September 28, 2005 13:36 ET

Life Sciences Companies Make an Impression, Taking Nine Spots on 2005 Deloitte Fast 50 Ranking of Fastest-Growing Technology Companies

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 28, 2005) -

-- Fast 50 Life Sciences recipients show Canadian companies know how to take discoveries from laboratory to market--

Canada's fastest growing technology companies are growing even faster than in previous years, getting bigger and more profitable. The findings are drawn from the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 50, the annual program which recognizes excellence in Canadian companies through factors such as strong business performance, intellectual property, strength of management and growth rate. To sustain this growth, there has also been a significant increase in R&D investment, with the average R&D expenditure of Fast 50 recipients up almost double to $9.2 million, from $5.3 million in the previous year.

This year's Deloitte Fast 50 ranking features nine life sciences companies, four of which, Cardiome Pharma (ranked third, revenue growth of 11,531%), Angiotech (ranked sixth, 3,687%), as well as diagnostic specialists Diagnocure (placed ninth, 2,313%) and Imaging Dynamics (placed 10th, 2,173% growth), were among the top ten in terms of revenue growth. Another life sciences company, ID Biomedical Corp., was the winner of the GrowthWorks Leadership award in the Life Sciences sector. The award was given to ID Biomedical based on the company's outstanding success in winning contracts and awards for its various vaccine products and for ID Biomedical's plans for growth through developing other vaccines for strep and meningitis. In addition for this award, ID Biomedical is also being recognized on the Fast 50 for the fifth consecutive year (#29, 343% growth).

"The strong presence of life sciences companies on this year's Fast 50 ranking reflects the success these companies are having in bringing their products to market," says Garry Foster, National Leader with Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunication practice. "The companies on the list are manufacturers and vendors of important life sciences discoveries as well as developers."

The nine life sciences winners are a microcosm of the diversity of the life sciences industry. All of the life sciences companies appearing on the Fast 50 are publicly traded on Canadian stock exchanges. They include CV Technologies (46, 229% growth), developer and manufacturer of natural therapeutics such as COLD-fX, Atrium Biotechnologies (ranked 11, 2,009%), a spin-off of Aeterna Zentaris, also makes use of natural ingredients for some of its health and nutritional supplements. QLT (placed 26, 392% growth) and Prometic Life Sciences (placed 33, 293%) also made the ranking.

The location of the life sciences companies on the Fast 50 shows the importance of biotech clusters in Canada. Four of the nine companies are in and around Vancouver, Canada's third-biggest biotech hub, while another three are in the province of Quebec, one of the largest life sciences incubators in North America. Being close to other life sciences firms and to research institutions is clearly an advantage in getting drugs and devices developed and onto the market.

Other Fast 50 Key Findings:

Fastest of the Fast: St. John's-based Rutter Inc., which develops voyage data recorders and marine-certified electronic interface technologies made history this year as the first Fast 50 company to own the top rank with the highest revenue growth (29,630%) for two years in a row. Following Rutter are Toronto-based Workbrain, Inc. (2nd place) and Vancouver-based Cardiome Pharma Corp. (ranked third) with 11,768.48% and 11,531.28% five year revenue growth rates respectively.

Regional Breakdown: Ontario continues to be the largest tech hub with 19 recipients on the Fast 50, followed by British Columbia which fielded 12 companies, Alberta with 10 and the province of Quebec with seven finalists. Manitoba and Newfoundland made the ranking with one winner each. The regional breakdown reflects the important role of Canada's tech clusters in supporting the establishment and growth of tech companies. In each region the presence of national and multi-national companies, as well as leading research and academic centres in these provinces acts as an incubator that attracts and nourishes tech companies.

Repeat Winners: Fifty-two per cent of this year's winners have been recognized on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 rank for two consecutive years or more with 32% boasting multiple appearances - proving their ability to sustain growth over longer periods. Most noticeable are Waterloo-based Research In Motion Limited, the only company that has appeared on the Fast 50 in each of the eight years since the program's inception, and Vancouver-based ID Biomedical Corp. that has ranked on the Fast 50 for five years in a row.

About Deloitte

Deloitte, Canada's leading professional services firm, provides audit, tax, financial advisory services and consulting through more than 6,100 people in more than 47 offices. Deloitte & Touche LLP operates in Quebec as Samson Belair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. The firm is dedicated to helping its clients and its people excel. Deloitte is the only professional services firm to be named to the Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine annual ranking of Canada's top employers for two consecutive years: 35 Best Companies to Work for in Canada in 2001 and 50 Best Companies to Work for in Canada in 2002. "Deloitte" refers to Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities. Deloitte is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is a Swiss Verein (association), and, as such, neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the name "Deloitte," "Deloitte & Touche," "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu" or other related names. The services described herein are provided by the Canadian member firm and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

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