Le Lézard
Classified in: Health, Science and technology
Subject: HEALTH

NGen Supports Commercial Scale Manufacturing of Cell and Gene Therapies in Canada

HAMILTON, Ontario, Sept. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada's Global Innovation Cluster for Advanced Manufacturing, has announced a $10.5 million contribution to a $34.8 million project led by OmniaBio Inc. (Hamilton) and partners ExCellThera (Montreal), MorphoCell Technologies (Montreal), Aspect Biosystems (Vancouver), and CATTI (Montreal).

Biomanufacturing, which involves complex infrastructure and expertise to manufacture and supply new advanced therapies, does not currently exist on a commercial scale in Canada for cell and gene-based technologies or products. Investment and development in this essential subsector of manufacturing will establish the receptor capacity for the growing number of advanced therapies currently in clinical and pre-clinical development in Canada, which would otherwise need to be manufactured outside the country.

This project is one of NGen's largest investments to date and aims to secure Canada's global leadership in life sciences by delivering against three core objectives. 

Building domestic expertise and world-leading manufacturing capabilities

The project consortium, led by OmniaBio, will develop advanced, world-leading platform technologies that are focused on automated and closed-system manufacturing, quality management systems, analytics and regulatory compliance. 

Empowering a pipeline of Canadian-based CGT companies

Project partners ExCellThera, MorphoCell and Aspect Biosystems will deploy resources to advance their respective cell and gene therapy (CGT) programs to proceed to commercial production. Their success, along with the biomanufacturing capabilities and capacity developed in collaboration with OmniaBio, will demonstrate to the world that Canada is an ideal location for successful CGT ventures to be based. 

Training Canada's future workforce

Spearheaded by the Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI), the consortium will develop and scale e-learning and on-site cGMP training programs in Quebec and Ontario that will facilitate an unprecedented capacity in Canada for efficient and rapid upskilling of the workforce for CGT biomanufacturing.

"Canada is becoming a world leader in the life sciences sector, and we're proud to support projects that build on that success. This new $34 million project will not only solidify Canada's leadership but also help train more Canadians for these good, well-paying jobs," said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "Projected to create hundreds of new jobs just in the short term, this new project led by OmniaBio and its consortium partners will make a real difference here at home and around the world."

"Canada is recognized around the world as a leader in the field of life sciences," said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. "This investment in critical biomanufacturing infrastructure ensures that we will be able to leverage our strengths in research and technology, build a work-ready talent pipeline, and provide the right conditions for our domestic CGT ventures to scale-up in Canada."

"It will benefit all Canadians to have a thriving cell and gene therapy industry that includes a skilled biomanufacturing workforce, and NGen's support is key to this project's success," explains Mitchel Sivilotti, President and CEO of OmniaBio Inc. "As OmniaBio builds world-leading platform technologies to benefit companies in Canada and around the world, we will see that success translate into more jobs and a strong Life Sciences ecosystem in Canada."

This project is funded by NGen under Canada's Global Innovation Clusters Initiative. To date, NGen has approved 166 projects with 374 industry partners, investing $236 million and leveraging $371 million in new R&D investments by industry. NGen investments have created 18 new companies, supported 45 new products and services and generated $1.92 billion in revenue and licensing deals for participating partners.

About NGen

NGen is the industry-led not-for-profit organization that leads Canada's Global Innovation Cluster for Advanced Manufacturing. Its mandate is to help build world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. NGen works to strengthen collaboration among its membership of more than 5,000 manufacturers, technology companies, innovation centres, and researchers, and provides funding and business support to industry-led initiatives that aim to develop, apply, or scale-up transformative manufacturing solutions in Canada for commercialization in global markets. www.ngen.ca/membership

About OmniaBio

OmniaBio Inc. is a subsidiary of CCRM. OmniaBio's facility will be Canada's first commercial-scale CDMO dedicated to cell and gene therapies and is expected to be the largest facility of its kind in Canada. Located at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario, OmniaBio will anchor a biomanufacturing centre of excellence and will open in three phases between 2024 and 2026. Benefitting from CCRM's existing expertise and established business practices, OmniaBio will complete CCRM's continuum of process development and manufacturing capabilities by enabling focused support for clients with late clinical phase and commercial supply needs. OmniaBio is supported by the Government of Ontario, via the Invest Ontario Fund. Visit us at omniabio.com.

Media Contacts

Robbie MacLeod
Director, Strategic Communications, NGen

Stacey Johnson
VP, Communications & Marketing

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