLI)

Market cap: C$53.36 million; current share price: C$1.17; yearly gain: 91.8 percent

Appili Therapeutics is biopharmaceutical company that delivers drug development programs for unmet medical needs across a broad range of serious infectious diseases. The top Canadian pharma stock’s pipeline of novel therapies includes a broad-spectrum antifungal, a vaccine candidate to eliminate a serious biological weapon threat and two novel antibiotic programs.

Appili is a member of a global consortium sponsoring late-stage clinical trials for the evaluation of the antiviral Avigan (favipiravir) for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

“Reaching patients early in the infection to prevent possible progression into more serious forms of this disease remains a critical unmet need in the COVID-19 treatment landscape,” said Dr. Armand Balboni, CEO of Appili. “Our role remains to design rigorous trials to obtain the data that identify COVID-19 patients that may benefit from REEQONUS. We look forward to working with our partners in providing information to Health Canada with the goal of advancing this important innovation for patients.”

3. Medexus Pharmaceuticals (TSXV:MDP)

Market cap: C$99.88 million; current share price: C$6.97; yearly gain: 76.46 percent

Medexus Pharmaceuticals is a commercial-stage pharma company focused on a range of therapeutic areas, including hematology, autoimmune diseases, allergies, specialty oncology and pediatrics.

The drugmaker’s leading products are Rasuvo and Metoject, a unique formulation of methotrexate (auto-pen and pre-filled syringe) designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Medexus also has IXINITY, an intravenous recombinant factor IX therapeutic to control bleeding for use in patients 12 years of age or older with hemophilia B, as well as Rupall, an allergy medication.

4. Fennec Pharmaceuticals (TSX:FRX)

Market cap: C$239.26 million; current share price: C$9.27; yearly gain: 64.07 percent

Fennec Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company developing cancer drugs. It has completed patient enrollment in over two Phase 3 clinical trials for its lead product candidate, PEDMARK.

PEDMARK is a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate that has the potential to reduce the incidence and/or severity of chemotherapy-induced hearing loss, or ototoxicity, in pediatric patients. It is under review with the FDA and European Medicines Agency.

5. BioSyent (TSXV:RX)

Market cap: C$98.97 million; current share price: C$7.84; yearly gain: 30.88 percent

BioSyent is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on in-licensing or acquiring proven healthcare and pharmaceutical products.

In October 2020, top Canadian pharma stock BioSyent was ranked as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies, making the Growth List from Canadian Business and Maclean’s for the eighth year in a row. The list ranks Canadian companies based on their five year revenue growth. BioSyent’s ranking was based on a five year revenue growth rate of 75 percent.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


S&P 5003821.55-78.56


Heating Oil4.10-0.01
Natural Gas6.51+0.01