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News & Publications

Globe and Mail January 18, 2007 (Canada's National Newspaper)

YM Biosciences in the hunt for holy grail of cancer killers


Three years after the Russians left Cuba in 1991, investment banker David Allan and biotech analyst Ezra Lwowski spent a week on the island nation, touring its dozen medical research facilities at the invitation of the executive committee of the country's Council of Ministers.

"We were absolutely astonished at the depth of the science and the commitment to scientific rigour," he recalls, adding that Cuba published its first medical paper in the 17th century around the same time Harvard University was founded.

"But we had to tell them there was zero chance to commercialize any of their scientific discoveries because of the U.S. trade embargo and because their medical achievements weren't known in the Western World..."

Nature Biotechnology Vol 22 Supplement December 2004

Cuba - Innovation through synergy


Through linkages like the one between YM BioSciences and the Center of Molecular Immunology , Cubans can gain access to markets, capital and commercialization expertise. Sometimes it has been challenging for Cubans to adapt their socialist system to the capitalist world of modern biotechnology...

Canadian Business , July 8, 2002

Here's to us, who's like us?

On June 2012 - the day YM started trading on both the TSX and the London Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) - chairman and CEO David Allan took his employees out for a long celebratory lunch. "Some suggested to me I do it the day before... but I said, 'No way'- not until the cheque is signed'"In this investment climate, you can't be too sure of anything..."

Red Herring April 1, 2001

Biotech in Cuba

David Allan didn't know what he was in for when a colleague urged him to call a high-ranking Cuban official in December 1993. As the CEO of YM BioSciences in Toronto, Mr. Allan was accustomed to getting pitched by universities and labs from around the world. But this pitch was especially different.....

Science Vol. 282, Issue 5394,27 Nov 1998

Cuba's Billion-Dollar Biotech Gamble


Fidel Castro has staked the lion's share of his country's science resources on biomedicine; surprisingly, Cuba's foray into this high-risk capitalistic arena appears to be paying off...

Canadian Business, October 10, 1997

Cuban Medicine? Por favor!


Some tourist escape to Cuba in the dead of winter for sun and fun, but not Ezra Lwoski and David Allan. The Toronto businessmen from Yorkton Securities had never set foot until February 1994 when Fidel Castro's government invited them to tour its scientific facilities......

Maclean's, January 15, 1996

Business moves in


York Medical Inc., a virtually unknown Toronto company acquired licenses to five Cuban pharmaceuticals in 1995. YM contracted to ensure the medications meet US Food and Drug Administration standards and to license the rights to drug companies...

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