Blame Valeant. Leslie Dan’s latest company, Viventia Bio, looked all set for a robust 2015 and 2016 before a series of scandals at Valeant Pharmaceuticals brought Canada’s whole biotech and pharma sector crashing down. Having originally filed an $86-million IPO in 2015 to take Viventia Bio public, Dan sold the company in September 2016 to Eleven Biotherapeutics for just $13 million. Eleven, based in Cambridge, Mass., is going to continue developing Viventia’s two main cancer drugs, one of which is in Stage 3 clinical trials.
Viventia didn’t have such a happy ending, but the company that truly made Dan’s fortune was the generic drug manufacturer Novopharm, which he founded in 1964 and sold to Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2000. A noted philanthropist, his name adorns the University of Toronto’s Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building, the faculty from which he graduated in 1954, and he has served on the board of directors of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital and the Royal Conservatory of Music.