The evolution of IBEX
IBEX began life in 1986 under the direction of Robert Heft, a newly minted Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
In July of 1987 IBEX signed a series of licensing agreements with MIT which formed the basis of our current business. These licenses deal with the rights to make and sell a series of enzymes known as glycosaminoglycan lyases which had the potential to be useful in the study of poly-saccharides as well the degradation of heparin for diagnostic and medical purposes.
By the end of 1990 IBEX had developed the methods for making and purifying these enzymes in quantities that made them commercially viable and in 1991 IBEX signed its first agreement with Medtronic Inc to incorporate one of its enzymes into a diagnostic system. In 1992, IBEX expanded its reach by signing a similar agreement with Baxter Diagnostics (now part of Siemens AG).
Also in 1993 IBEX began its partnership with Hemoscope (now Haemonetics), the maker of the TEG 5000 Thrombelastograph® Hemostasis Analyzer system, a diagnostic instrument that provides comprehensive whole blood hemostasis testing that can help assess bleeding and thrombotic risks.
All three companies remain as customers to this date thanks to IBEX’s unique manufacturing process and the consistent quality of its reagents.
In 1995 IBEX merged with, and took over the stock listing of its parent, CPCI. Also in 1995 IBEX began clinical trial of heparinase I Rx (Neutralase) for bypass surgery.
In 2001 IBEX sold the therapeutic rights to its enzyme programs to BioMarin, a California biotech company. With the sale of the Rx rights, IBEX became a company focused on enzymes for diagnostics and R&D
In 2002 IBEX bought the rights to a number of osteoarthritis research assays which had been developed at the Montreal Shriners Hospital under the direction of Dr, Robin Poole. These assays deal primarily with degradation and synthesis of collagen.
In 2013 in order to expand its franchise in clinical diagnostic enzymes, IBEX purchased the US company Bio-Research Products, Inc. and acquired the right to three important diagnostic enzymes; aryl-aacylamidase (AAA), used in the detection of acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning, cystathionine beta synthase (CBS) and cystathionine beta lyase (CBL) used in the testing of cystathionine deficiency.
Along with the purchase, IBEX also acquired the plant enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) which was being developed as a nutraceutical for histamine intolerance.
IBEX is one of the oldest biotech companies in Canada and it owes its longevity to the vision and hard work of its current and former employees.
With the inauguration of our expanded production facility in Montreal in 2017 we are positioned to continue our growth in specialized protein production.