GlycoNet: Contributing to the evolution of Canada’s bioeconomy

A robust health innovation ecosystem is critical for improving the health security and protecting the well-being of Canadians. As part of the national effort towards pushing the boundaries of One Health, GlycoNet is a globally unrivaled innovation engine built on a strong foundation of Canadian expertise in glycomics – the study of carbohydrates in viruses, humans, animals, plants, and bacteria, and their role in governing every biological process. Driven to deliver “made-in-Canada” solutions to the most pressing socio-economic and medical challenges, GlycoNet marshals its pan-Canadian network of researchers, clinicians, and innovation professionals to develop glycomics-based therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, and enabling technologies.

From discovery to development and commercialization, GlycoNet is committed to innovating health solutions in the fields of infections (viral, bacterial, and fungal), cancer, chronic illnesses, and neurodegeneration. Federally funded through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, GlycoNet has built a cohesive network of 175 laboratories across Canada, 556 trainees, and 161 partners from the private and public sectors.

In just over five years, GlycoNet and its partners have invested $51 million in 122 fundamental, translational, and clinical research projects across Canada. This has led to 14 glycomics-based drug candidates and four clinical trial campaigns in vaccine, diabetes, rare genetic disorders, and kidney stones. GlycoNet has contributed to the evolution of Canada’s bioeconomy by facilitating nine licensing transactions and supporting the creation of five Canadian biotech companies in biomanufacturing, cell therapies, blood transfusion, drug discovery, and cancer diagnostics.

As the global biotech and health industries embrace emerging digital platforms such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and smart sensors, glycomics becomes increasingly important in disease diagnostics, biomarker identification, and therapeutics development. GlycoNet’s ability to decipher the code of carbohydrates will set the stage for new genetic research and will help precision medicine and personalized healthcare realize their full potential.

GlycoNet is a Sponsor of Research Canada’s Your Candidates, Your Health 2021 Federal Election Campaign. To learn more, visit