University of Toronto word mark

Alumni: Giving U of T more reasons to be proud

Alumni Portraits
Leslie Dan
Current Industry: Business, Humanitarianism, Medicine
Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScP) 1954
Master of Business Administration (MBA) 1959
Hon. Doctor of Science (Hon. DSC) 1997

Leslie Dan graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto in 1954, and established his own business sending North American medical supplies to Europe. He completed his MBA degree in 1959, and founded a company which distributed over-the-counter drugs in 1960.

Five years later, he established Novopharm Limited, a generic pharmaceutical manufacturing business, which over the next 35 years, would grow from 10 employees and a single product to one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with over 3,000 employees, 400 products and annual sales in excess of $750 million.

In 2000, Dan sold his interest in Novopharm to Teva Pharmaceuticals. He then launched a new company, Viventia Biotech, which specializes in the discovery and development of products for the treatment of cancer. Dan continues to play an active role in the day-to-day operations of Viventia.

In addition to his business success, Dan continues to be one of Canada’s leading philanthropists, generously and consistently providing support to a variety of causes and initiatives around the world. One of his most significant donations was a $13 million gift to the University of Toronto which led to the construction of the Leslie L. Dan Faculty of Pharmacy building, and strengthened the Faculty’s ability to educate the future generations of health care leaders and improve the health and well-being of communities across Canada.

Related Alumni
  • Michael Wilson has gained international respect as an accomplished public servant of ... Read more

    Michael Wilson
  • When Dominic Lam was a four-year-old boy living in Hong Kong, he already dreamed of b... Read more

    Dominic Lam
  • When Judy Goldring was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women for 2012 by the W... Read more

    Judy Goldring
  • Telecommunications is a big industry, run by major players. Anthony Lacavera started ... Read more

    Anthony Lacavera
  • Gimmy Chu credits the University of Toronto with encouraging him to think both "outsi... Read more

    Gimmy Chu