DNAstack CEO Marc Fiume accepts the LSO Company of the Year Award, introduced by Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, CSO at Genome Canada.
Thank you very much Alison.
Good evening everyone! Thank you very much for taking the time to be here tonight to celebrate Ontario’s life sciences community. The province of Ontario is home to world leading talent in life sciences – and it’s a big honour for us to be named this year’s Company of the Year.
I’m accepting this award on behalf of our entire team – who are some of the most passionate and talented people I’ve ever worked with. At DNAstack, we are on a relentless mission to improve health outcomes for millions of Ontarians, Canadians, and global citizens by better connecting the world’s genomics and health data.
I’d like to acknowledge a few people who have been instrumental to our success:
- Ryan Cook, my co-founder, who always inspires us to think big and prioritize impact, including our decision to divert as many resources as we could to support our country’s response to COVID.
- Jim Vlasblom and Miro Cupak, our technical co-founders, who joined DNAstack when it was just an idea. Jim and Miro wrote the very first lines of code from a tiny office on College St. that had no air conditioning.
- Peter Zakarow, who has been essential in operationalizing our strategy, both in Ontario and across Canada.
- And Peter Goodhand, CEO of the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health, who has been one of our best friends and mentors over the past decade.
93% of health data that patients contribute to research is not shared!
And it takes an average of 17 years for research evidence to be translated into clinical practice.
This is too slow.
From detecting infectious disease outbreaks, to improving crop yields, to better understanding neurodiversity, and finding cures for rare and complex diseases – we believe that real-time, global sharing of genomic and health data is critical to accelerate innovation across the life sciences.
Throughout the pandemic, we had the honor of serving our province and country, where – as Catalina mentioned – we worked together with government, funders, hospitals, academia, industry, and other innovators to deliver the world’s first international, federated network for genomic surveillance. Seemingly overnight, the pandemic galvanized our mission and helped break through traditional barriers to collaboration, in the face of a common threat.
1 in 15 children are diagnosed with rare disease. 1 in 6 people live with a neurological condition. And 1 in 4 Canadians die from cancer.
There is a massive, timely opportunity for us to improve these odds.
Creating systemic change in healthcare will require support and collaboration across many stakeholders. While there is still a lot of work to do, we believe that Ontario has all the ingredients needed to to revolutionize our health system and drive better outcomes for our children, our families, and each other.
We are very grateful to be a partner with you all on this journey.